• 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…

  • Writing Prompts,  Writing Tips

    Imagining the Future: Tips and Prompts for Writing Science Fiction

    One of the most common settings for science fiction novels and short stories is the future. Who doesn't want to imagine what the future will be like? As a writer you have the power to make the future a bright happy place where the problems of today are only a distant memory. Or you can make a dark future where everything has compounded into apocalyptic proportions. But where do you start?

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…