• Art,  Inspiration

    Art Feature: Mysterious Objects

    Are you familiar with the term McGuffin? It’s an object in a story that serves as the driving force behind the action. It may not always be clear why the character(s) want the McGuffin but they do and they are often willing to go to great lengths to obtain it. For this month’s Art Feature, I found an assortment of objects. Each one is unique and beautiful. This time, along with the image, I will include a prompt in which the object is central to the plot. White Green Rose Glass Pendant This pendant by Lithomancyglass, is made from borosilicate glass. It’s a charming little piece and Lithomancyglass’s page is…

  • 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

    Inspiration for Magic Stories

    You have done your brainstorming and are well on your way to setting up the rules for a magic system. Now what? If you want to share it with others you’ll need a story that showcases it. I have come up with 10 prompts to guide you through thinking about different aspects of your world and your magic and how you could craft a story out of it. For more tips on turning your idea into a story, see my article here. 1) Lack of Magic I have only read one book that I can recall where it was commonplace for everyone to have magic and the kid who doesn’t…

  • 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…

  • 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.…

  • 10 Writing Prompts from Norse Mythology
    Mythology Prompts,  Writing Prompts

    10 Writing Prompts from Norse Mythology

    Here we are again looking to ancient mythology to inspire stories. If you are into this sort of thing, I have two other posts you might like about Greek Myths, Irish Myths, and Bulgarian Folklore. This one was fun to do. Norse mythology is popular right now thanks to Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology and the new God of War game. For a more thorough reading of the stories I encourage you to check out Gaiman’s book. He his a wonderful storyteller. For my purposes I used Norse-Mythology.org. They have good, concise retellings that are often followed by scholarly commentary. Below I have summed up ten myths and then given you prompts…

  • 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…