With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, it can be difficult to get back into the mood to write, especially if you felt that taking a two month break was a good idea (in my case). Finding the right idea, creating the plot, even coming up with characters can be difficult. Luckily the internet is a writer’s best friend. There are articles on helping the average writer bypass writer’s block, but they can sometimes be bland and repetitive. Again, the internet comes to the rescue with blogs dedicated to certain parts of the creative writing process.
The first question in writing a story: Do I know how to write a story? The answer is yes you do, but if you don’t feel confident enough in your skills as a writer there’s a blog for that. Fix your Writing Habits is exactly that, any user can submit a question or search the tags to look for something that they feel that they need to work on. The blog covers anything from Point of View, to Plotting, and even covers NaNoWriMo. Although the blog doesn’t have one focus the advice and help is diverse enough to be the one blog you need.
But it’s always good to have more than one source!
So now we know how to write, next we need a plot. Although you can find many story ideas on FYWH, Maxkirin offers a wider range of ideas (and they’re daily!). For our story idea we’ll use this one:Write about a character who used to be a member of an elite fighting unit. They used to fly into battle atop a dragon– but that is no more. Why? Explore the point of view of this character as they look at their uniform. Did this character change… or did the world change? The plot is still open ended, which let’s us customize it to our liking.
Plot down, now we need to understand what our character will be and what he/she will look like. Character Design Inspiration is a blog that a writer can use to generate ideas of a character’s appearance. Although most of these blogs have sections for character development it’s difficult to decide on a good protagonist with just words- visuals can often stoke some ideas better than words. This blog is categorized and tagged so that navigation to what you want is simple and easy. But our story seed told us to write about a character that used to be part of a fighting unit. That means:
Character Design Inspiration posts some weapons, but not enough to fully grasp the range that is out there. Art-of-Swords is a great source for finding the perfect weapon for your character. (If you’re not using guns that is. For gun references gunrefs is a good source). Many of the swords are posted with the history behind them and are tagged by type. Since I have a soft spot for it we’ll chose the katar as the weapon of choice.
So now we have a story idea, a character, and he has a weapon. Now we have to decide on the finer details of the world. The Writing Cafe is another well rounded blog, but they are an excellent source for world building and mythology in particular. Our character doesn’t fight with the elite squad of fighters anymore, your world can explain why in its history. Did dragons go extinct? Is there a new ruler and they disbanded the group? Was our character discharged from the group? These are things that understanding your world’s history can decide.
The Majority of these blogs post daily motivation to get writers through the mid NaNo slumps (which generally last from November 3rd to November 30th) so it’s easy to stay on top of things and keep going. Many also post tips for writing and story organization help. Also know that these are not the only sources to use, these are only a hand full of the blogs that I’ve found useful through my writing.
Happy NaNoWriMo and good luck!