A Day in the Life

Homeschooling and Medieval Living

Creating Something from Nothing

Photo Credit: Sharon Drummond via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Sharon Drummond via Compfight

It is so hard for me to come up with inspiration. Sometimes, I need a writing prompt, others just a word or phrase from someone. I was hoping I would have more happening in my life that I could write about. Lately, it seems I have so little. I should be working on my novel. There are so many things that get in the way of that. I have homeschooling, driving my husband back and forth to school (he has no license) and taking my dear mother to her various doctor appointments. I have no problem with any of those activities. That is why my book suffers.
Then, when I do sit down to write on my novel, I am wracked with insecurity and perfectionism. I rewrite every paragraph I write. I really want to be able to write it and leave it – at least until the entire thing is written. I keep adding to the plot, changing characters and deleting whole chapters.
So, I come back to my blog. For some reason, my perfectionism doesn’t interfere here. I write and post – no problem. I will share some important writing resources with you today. In need of a writing prompt or two? Here are some places to get those ideas flowing.

Daily Post
The Daily Post has everything from blogging courses to daily and weekly prompts. I love it. I have used a few of the ideas for my own blog. There are also many articles about how to blog and how to reach a wider audience. They just started their Blogging University this year. The University has a new course – Blogging 101: Zero to Hero.

Daily Compass
The Daily Compass is full of writing prompts as well as spiritual introspection. There is always a question at the end of the posting that really gets you thinking. This is another one of my favorite sites. Many of my posts from January of this year are written from their prompts. Some of them have left me melancholy while others have helped me become a better person. It is well worth checking out, even if you aren’t a writer.

Seventh Sanctum
The Seventh Sanctum is a generator of massive proportions. I have used it for writing prompts, name ideas, character generators and D and D campaigns. It has so many uses. There is the What-if-inator that generates scrambled histories, Quick Story Ideas, and the Symbolitron (that generates story ideas with meaning) – just to name a few.

Rory’s Story Cubes
Rory’s Story Cubes are actual physical dice. Each six-sided die contains several pictures on it. There are nine dice in all. Roll the dice for some interesting story ideas. If you don’t want the actual dice (for fear of losing them), you can also download his app from the App Store or Google Play. I have the app for Android. I love it. I have used it for ideas and for fun. Whenever I am in line at the store or just want a giggle with the family, I pull it out. The kids like making up stories with it.

RPG Character Generator
The RPG Generator by AC Arcana is great for generating characters. I have reviewed this app in my blog before. I even included screen shots.

Well, that should be enough to get you started. I am currently creating pages for resources. I hope to have them up soon. I will have one for writing resources and one for homeschooling resources. If there is anything you think I should include in this list, please let me know in the comments below.

Happy writing!

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RPG Generator Adds Life to Novel

Hey there guys and gals!

Do you suffer from writer’s block? Have you found more than one character standing as a cardboard cutout with no depth? Do you want to add dimensions to your characters and fill them full of life? I have some really great news! There is indeed and app for that!

AC Arcana’s RPG Character Generator is just amazing. I sat for almost a month with writer’s block. I really needed a new character to make a scene work. Also, most of my other characters were just pieces of furniture – you know, not comfy and made of wood? So, I went online and looked for inspiration (as you do). I found many things I could purchase: writer’s dice, story dice, etc. None of them seemed to fit what I needed. I then went to my daughter (who writes lots of fan fiction) and said “Man, I wish I knew Java or C++. I would then create this really cool app that would generate a character based on certain parameters.”

“But there’s already one out there,” she announced.

“You have GOT to be kidding me!”

“No, really there is. See? Take a look.”

A few minutes later, I had an awesome character drawn up and a new subplot added to my novel. Yay me!

First of all, there is a free version with ads and a $1.49 version without. Right now, I have the free version. I will be buying it today because it is just that great. Although, this review is based on the free version for Android. I downloaded it from the Google Play Store.

