Recommending: The Idea Factory by Ryan Lanz

Every writer knows the Eureka moment when something we hear, read or see causes a bright flash in our imagination and kindles a new story.

“I want to write this down,” grabs the idea and runs with it–usually. But not always. Sometimes,  ideas just won’t come. The writer needs help.

Aidea-factory-2-sm short while ago I had the pleasure to help a bit on the Beta launch team of ‘The Idea Factory’ by Ryan Lanz. To many of my Blogger friends, Ryan will be well-known for his  blog ‘A Writer’s Path,’ where he offers and collects a large variety of tools and information for writers. I’ve talked about his site in the past. Whenever I need information or tips about the art of writing, his is among the first blogs where I seek to find it.

‘The Idea Factory’ is a book with 1000 prompts, but it also is a lot more. It encourages the readers to mine their own story ideas, and it gives good pointers to where these treasures are hidden. If you know how to look, you’ll find that ideas can be found everywhere.

After the section about generating ideas come the prompts. The book has a great variety of prompts from many genres: fantasy, history, science fiction, mystery, you name it. There are serious prompts, funny prompts, and outright silly prompts in there. While I was reading, I wanted to start writing about some of these prompts right away.  Others made me laugh, shake my head and wonder, could I possibly make something out of this? A challenge! I’m sure that some of the stories with these prompts will make their way here to my blog.

So, whether you want to find an idea for a story, flesh out your existing story with sub-plots, find ideas for practising your writing, are up to a challenge, or need ideas for blogging–you’ll find something in this book.

If you are looking for a stocking stuffer for yourself, or your writer friends, check out ‘The Idea Factory’.

 

 

Advertisements

The Directory is Growing!

Ryan Lanz from A Writer’s Path made a list of reviewers. This is a great list, check it out.

A Writer's Path

images-1

If you were a follower of this blog last month, you may remember how I started a directory for book reviewers. The goal was to create a listing of dependable book reviewer blogs, where an author, self-published or traditional, could submit their book to. With the hassle of research out of the way, it provides a quick list for authors to go down the line on who to contact about reviewing their book.

View original post 178 more words

Random Post: A Poll

It’s time for spring cleaning, and I’m thinking about finally changing my layout to something easier to organize. I really like the McKinley theme I have now,  but it doesn’t have a side bar. I think a side bar makes it easier for readers to find their way around, just in case someone is interested in the blog, not only a specific post. Also: I’ve wanted to try out the poll feature. And so today there is this poll about your blog-reading habits, dear readers. Please don’t be shy, I’m very interested in this. I do like large images, but if they annoy my readers, I can tone down. If readers don’t care, that’s helpful to know, too.

Reblogged: A Public Service Announcement: Common Grammar Goofs

Adi, the Happy Lifeaholic reblogged this on her blog, but I felt compelled to reblog it, too, because I find it so useful. If you try to learn a foreign language, things like that help a lot. I feel comfortable with most of these examples. What makes trouble for me is the I, Me, Myself thing which I still don’t fully understand. Dangling participles, oh my, and most of all, punctuation, comma splits and spaghettis sentences. This comes from German, since we usually use long, convoluted sentences, with many commata and few semicolons. Enjoy the post, maybe you find it just as helpful as I did.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Copyblogger and BlueGlass have created this awesome infographic with some common grammar mistakes, and how to avoid them. Enjoy!

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

My children’s book, Runaway Smile, is mercifully free of grammar goofs. Don’t believe me? Read it for free and find out for yourself!

View original post

Writerly Wednesday: Invaluable Helpers

bootsDo you write? Do you like to read and learn about writing and everything surrounding the art? I do, and that’s why I follow several writers’ blogs, mailing lists, websites and the like. There is so much free advice out there that you could spend all your time reading instead of writing.

And so, it is always good to be pointed to especially good and helpful sites, at least that’s what I think.

Two of my favourite blogs among the many I follow are Damian Walter’s blog “Damian Walter” and Ryan Lanz’ blog “A Writer’s Path.”

Among many informative posts every now and then Damian Walter publishes a post like this “You are not a content creator, you do not create content” or “6 signs your novel may be pretty damn good

Posts like this speak directly to my insecurities as a (wannabe-)writer, I find them uplifting and encouraging. Most of all, it gives me the feeling: I am not alone, others suffer similar insecurities, question and struggle in a similar way. If you have time, and are a writer, visit the blog and look around, there is a lot of useful and interesting information.

Another similarly helpful blog is A Writer’s Path by Ryan Lanz. You can find a writer’s toolbox with a lot of information and useful links and tools. There are regular prompts and inspiration points, and often a very interesting and helpful service called ‘Under the microscope‘ where Mr. Lanz will critique the first 350 (plus/minus a few) words of your story or novel/la. This critique and the comments will give you a good idea if your story has a good hook, if people are interested in reading it, and what can be done to improve it. Mind you, I’m not ready to submit anything yet, but I’m dancing around the idea. It could be devastating… or encouraging.

Maybe you like these blogs just as much as I do.

On Proofreading

2014-08-22 18-59-11_Dokument1 - Microsoft WordWhen I posted yesterday’s blog entry I was ashamed to see how many typos and other mistakes I had overlooked. While I intend to keep this blog personal and informal, it should still be free of blatant errors. I’m not sending each entry to my friend and proofreader for a grammar check, she certainly has better things to do. For things I want to publish on archives, in challenges, or for work, however, I gladly ask her advice and am very fortunate that she is helping me. You know who you are. 🙂

While there may be non-native English writers whose English is next to perfect, I am not one of them. So I often rely on online proofreaders.

Continue reading “On Proofreading”