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October 2014
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CRIME WRITING - RESOURCES MASTERPOST

klariza-helps:

Here’s a grand masterlist of crime-related resources. This list is organized into categories, so it is recommended that you take advantage of the CTRL+F function on your keyboard. Let me know if something is amiss, if you have a crime-related post and want it added to this list, or if you want a category added.

WARNING: Links under the cut are not labeled with trigger warnings for images, titles, or mentions of triggering subjects. Please be careful.

This will be updated every time I hoard more links. Last Update: 6/5/14.

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#crime   #research   
October 2014
09
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inktype:

FIRST OF ALL, THE BASICS.

  • What is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Monthis a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. (x)
  • Why should I participate in NaNoWriMo? First and foremost because it’s fun! Maybe you’ve considered writing a novel in the past, but have never gotten around to it, or perhaps you have a fantastic idea or a great character but aren’t quite sure what to do with them. Here’s your chance! Grab it with both hands and hold on tight because this writing ride is a whirlwind.
  • During October and November the official forums come alive with thousands of writers brimming with amazing thoughts and insights, and there is a real sense of creative community. What better chance would you have to vent and brainstorm and cultivate your collection of ideas?
  • NaNoWriMo values enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, and is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel. (x)

So you’ve decided you’re going to do it — you’re going to participate, you’re going to try your very best to write those 50,000 words… what next? How do you prepare for such a challenge? Well, here are some handy tips and links to guide you on your way:

INSPIRATION & BRAINSTORMING.

  • Every novel begins with an idea, even something as simple as a single word. Try jotting down a few. Soon you’ll start to notice common reoccurrences in the types of words you choose.
  • Peruse places like Tumblr, DeviantArt and Pinterest. Find things that catch your eye and save them.
  • Go out into the world, or lose yourself in a fictional one. Take notice of details, quirks, everything that’s layered together to create a rich environment. Pull inspiration from what you see or read and translate it into something all your own.
  • Suzanne Collins was switching back and forth between Survivor and the news when she thought of the Hunger Games, J.K Rowling was on a train when Harry Potter and his story wandered into her head — it’s amazing how inspiration can just pop out of nowhere when given the chance. Let yourself daydream, and ponder and research to your heart’s content.
  • Get a large piece of paper and pretend like you’re in grade five all over again — write your number 1 idea in the center and branch off from it with other thoughts, plot points, characters, details et cetera.
  • Alternatively you could buy a bunch of post-it notes in varying colours and clear a space where you can stick them. Assign a colour for each of the following: plot points, characters, relationships, details, conflicts, resolutions. You could also use coloured card or plain paper + coloured pens/pencils.
  • Spend a day or two focusing solely on your main character. Get to know them. Ask yourself how they would react to certain situations, what they like, what they dislike, why they do or don’t. Give them flaws, quirks, a layered personality.

Here are some handy links that may also help:

SETTLING ON AN IDEA.

Say you’ve just spent ages following the advice above, but now you’ve found yourself with more than one great idea, how do you choose? Ask yourself:

  • What sparks the most excitement?
  • What interests you more?
  • If both your ideas were turned into fully fleshed out novels and you saw them on a shelf in a store, which would you be more likely to want to read?
  • Which one would you be the most upset about not getting the chance to write?

PLOTTING/OUTLINING.

There is no one single, set way to outline your novel. It’s also important to remember that planning is not for everyone; some people like to fly by the seat of their pants and simply go with whatever happens and that’s perfectly okay. But without at least a very basic outline, particularly during NaNoWriMo, you may find yourself incredibly stuck and unsure about a). what happens next or b). how to write yourself out of the situation you’ve found yourself in, which could lead to you falling behind or missing days’ worth of valuable writing time while you try and figure out what to do. How do I go about outlining, you ask? Here are some great links that will help you do so with ease:

RESEARCHING & DETAILS.

