So there's this 24-hour stomach flu going around. I thought I had evaded it.
Turns out, not so much.
So in lieu of a post with actual thought, organization and planning, you get links to some websites (with thought, organization and planning) that have helped me become a better (fiction) writer.
The rant on putting your characters through absolute hell
Though it appears on Livejournal, one of two major sources of amateur (and immature) writing on the internet, this piece is actually quite thoughtful. It describes some ways to create conflict for your character and how to bring out your character's flaws. Every main character must have flaws to be relatable. Every main character must be relatable or your story flops.
The Simple Novel-- 9 Questions for 25 Chapters
I actually do not agree with this approach at all, which is why I'm posting it. I never outline a novel like this; I never start with a set number of chapters and "fill in" which part of the story should fit into which chapters. This is too much like writing your first, second and third drafts all at once. But the 9 questions in the beginning are well worth a think, and for a person who's never written a novel before, the 25-chapter outline will definitely help you get the feel for how a story should flow.
Writingworld.com's Guide to Fiction
This is everything that's taught in high school and lower-level college creative writing courses. This is also fourth on my bookmark list, right below Gmail, Facebook and Questionable Content. For every writer, new and experienced, young and old, I specifically recommend "Getting Started VII: Being Realistic About Your Work". I read it thrice or so a month. I also recommend the section called "Victorian Advice for Modern Writers". For everybody. But specifically for those with any kind of background in Victorian literature and culture, it's a jaunt. A wordy jaunt. But when has Victorian literature NOT been wordy?
The most important writing lesson I ever learned:
"Nobody wants to read your shit."
Mythical Creatures List
This is where I go when I need an overdose of inspiration. Some people write stories from prompts; I write stories from descriptions of Crom Cruach and the Lumakaka. This is a fantastic source of inspiration for those with fantasy-inclined minds.
How to Finish What You Started
Though it's written for writers, the wisdom in this article applies to other projects as well, no matter what your goal is; be it a novel, your thesis, a scrapbook, a sweater, a house. This succinct, no-nonsense treatise on and guide to finishing what you started gives you five easy steps to follow. And four of those steps don't even involve DOING any projects at all! It's all about reassessing, prioritization, and holding yourself accountable. I have used this method, with success, on several projects lately. Hopefully it will work for you.
I promise I'll put some effort into tomorrow's entry. After my guts stop their impromptu revolution.