RPG Character Generator - screenshot

The first thing you notice when you open the app is an array of character attributes. They are broken down into the following categories:

  • Role
  • Appearance
  • Personality
  • Birthplace or Home
  • Past
  • Religion
  • Family
  • Sexuality

For example, Role has the following drop down menus:

  • Role
  • Archetype
  • Preferred Weapon
  • Alignment

Even archetype has oodles of choices in a drop down menu: alchemist, assassin, brute, cavalier, craftsman, defender, diplomat, enchanter, entertainer, inquisitor, magus, monk, naturalist, necromancer, paladin, peasant, priest, ranger, sage, scout, sharpshooter, sorcerer, swashbuckler, thief, warlock and warrior. And if you don’t like any of these, you can always add your own by choosing “other….”

Once you make a choice in the pull down menu, a description appears under your choice. For instance, for Paladin it says “Choose a class geared towards protection and healing.”

There is a lock beside each of the drop down menus. This allows you to choose from only a few of them and lock your choices in place. Then you can hit the randomize button to get rid of the ones you don’t want.

Many of them are geared toward gaming. But, it can be used for other characters as well. My favorite Personality menu is “Quirks”. It lets you add just about anything (some examples are: activist, addicted to a Narcotic, arachnophobia, drama queen, schizophrenia, touchy feely are just a few) . You can add multiple quirks and you can even make up your own.

Once you have created your character, you can then save it (with his/her name that can be generated as well) in one of ten slots.

Here is the character sketch I created last night.

Dak is a tall, runty, young adult human male with spiked purple hair and green eyes. He is a priest who carries a quarterstaff. His alignment is neutral good. He is clean shaven and likes to wear chains, studs, leather coats, and bandanas. He seeks to know all the secrets of the universe and has a tendency to come up with strange and surprising ideas.  He always wants to ask about every detail about everything. He goes out of his way to find libraries, rare books, wise men, and sages alike to learn their secrets. He finds matter-of-fact, casual humor the most amusing and he keeps a lucky charm. He is an avid reader, tea lover and inventor. He was born in a small mountain village that was quickly built as temporary housing for a gold rush or mine. The village community all know each other well and are interested in each other’s lives. In his past, he was once married. He managed to find and fall in love again (after his marriage fell apart).  He devotes more time than most to matters involving his faith. His religion puts emphasis on the traditions regarding multiple gods. His faith has a local following only. He has an overall average sized family (with three siblings). He has family members who are addicted to some kind of mind altering substance. He is a member of the lower class with an average reputation.

All of that came from one little app.

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Writer’s Block, Flighting Idea Syndrome and Other Pleasantries

This is from a fellow blogger, with permission. You can check out her blog at creativityisdefiance.wordpress.com. She is a great writer!

Creativity is Defiance

I imagine that many bloggers would consider themselves writers. I haven’t posted any of my real writing on here, but I suppose that writing a blog post is similar to writing a story (be it a short story, a novel, a poem, etc.)

I consider myself a writer but, as I’ve said before, it’s less than a profession but more than a hobby. However, I, like most writers, often encounter problems while writing. We’re all familiar with writer’s block. I refuse to believe there is a writer who has never experienced writer’s block. That writer does not exist.

I, myself, suffer from what I have dubbed “Flighting Idea Syndrome.” Many of you may also suffer from this debilitating disease without even knowing it. Flighting Idea Syndrome (FIS) can be characterized by the sufferer exhibiting symptoms similar to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). You can never stick with one…

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Writer’s Block

I have been suffering writer’s block lately. I have tried to work on my novel but just can’t seem to get the ideas to come together. So, I checked out a couple of books. I have only just started the first one. It is called Writing Fiction Step by Step: An award-winning author leads you through more than 200 exercises enabling you to complete a story or novel. It is by Josip Novakovich. The exercises so far have really made me think. He has 14 chapters, each detailing a story element. Each chapter is full of 10-20 exercises. Each exercise has Purpose, Tip, and Check sections. He also shows how each element works in a story by giving examples from current and past literature.

He states early on, that the exercises needn’t be done in order. He does say that they are all connected and that you should connect several (if not all) of your exercises together to form scenes. He says “The exercises thus build upon each other, and once you have finished the book, you might have drafts of a dozen stories and outlines with a couple of chapters for a novel or two.”

So far, I have found several exercises that will help with my novel. I have gone though and copied down several that I intend to put in my writer’s journal. If anyone has any great books about writing, please let me know. I am always looking for books (and other resources).

Well, back to reading…

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