So you’ve thought of your idea, you created your characters and have an outline. But you’re writing a novel about elves in a mystical place that doesn’t even exist, or a futuristic world where supernatural creatures and technology have taken over, or perhaps something entirely in the past, and you have no idea how to make it all believable. The NaNoWriMo forums are a fanastic place for your genre and detail needs:

If there isn’t already a thread that pertains to your specific needs don’t be afraid to make one! You should definitely also:

  • Go to the library and source books that contain the knowledge you need. Don’t be afraid to ask a librarian for their help.
  • Use Google, which seems like a rather simple answer but there is so much information out there just waiting to be found.
  • Write down the facts that you discover and need and be sure to jot down how they are relevant to your novel.

PREPARING YOURSELF.

Your novel is one thing, you are another (though certainly the two get tangled together). 

  • Look at what you have planned during November and figure out which days you might find it difficult to find free time due to prior commitments and find a place to slot writing in, even if it means you end up writing during breakfast.
  • Become acquainted with the official forums and spend some time in the nanowrimo tag here on Tumblr. Get to know your fellow writers!
  • Find someone (preferably someone also participating in NaNoWriMo) who you can rant to, share ideas with; someone who you can ask to check in on you and see how you’re going with your writing goal of the day and vice versa.

THINGS TO REMEMBER DURING NANOWRIMO.

  • Avoid the temptation of going back and re-reading and editing your work, this is supposed to be a first draft and first drafts are unavoidably messy.
  • Take care of yourself. Try and eat properly, get some exercise (during NaNoWriMo that walk to the fridge for writer’s fuel totally counts), hang out with your friends and family, enjoy life.
  • Remember that NaNoWriMo is supposed to be fun, don’t pressure yourself too much.
  • If you’re having trouble reaching the daily word count goal, split it into chunks: write 500 words here, 500 there, another 667 at another point in the day.
  • If you find yourself running out of motivation here are some great (if I do say so myself) tips.
  • Read some inspirational quotes to keep you going (or get you started).

A PRE-NANO CHALLENGE.

If you’re not too busy getting inspired, brainstorming, planning or any of that good stuff why not give Inktype’s NaNoWriMo preparation challenge a go? 

October 2014
07
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cleverhelp:

New Writing Contest! If this looks familiar, that’s because it is. The One Sentence story competitions are back! We’ve simplified the rules and changed a few things around to improve the format and accommodate a larger audience, and we’re excited to see what you can come up with. The genre theme for this contest is: Horror

image

One Sentence One Story

When you’re an authorial superstar, maybe you can throw sentences out with natural flair and have every word mean something new and astounding. Writers who are still learning, however, have to be very aware. Casting aside the bloat of a story and laying bare the essential organs can be painful, but the end result is worth it. Nietzsche, author of Beyond Good and Evil and the Anti-Christ, wrote in Twilight of the Idols: “It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” This Halloween season, we want you to try to do the same.

Tell us a story in a single sentence. The entry can be in any style, prose or poetic, but the piece should fall within the Horror genre or use themes and symbols closely associated with it. 

Scary stories should be emailed to contest@cleverhelp.org or submitted here with the headline “[Your Title] by [Author] (Horror Contest)” by Midnight EST on October 30th. In order for us to send out fanmail about the contest and results, you must be following the blog to win. Under the cut are specific rules and prizes. Three random followers who reblog to promote the contest, regardless of whether they entered or not, have the chance to win a prize. So, help us get the word out!

Read More

October 2014
04
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thewritingcafe:

WHAT IS NANOWRIMO?
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It begins on November 1st of every year and goes until 11:59 on November 30th. During this time, participants must write a novel that is at least 50,000 words.
If you win NaNoWriMo, you get some perks that are listed on the website each year. Examples include discounts on writing software, free downloads, and some free physical copies of your self published book.
There is also a related event called Camp NaNoWriMo. This is the same as NaNoWriMo, but with a few differences:
Camp NaNoWriMo takes place in April and July.
On the Camp NaNoWriMo website, you can be in “cabins" with other writers where you can chat and encourage each other to write.
You can set your own word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo.
FAQ ABOUT NANOWRIMO
Do I have to write a novel? Can I write an anthology of short stories?

