• Mythology Prompts,  Writing Prompts

    10 Writing Prompts from Egyptian Mythology

    There are few areas of human history as interesting as Ancient Egypt. For me it’s the age, the time involved. There were Ancient Egyptians living in the shadow of already ancient monuments. They have so many deities and figures to include in their stories it’s hard to keep track. So much time passed that things changed, gods took on new roles and pharaoh’s rose and fell from favor. It’s easy to get lost in the history of Egypt. For this list I used two sources, Ancient Egypt: the Mythology and Ancient History Encyclopedia. Please forgive spelling discrepancies as there are many ways to spell most of the names and I…

  • Mythology Prompts,  Writing Prompts

    10 Writing Prompts from Bulgarian Folklore

    The inspiration for this post came from Yana, a reader. Thank so much Yana! You can check out her blog here. I never knew how rich Bulgaria’s culture is and how many fascinating tales they have in their folklore. Many of them take directions the reader isn’t expecting and that makes them even more fun to read. Enjoy these brief summaries and the prompts that I came up with from reading them. I got the first story from a wonderful video Yana showed me. It’s absolutely beautiful, please watch it. The rest are from the websites fairytalez.com and theculturetrip.com. Title photo By Okotuki [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons 1)…

  • Creating Magic Systems,  Writing Prompts

    12 Prompts to Create a Magic System

    One of the most fun things a fantasy writer can do is invent a magic system. Pure creativity, no boundaries honed into a coherent system that does have rules unique to a world you created. There are few things more satisfying. As part of my series on Creating Magic Systems, I have come up with a list of prompts for starting the process. I am sure that every conceivable magic system has already been tested by some writer somewhere. I am not claiming that the following prompts are never-seen-before ideas but they are good starting points. Prompts to get you thinking about your system and how you can make it…

  • Writing Prompts,  Writing Tips

    How to Turn Your Idea into a Story

    Okay, you’ve come up with a great idea, but how do you turn that into an actual story? This is, for some, the hardest part. Often, once you know what the story is, the part where you turn that into a written text is no big deal. (If only, right?) I have come up with a list of questions meant to help you dig into your idea and find the threads of narrative hidden within. They are divided into three main categories: Conflict, Characters, and Setting. Some of the questions seem like duplicates but by virtue of appearing under a different category they are slightly different, with slight nuances. I…

  • 20 More Character Development Writing Prompts
    Writing Prompts

    20 More Character Development Writing Prompts (Part II)

    As promised, another installment of Character Development writing prompts. I’ll explain in case you missed the first list. I have found the personality indices many people use to create characters to be impractical and difficult to incorporate into a story. They don’t really tell me how someone will respond to the situations in my book. So, I have come up with some scenarios that you can put your character into that will show you, practically, their personality and how they handle different situations. If you take the time to write them out they will even help you develop the voice and style you’d like to use while writing your character.…

  • Creating Magic Systems,  Writing Tips

    20 Tips for Writing Magic Systems

    So, you know you want to write a story with magic in it, but you want to come up with something new. Where do you start? The possibilities are practically endless. Below I have compiled a list of questions you can ask yourself to get started and then a few ideas for the basis of a magic system. You can also check out my other articles on this topic in the section Creating Magic Systems. Some general questions: 1) The most important thing for you to decide about your magic system is what the cost is for the users. (I wish I could take credit for this but I got…

  • Writing Tips

    10 Ways to Add Depth to Your World Building

    World building is a daunting task and creating a culture for your fantasy or science fiction world can be complicated. Many culture traits are out in the open and easy to see, such as religion, fashion, and language. But there are many facets to culture and most of them are so ingrained that we don’t even realize they are there. If you can find subtle ways to incorporate these elements into your story, your world will feel more like a real place filled with real people. The trick is to make it seem natural not forced or listed. I discussed this problem with relation to Character Development as well. Combining…

  • 10 Writing Prompts from Irish Mythology
    Mythology Prompts,  Writing Prompts

    10 Writing Prompts from Irish Mythology

    This week’s prompts come from Irish mythology. This was quite a challenge for me than the post on Greek Myths as I knew basically nothing about it before I started. (Now also have a list based on Norse Myths and Bulgarian Folklore!) I used Wikipedia a lot and a helpful website called Bardmythologies.com. I encourage you to check this site out and read all of the myths, they are truly fascinating. Two books also came in handy during my research that I would like to highly recommend. One is The Book of Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland compiled by W. B. Yeats and the other is Heroic Landscapes: Irish…

  • 20 Character Development Writing Prompts
    Writing Prompts

    20 Character Development Writing Prompts (Part I)

    There are a great many lists out there of personality traits and favorite things and so on that you can use to invent a character. I have tried using some of them but they don’t usually end up being that helpful. Knowing your character’s favorite color or food doesn’t often play into your story. And labeling him/her as surly, intelligent, and afraid of heights may or may not mean anything when it comes to creating character arcs and plot points. These are somehow specific and too general at the same time. Furthermore, many of them aren’t relevant or need tweaking when writing fantasy and science fiction stories. A method that…

  • 20 Writing Prompts from Scientist Quotes
    Writing Prompts

    20 Writing Prompts from Scientist Quotes

    Scientists say some pretty amazing things. Whether they are talking about science or not, they have a special way of looking at the world and communicating their ideas to others. Next time you set out to write a story, try using one of these scientist quotes as your prompt. I hadn’t been aware that there were doors closed to me until I started knocking on them. Gertrude B. Elion   The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Carl Sagan   It is not only the living who are killed in war. Isaac Asimov   We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in…