Category Archives: Friday Fun Tip

Revisiting Old Topics

alienlandscapeThere comes a time in all Blogger’s adventures where they start to feel that they’ve covered everything. I kind of feel that way now, or maybe I’m in my winter hibernation mode. All I want to do is curl up and sleep until spring.

But then, I considered that I could just as easily revisit the same topics covered before but go further into depth, share my own experiences on those topics, or mix things up and take an opposing view than I had before- just to be different.

Story telling can do the same.

Take the villain’s point of view. I find villains very entertaining to write, from their perspective, due to thinking outside the box.  The challenge is finding their motivation and justifying that motivation that might otherwise work against the ‘norm’.

spacephp copyPick another time. If you write a story that takes place before or after the main novel, you expand your series. Prequels and sequels offer fans more history of the characters.

Explore new settings. If you work with one setting, consider exploring a setting in the same ‘world’ but different place. A new planet, undiscovered land, or any other setting offers new challenges for the same characters.

Turn things around. Pick plot, setting, characters, and even conflicts to see what new story ideas sprout anew.


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Down the rabbit hole..into creepiness

spellworkI spent too much time on Pinterest today, too caught up on boards listed as ‘creepy’. Why, you ask? Well, my only excuse is it started innocently looking up Halloween decorations. Next thing I know, I’m drawn into bizarre stories, ghost sightings, monsters, deformities, and just the downright bizarre.

Once done, and I got off the computer, I felt very unsettled. But think-! All the potential stories there!

This story hints at cults, secrecy, murder, and possible human sacrifice.

This story shows the classic horror tale of man versus victims killed off by a madman.

And one of the strangest stories bears no real explanation what happened to the poor hikers of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I know a movie was made from it, and it implied strange reasons to the deaths.

I couldn’t help but try to piece my own story based on these stories on things like motivation, causes of deaths, and possible endings.

Even the ghost photos, which I knew were fakes, offered so much storytelling. I don’t even consider myself a horror writing, but oh…the possibilities!

Where you do find inspiration? Post in comments.


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Feedback Trolls and Snerts

alieneyeI remember, back in the day of AOL chat rooms, the term ‘snerts’ described troll-like behavior. More importantly, this word stood for Snot Nose Egotistical Rude Twit. I think it certainly summed up exactly what we understand how the Internet Troll works.

In writing, we also find a number of Snerts who give feedback, but rather the critique ends up demolishing the writing, characters, and plot, not because of bad writing but because they are snerts.

Snerts who don’t understand or appreciate the genre. Although good writing expands well beyond a genre, it is a good idea to have someone give feedback on writing in the genre they are familiar with. For instance, I’m not very good with the romance stories because they follow a formula that I just can’t appreciate.

Snerts who love criticizing and don’t understand different types of feedback. Some writers look for a basic, overall, look at their manuscript. Does the story make sense? Do you like the characters? What parts did you like or don’t like? Other feedback gets into the nitty gritty of sentence structure and grammar. The best way of asking for feedback is explaining what you’re expecting from them. Explain what you need from the reader to reveal what needs to be fixed.

Snerts don’t understand the difference between  the writing versus the writer. Some feedback reflects the writer rather than the writing. If someone doesn’t like you, or holds a distain for your writing (or to the genre), do not expect good feedback.

Snerts expect you to make the changes to your edits. As the author, your decision to keep or cut things from  your work falls solely on your decision. A snert expects the writer to make those changes they mentioned. Remember, any edits are up to you.

Deal with snerts or find yourself being a snert? I know I’ve been a snert in the past. Post comments.

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Writing Tip: The Pomodoro Technique


I found this neat page at the web site that explains using the Pomodoro Technique to get your book finished.

The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity method using time increments to get the necessary work done in a set amount of time. This also provides breaks in the activity, believed to improve clarity and productivity.

Pomodoro comes from the Italian word “pomodori’, meaning tomato. Remember those kitchen timers that look like tomatoes? Of course, any timer will do.

The concept is simple; set the timer for 25 minutes and write. In these bursts of creativity and productivity, you get your work done. If you can find the 25 minute block of time, you can do this.

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