While the original premise was to write a novel, you are free to write an anthology or short stories (or something similar) if you wish.

Does it have to be original fiction? Can I write fan fiction?

Again, the original premise was to write original fiction, but you can write fan fiction if you want.

Am I allowed to plan my story before November?

Yes! Writers are encouraged to prepare prior to NaNoWriMo.

Am I allowed to start writing my story before NaNoWriMo as long as I write an additional 50k words during November?

You’re supposed to start with a new story, but there’s no one to stop you from continuing an old story or even rewriting one.

Does my novel have to be 50,000 words, or can I go over?

You can definitely go over the word count.

Make sure to check the nanowrimo website for more FAQs.
PLANNING AND PREPARATION 
If you’re prone to writer’s block, I highly recommend that you plan before you write:
My Outlining and Planning Guide
Name Generators for People, Places, and Things 
Naming Characters 
Titles 
World Building 
Prepping For NaNoWriMo: The Outlining Stage
Otherwise, prepare mentally and physically for the challenge of writing a novel in a month. Plan out when you will write each day and for how long. Remember, you need at least 1667 words per day to reach the goal by the end of the month. Find a nice spot to write, have all your notes in order, and back up all your files. Here are some more tips and resources:
My Preparation Advice
Kris Noel’s Preparation Advice
Create Your Own Writer’s Retreat
Book Geek Confessions’ Prep Advice
WRITING
One thing you need to avoid during NaNoWriMo is editing. If you edit while you’re trying to write, your writing will be slowed and you’ll fall behind. Just keep writing.
Getting Started
Motivation 
Writing the Beginning 
Writing the Middle 
Writing the End
The Elephant Technique (for when you’re stuck with naming or describing something)
Finishing Your Story
Inspiration
Writing Playlists and Music
Writer’s Block
Writing Software and Websites
OTHER NANOWRIMO TIPS
10 NaNoWriMo Tips
20 Things You Should Know About NaNo
NaNo Tips
NaNoWriMo is Coming
Writer’s Digest NaNoWriMo Tips
Checklist for Nano
Lots of NaNo Tips
Word Count Widgets If You Don’t Like the NaNo Ones
AFTER NANO ENDS
So NaNoWriMo is over (or you’ve finished your novel) and now you have a rough draft of your manuscript. Here are some tips:
Do not immediately send it to an agent or publisher. Tons of people start sending out their manuscripts right after NaNoWriMo and it’s a huge mistake because they’re not sending polished, ready-to-be-published manuscripts. They’re sending rough drafts they wrote quickly.
Leave it alone before you start editing. Walk away from your manuscript and work on something else or take a break from writing. This break could be a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months. It depends on you. Then start editing once you’re fresh again.
For more on editing and publishing, see my How to Write and Publish a Novel page.

thewritingcafe:

WHAT IS NANOWRIMO?

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It begins on November 1st of every year and goes until 11:59 on November 30th. During this time, participants must write a novel that is at least 50,000 words.

If you win NaNoWriMo, you get some perks that are listed on the website each year. Examples include discounts on writing software, free downloads, and some free physical copies of your self published book.

There is also a related event called Camp NaNoWriMo. This is the same as NaNoWriMo, but with a few differences:

  • Camp NaNoWriMo takes place in April and July.
  • On the Camp NaNoWriMo website, you can be in “cabins" with other writers where you can chat and encourage each other to write.
  • You can set your own word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo.

FAQ ABOUT NANOWRIMO

Do I have to write a novel? Can I write an anthology of short stories?

While the original premise was to write a novel, you are free to write an anthology or short stories (or something similar) if you wish.

Does it have to be original fiction? Can I write fan fiction?

Again, the original premise was to write original fiction, but you can write fan fiction if you want.

Am I allowed to plan my story before November?

Yes! Writers are encouraged to prepare prior to NaNoWriMo.

Am I allowed to start writing my story before NaNoWriMo as long as I write an additional 50k words during November?

You’re supposed to start with a new story, but there’s no one to stop you from continuing an old story or even rewriting one.

