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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Writing Structures: Engaging Questions and Interrogations

Words from the CLab: Asking questions is part of human nature and through this, we discover and get to know a person with dialogue. However, it can be somewhat taxing to display inquisitive human traits in fiction writing. The type of questions we ask or answer can also show what type of person each fictional character is. Whether your character is interrogating a suspect or charming a victim, the power of questioning is can be used as a force for good and for evil. It's all about the power of conversation.


Read more at Questioning and Interrogation.

Workshop Muse : Medieval Demographics

Words from the CLab: For those aspiring writers who love to dabble their story in the medieval era, whether historical or fantasy, it can be difficult to build or populate a kingdom. With The Doomsday Book, this fill in interactive allows the author to build their based on Land Mass, Population, Castle Fortifications, and Towns and Cities.


Read more at The Domesday Book.

Hints and Tips: Crime Studies not just for Mystery Writers

Words from the CLab: Crimes can play a vital role in many fictional stories, especially for mystery fiction writers. Whether foreign or domesticated if your story focuses on violence then Crime Studies is a perfect tool to analyze the criminal mind from organized crime to celebrity crimes.


Read more at Crime Studies.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Workshop Muse: Ten Creative Writing Prompts for Mystery Story Ideas Read more at Suite101: Ten Creative Writing Prompts for Mystery Story Ideas

Suzanne Pitner - Murder mysteries are popular to read and write. These ten creative writing prompts are for thrillers, suspense, and crime stories readers will love. For new writers or writers who are trying out the mystery genre, this article will help get some ideas flowing. These ten ideas might splinter off into hundreds of other ideas, like a computerized piece of fractal art.


Hints and Tips: Conducting Forensic Research - A Tutorial For Mystery Writers

Hilary Conner - Forensic science and scientists are playing an increasing prominent role in mystery fiction. With the popularity of forensic themed shows like the CSI franchise, mystery fans are now much more familiar with the scientific and technological aspects of solving crimes. Whether forensic science and scientists play a small role or a prominent one in your stories, you need to develop a familiarity with the terms and concepts. Forensic research can be a great way to brainstorm for new plot, subplot, red herring and character development ideas. First, let's take a look at the various research methods, than we'll explore a few specialties within the field of forensic science and do a little creative brainstorming.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hints and Tips: What Real Agents Don't Do.

Victoria Strauss - Inexpert agents are often sincere and well-intentioned, but their low level of expertise means that they aren't any more likely to place a book than a dishonest agent. So scammer or incompetent, the bottom line for writers is the same: no sale.

Hints and Tips: Preditors & Editors

From the CLab - For those who are looking to get into the publishing your manuscripts, here are a few helpful hints and tips to spot potential publisher and literary agents scams.


P&E - Preditors & Editors is not stating that the following listed businesses or people should be avoided by writers. What we are stating is that complaints have been circulated about them. Therefore, you should use caution if dealing with any of the following. Follow the links for more information on what complaints exist. Not all warnings will have a link to what complaints exist because in some instances our sources do not want to be identified.


Read more at Preditors & Editors.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Workshop Muse - The Phrase Finder

The Phrase Finder - The site initially hosted a searchable database of phrases and idioms. Its search algorithm also uses artificial intelligence methods to provide pertinent search results. The primary sources include newspaper cuttings, books, films, photographic archives etc. The trusted reference sources are those that themselves derive from primary sources and have sufficient reputation to be considered reliable. These include, The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, The Historial Dictionary of American Slang, First Edition, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 5th Edition, Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang, 8th Edition There's also a searchable archive of more than 70,000 postings about sayings and phrases.

Read more at The Phrase Finder.

Creative Writing: 21 Ideas to Keep You Writing

Sheila Bender - Keeping a journal is one of the best tools to practice trusting your writing and to make sure you keep writing. You can keep a journal in a cheap or an expensive notebook, on scraps of paper dropped into a box, in computer files or in letter form. Just as long as you write as much and as often as you can without editing yourself and you have access to the words you've written, you are keeping a journal. It may seem intimidating to develop the journal-keeping habit, and you may be thinking defeatist thoughts already, such as "I can't do this regularly forever. I don't know how many times a week I'll really remember," and so on. However, you can commit to keeping your journal if you shorten the time of your commitment and promise yourself you will not judge your efforts, but just write. If you are already keeping a journal, you might commit to using the ideas below sprinkled in among your regular entries.

Writing Structures: The Facts of Life

Words from the CLab - From personal experience, as a writer it is easy to create a scene or city similar to that where we've grown up or currently live. Writing beyond what we know can be quite a difficult task for any writer. It can be difficult to research about a foreign country when many sites can be unreliable with information that can be manipulated easily. For those of you willing to go the extra mile in creating better scenes, landscapes and civilizations, what better tool to use then a world fact book, provided by the CIA themselves.

CIA - The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Writing Structures: The 4 Story Structures that Dominate Novels

Writer's Digest - All stories contain four elements that can determine structure: milieu, idea, character and event. While each is present in every story, there is generally one that dominates the others.

Which one dominates? The one that the author cares about most. This is why the process of discovering the structure of a story is usually a process of self-discovery. Which aspect of the story matters most to you? That is the aspect that determines your story’s structure.