Not normal...but lots of fun.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tools of the Trade

So, you may have noticed, I'm a writer. As a writer, there are certain tools I use to work my trade. I thought I'd share a few with you, and if you have any you also use, I'd LOVE to hear about them. 

Well, to begin with, I am an outliner. I write general plot outlines, chapter-by-chapter outlines, character backstories, character breakdowns, maps of all the places my characters go within the story, culture breakdowns, creature details, plus, in Dragon Marked, I'm inventing my own language.

So, I have to have a lot of advice and help on working on this HUGE project. Some of the things I've used for help:

-The Anatomy of Story By: John Truby has projects at the end of every chapter to help flesh out your story or idea. They can be a little annoying, but have opened up whole new scenes for my storyline. Will these scenes make it to the final version? Only time will tell.

-Worldbuilding Questions By: Patricia C. Wrede. If you know anything about fantasy, you've probably heard of Patricia C. Wrede. I have long adored her books in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. And her worldbuilding questions are practically necessary for any self-respecting fantasy writer to use.

- Character Breakdown By: Charlotte Dillon ( This is a free chart to breakdown the characters you wish to place in your story. Now, it is EXTREMELY detailed, but you can take out whatever you want and still have a pretty good picture of who and what your character is. I don't know for sure if this will make my characters more 3-D, but I do know that all those vague ideas I already had for my characters are fleshed out in this process, so it should be good for something.

- The Language Construction Kit By: Mark Rosenfelder. This is both a book on and a site for great, FREE advice on creating your own language. I'm so glad I found this site, as I have not a clue where to begin on creating your own language, but am determined to do it for this book.

There are a few more sites I've used but can't recall at the moment. Suffice it to say that I have piles of research notebooks, loads of files on research, and am just starting the prologue of the book. Pitiful isn't it?

I told you before, though. I want this book to be perfect. Or, at least, as close to perfect as I can make it. So, I've gone a little overboard. Doesn't everyone?

Seriously, this idea lit a torch under my bum. I hadn't written anything for like a year or more, I felt depressed and despondent from my recent loss of a job, and then this idea hit me like a bolt of lightning. It drove me crazy until I capitulated. I would write this book. And I would do one heck of a job with it.

So, I threw myself into the work with everything I have and have lasted this long. I WILL finish this book. I WILL get it published. And I WILL make all this time and effort worth it.

You can bet on it.

Anyway, if you have anymore tools you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them. I know there are tons more out there, I'm just so swamped with what I have. If you'd like to search for even more, try 100 Amazing Writing Tools You Never Knew You Needed. A lot of them look really cool, and I think I might try a few...if they're free.

My computer, google, and my virus detection program says all the above links are clean, and all except the books (The Anatomy  of Story, The Language Construction Kit) are free. Hope all this helps all you fellow writers and have a wonderful day! And please comment with any additional tools you've found. You know I'd love to see them.


  1. Thanks for posting your writing tools! My boyfriend is a keen writer too so I'll be sure to show him some of these! :)

  2. @Hazel Oh, that's so cool! I hope your boyfriend likes these. You're very welcome for posting, but thank you for commenting!!! You're so nice, Hazel!

  3. I am not an out-liner. I create as I write. In fact, when I was in school i was much more likely to jump ahead and finish the writing assignment early and THEN write the outline for the teacher.

  4. Thank you for your lovely comment :) Good luck with finishing your book, I'm sure it will be great!

  5. @Waiting I know, lots of people aren't outliners. I wasn't an outliner, myself, until this most recent novel idea. It was just so much! There was so much you had to know before you could write a word, that I felt the need to do research and outlining a lot to know before-hand of what I need to do.

    Lol. I don't ever remember making outlines in school, so I probably skipped it. XD Oh, well.

    Thanks again for the comment!

    @Rebecca Thank you for the lovely blog! And for taking the time to come here and comment on mine! Additional thanks for the vote of confidence in my work, I think I'll need all the support I can get to finish this book.