Does my novel have to be 50,000 words, or can I go over?

You can definitely go over the word count.

Make sure to check the nanowrimo website for more FAQs.

PLANNING AND PREPARATION 

If you’re prone to writer’s block, I highly recommend that you plan before you write:

Otherwise, prepare mentally and physically for the challenge of writing a novel in a month. Plan out when you will write each day and for how long. Remember, you need at least 1667 words per day to reach the goal by the end of the month. Find a nice spot to write, have all your notes in order, and back up all your files. Here are some more tips and resources:

WRITING

One thing you need to avoid during NaNoWriMo is editing. If you edit while you’re trying to write, your writing will be slowed and you’ll fall behind. Just keep writing.

OTHER NANOWRIMO TIPS

AFTER NANO ENDS

So NaNoWriMo is over (or you’ve finished your novel) and now you have a rough draft of your manuscript. Here are some tips:

  • Do not immediately send it to an agent or publisher. Tons of people start sending out their manuscripts right after NaNoWriMo and it’s a huge mistake because they’re not sending polished, ready-to-be-published manuscripts. They’re sending rough drafts they wrote quickly.
  • Leave it alone before you start editing. Walk away from your manuscript and work on something else or take a break from writing. This break could be a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months. It depends on you. Then start editing once you’re fresh again.

For more on editing and publishing, see my How to Write and Publish a Novel page.

September 2014
25
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Description: When to Describe a Movement

writing-questions-answered:

 asked: Thanks for your very helpful blog. :) My question is - how much is implied within a fiction scene? Does every move have to be described? For example: My character parks her car and pulls an umbrella out from under her seat before getting out. Now, can I send her walking down the street or do I need to SAY she locked her car doors? And if so, do I need to also say she pushed the button on her key fob to lock them? If I don’t, will my readers be expecting someone to break into her car? lol


It’s not necessary to describe every movement. Here’s what you should describe:

  • moving from one position to another, like going from standing to sitting, or sitting to lying down.

  • picking up an important object or setting it down. For example,you wouldn’t want a character to be just suddenly holding a tuba. 

  • movements which convey emotion, like frowning or shoulders slumping.

  • movements which add emotion to a scene, like the caress of a cheek prior to a kiss or wiping sweat away from the forehead during a nerve-wracking moment.

  • movements that play into the action of the scene, like picking up an important object or moving into an important place or position.


Here’s what isn’t necessary to describe:

  • movements which are an implied part of another movement, like bending at the waist (which is an implied part of sitting down), or pushing the lock button on a key fob, which is an implied part of locking a car door.

  • mundane movements that don’t add anything to the scene or story, like your character scratching their nose or yawning while doing something else.

K.M. Weiland just did a post today about describing character movements, which is worth checking out while we’re on the subject. ;)

I hope that helps!

September 2014
25
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Describing Accents

writingwithcolor:

Anonymous asked: Hey there! In the story I am writing it takes place on a different planet. However I really want a certain race of people to have African accents. How do I describe accents that don’t necessarily exist? I hope that made sense!

There’s a wealth of ways to encapsulate an accent, what with all the words available to you. It’s a matter of how straight-forward or creative you want to go. Maybe some of the methods below will help.

Adjective:

  • She had a fragile accent.
  • The people had throaty voices, sawing out words in blunt grumbles.

Metaphoric:

  • His voice was splinters and broken glass.
  • Her accent had a song-like quality that reminded her of swaying tides.

Straight-forward:

  • He had a French accent.
  • "I have to go," she said, though from her accent, French, the words sounded more like "I hive tego."

Straight-forward & ‘Technical’:

  • He had a French accent, perhaps Northern, his voice lilting the edges of his vowels and dragging out others.

Some methods work better in combination with others, such as straight-forward combined with technical (as shown). It truly shouldn’t take many sentences to give readers enough info to imagine how someone’s voice or accent sounds. Therefore I wouldn’t overdue the clues, as it can stir into offensive.

