story seed

How to Organize Our Writing Research & Notes — Guest: Jenny Hansen

March 27, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Today’s post continues the “secret weapon” theme from Tuesday’s post, but this time we’re going to talk about issues related to our writing. And this time, the secret weapon is Microsoft’s OneNote. Researching character or location pictures? Use OneNote. Want to capture the most useful tips on a blog post? Use OneNote. Want to remember […]

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Stuck in Your Book? Try a Brainstorming Warm-up

June 25, 2013 Writing Stuff
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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve started drafting a new story. The first week, my word counts were rather lame, but this past week has been going much better. Each day finds me getting into my writing groove more easily. I joked to my family that I’d apparently needed to get my […]

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Does Drafting Terrify or Energize You?

June 11, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Last week I started a new work-in-progress (WIP). Yay! I love drafting but I know others don’t. Some people call the first draft a “discovery draft,” and that description certainly holds true for me. My first drafts are all about discovering the story. Literally. I’m a reformed plotter and now write mostly by the seat […]

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Three Tips for Better Storytelling

May 2, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Last time, we talked about how good storytelling can salvage even a poorly written book. As I mentioned in that post, storytelling skill is different from writing skill. Many people have a hard time defining what makes good storytelling—and that makes it difficult for us to improve. Yet I’d argue that storytelling ability isn’t as […]

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NaNo Prep: What’s Your “Next Big Thing”?

October 25, 2012 Random Musings
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I don’t usually participate in blog tagging posts, but every once in a while, one comes along that fits in well with my blog. On Tuesday, Janice Hardy tagged me for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. As NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—write a 50K word novel during November) is all about writing “the next big […]

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What If Our Story Idea Has Already Been Done?

March 22, 2012 Writing Stuff
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In my last post about Google search terms, I mentioned that we sometimes have lots of content around a search’s keywords and yet have never answered the question directly.  In that case, Google just gave us an idea for a blog post.  *smile* One search term that led people to my blog this past month was “What do […]

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When Does Fan Fiction Cross an Ethical Line?

March 6, 2012 Random Musings
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Fan fiction, also known as fanfic, refers to stories written by fans about the characters, situations, or world of existing works created by others.  This definition sounds broad because the world of fanfic is broad. On some level, everything from Wicked, inspired by The Wizard of Oz, to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies could fall under the umbrella […]

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What Comes After a First Draft?

September 20, 2011 Writing Stuff
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Last week, we talked about how stories change from the initial story seed to the first draft.  Then it dawned on me that I’ve experienced that same evolution between a first draft and a finished draft, where so much changed that I hardly recognized the original story any more. For fun, I’ve used Microsoft Word’s Compare […]

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

September 15, 2011 Writing Stuff
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Artists of every type find inspiration all around them, and writers are no exception.  Ideas might come in the form of a dream, a “what if” question, an overheard conversation, etc. Those are all fairly normal sources of inspiration.  Personally, I’ve been inspired by dreams, “what if”s, an 80′s music video, a mutation of another […]

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How Do You Stretch Yourself?

September 13, 2011 Writing Stuff
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With any job or activity, if we want to get better, we have to stretch ourselves.  Athletes strive to move faster or stronger.  Musicians aim to complete a harder, more intricate piece of music.  And writers… How do writers stretch themselves? We can collect feedback on our writing from beta readers, contest judges, and critique […]

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