Category Archives for "Writing"

Mindmap of Story Marketing Course Outline

Mindmapping for Writers

Mindmapping for Writers

If you haven’t used mindmapping software before, you might want to give it a try. The first time I came across the idea of mindmapping was many years ago when I found a book on the subject in a used bookstore in a small town in South Africa while my husband and I were volunteering in the area for a few months with a Tswana tribe.

When my husband saw me perusing the pages of the book, he stopped and exclaimed, “Leah, it’s your brain!” I had unknowingly been mindmapping for years. My scribbles in notebooks included ideas written all over the page with lines linking related ideas. My loving husband had always teased (and still does twenty years later) that my brain scares him. I think it’s the chaos and all the ideas swimming (and sometimes thrashing) around. But mindmapping helps bring some order to the ideas within my mind.

I realize not everyone’s brain works in such a chaotic manner, but I suspect even linear, organized thinkers will appreciate the help mindmapping can provide during the idea generation phase of writing and other creative endeavors.

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Writing Quotes – A Writer Is a …

Writing Quotes

One of my favorite writing quotes is from Victor Hugo who once said, “A writer is a world trapped in a person.”

Do you ever feel that there are numerous stories, characters, plots, dilemmas, and so much more swirling inside of you yearning to burst out?

I do. All the time. In fact, there isn’t A world trapped inside of me. There are numerous, possibly infinite, worlds trapped inside of me. Each of them calling out to be freed into this world and explored by readers like yourself.

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Writing Ideas and Inspiration

Writing Ideas and Inspiration

Writing Ideas and Inspiration

Writing ideas and inspiration are all around us, often in the most unsuspecting of places.

Life, and thus stories, are happening all around us everyday. But we usually are so wrapped up in our own life, that we don’t notice all the other stories unfolding around us. There is an infinite source of story ideas all around us. We just need to open our eyes and imagination to them.

How do we do so?

Tomorrow, I encourage you to try a couple story discovery activities. Each day, do one or two of these (or all of them from the list below). The story discovery activities below are just a short list of activities to discover more writing ideas. I encourage you to come up with your own activities for inspiring writing ideas. Please share them in the comments below.

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book-marketing

Book Marketing and Writing Tips From Hugh Howey

Book Marketing and Writing Tips

In his blog post, Hugh Howey, the best-selling author of Wool, not only points out the advantages of self-publishing, he also provides valuable book marketing and writing advice to authors on how to successfully self-publish their books.

If you want to earn a supplementary or full-time income from your writing, he recommends you need to: Continue reading

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Character Sketch Template

Character Sketch Template

Take advantage of this easy to use character sketch template to develop captivating characters your readers are drawn to quickly.

Normally, it takes time to really get to know a person. But you don’t have months or years to spend getting to know your characters before you write your story. Not if you plan on writing more than one book per decade. That’s why you need tools to help speed up the process. One of those tools is a character sketch template.

Character templates serve as helpful reminders of questions you need to ask your characters about themselves. A handy way to get to know each of your characters is to sit down for a drink with them, pull out a character sketch template, and go through the list of character details asking them to tell you about themselves.

There are plenty of character sketch templates available online, but I created my own version and organized the details in a way that makes sense to my brain. I’ve listed the contents of the character template below for you to use in your next story. I’ve also included a printer-friendly version that you can download by clicking on the download template button below.

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Questions to Ask Your Character

Questions to Ask Your Character

You need to understand your characters to write characters readers will connect with and care about. Sitting down and asking your characters questions before, and while, you write your story is a great way to come to know your character on a deeper, more meaningful level. Because we have limited time, we need to focus on those questions that quickly help us get to the heart of our characters and the story.

Below are a list of questions I start with to help me focus on those aspects of my characters that have the most impact on the story. My antagonist may have a favorite dessert or movie, but rarely does that food or movie impact the story. If for some reason it does, then I’ll ask that question. But starting out with the list of questions below helps me understand the character well enough to know what other questions need to be asked.

When you ask your characters the questions below, ask follow-up questions to better understand their responses. Why do they want something or fear it? Don’t let them get away with simple answers. Dig deep and find out what’s really going on behind their answer. Imagine that you’re sitting down with a friend trying to get to know them better. Keep it conversational, rather than drilling them with twenty questions.

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