More Reading:

~Mod Colette

September 2014
25
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Inktype Tips

inktype:

For: when you find yourself running out of motivation and inspiration and your fingers suddenly become like lead on the keyboard, and writing is turning into a chore —

TAKE A BREAK.

  • Have a drink of water or whatever beverage you may want
  • Eat a piece of fruit, or pie or cake or anything you like
  • Get some fresh air, go for a short walk
  • Listen to some music
  • Get up, dance around
  • If you have animals, give ‘em a hug (you can hug humans, too, if you want)
  • Read another chapter of whatever book you’re reading
  • Watch an episode of a television show x x x
  • Make a playlist for your novel/novella/writing piece x x
  • Go to your favourite Tumblrs, have a scroll around
  • Take a peek at Facebook/Twitter/Instagram
  • Do some light exercise

It’s okay to take a little break! In fact, it’s encouraged.Just be careful not to get too distracted! Limit yourself to an hour break (or if you want to get technical, an episode of a television show is usually 42 minutes long).

CHANGE IT UP.

  • If you’re using a laptop or notebook or scraps of paper - basically anything you can grab and move - change where you’re sitting; new surroundings are refreshing
  • Or change where you’re writing entirely: try a cafe or the library or a park bench

CHALLENGE YOURSELF.

  • Forge ahead, write another five sentences
  • Skip to a different scene, to a part that has a different tone or theme than what you’re currently writing
  • Take a break from whatever piece you’re writing and write 200-500 words on something completely different. Prompts are good for this
  • Create a random character and slot them in somewhere, see how they change things

TALK IT OUT.

  • Rant to a friend, or us if you like. Brainstorm, bounces ideas around, talk about your characters and plot and what happens next. Get excited about your writing!

—-

Sometimes writing can be difficult, and that’s perfectly okay! Eventually, however, you just have to keep putting one word after the other until you get your writing groove back, but in the meantime hopefully these tips will help.

September 2014
23
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yainterrobang:

HAPPY BISEXUAL AWARENESS DAYIt may be Banned Books Week - but it’s also Biweek. Put together by GLAAD, Biweek is a place to celebrate bisexuality. But independently of Biweek is today - Bisexuality Awareness Day / Bisexuality Visibility Day! Celebrated for years in the bisexual community, it’s a place to celebrate and showcase bisexuality, which often gets erased in mainstream media. How could we resist getting involved? Our good friend Dahlia Adler shared her list of books with amazing bisexual representation for us to share with all of you. Her guide to QUILTBAG / LGBTQIA+ representation in the writing world is astounding, and we highly recommend you check it out!

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis • Geography Club by Brent Hartinger • Pantomime by Laura Lam • Shadowplay by Laura Lam • The Elementals by Saundra Mitchell • Over You by Amy Reed • The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar • The Fourth Wish by Lindsay Ribar • Twin Sense by Lydia Sharp • Far From You by Tess Sharpe • Coda by Emma Trevayne

Which one of these books - or characters - is your favorite?

yainterrobang:

HAPPY BISEXUAL AWARENESS DAY
It may be Banned Books Week - but it’s also Biweek. Put together by GLAAD, Biweek is a place to celebrate bisexuality.

But independently of Biweek is today - Bisexuality Awareness Day / Bisexuality Visibility Day! Celebrated for years in the bisexual community, it’s a place to celebrate and showcase bisexuality, which often gets erased in mainstream media.

How could we resist getting involved? Our good friend Dahlia Adler shared her list of books with amazing bisexual representation for us to share with all of you. Her guide to QUILTBAG / LGBTQIA+ representation in the writing world is astounding, and we highly recommend you check it out!

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis • Geography Club by Brent Hartinger • Pantomime by Laura Lam • Shadowplay by Laura Lam • The Elementals by Saundra Mitchell • Over You by Amy Reed • The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar • The Fourth Wish by Lindsay Ribar • Twin Sense by Lydia Sharp • Far From You by Tess Sharpe • Coda by Emma Trevayne

Which one of these books - or characters - is your favorite?

#books   
September 2014
23
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Anonymous asked

Anus beads

thewritershelpers:

To each their own.

-H