Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spend Your November Word-Crafting!

November is upon us.

I have yet to decide if I will fully participate in this year's National Novel Writing Month, but I will at least give my novel more focus. If nothing else, I will use this time to craft my characters and improve at least the first 30 pages of my novel, which are probably the worst pages I've ever written.

For those who plan to participate (or who just like writing), I provide for you here some of my favorite writing-related implements of creation.

Write or Die is a great way to get out the required number of words in a short amount of time. If you stop writing, the screen gradually turns pink, then red, then starts screeching at you in a most terrible manner. Beware: on occasion, rather than screeching, the program has removed my most recent words letter by letter. So, you know, keep cheating by hitting space and backspace over and over. (Also, you don't have to buy this. Look for the online edition on this website, in the right column.)

Dragon Writing Prompts provides great ways to climb out of writer's block. Pictures to describe, sequels to name, single phrases from which to create worlds. There are also links to stuff like The Plot Whisperer, to help give your novel depth and direction before NaNoWriMo begins. Instead of winging it, like you did last year.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is in beta-stage online, for those of you getting your scientific freak on this fall. If nothing else, it's a great way to waste time while simultaneously coming up with novel ideas and plot twists.

Here's a list of 100 greatest non-fiction books, for those of you who need to do research. It's kind of late in the game for that, but never too late. They are categorized by subject, and most are very recent. But Samuel Johnson and Herodotus make the list, too.

Last, if you still aren't ready to cast your soul to the wind and glue your fingers to the keyboard, try these pep talks. They're the perfect thing to push you over the edge and make your words take wing. They are also great for halfway through the month when you slam your head against the wall and scream, "I CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE!"

Yes you can. Neil Gaiman says so.

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