Resourceful Resources

A Kiss for Luck, Art of Lying, Author, Isa McLaren, Keep the Mark Happy -

Resourceful Resources

I am a hoarder of information. A connoisseur of the obscure. A pack rat of posts. My friends all know I’m the one to ask about whatever random topic they need specifics on. From how to make moonshine, to types of psychedelic mushrooms, to the connection between an Italian porno film and Muppets, or even what Russian prison tattoos mean.

Some of my friends even want to learn about mundane things such as how to make bread from wild yeast, which bitters to use for mixed drinks (I get a lot of booze questions), and believe it or not, resources for creative writing.

Let’s start with the creative part of writing. In my never-humble opinion, making shit up is the best part of writing. Telling lies for fun and profit is awesome, even when you do it in respectable ways like producing fiction.

“Where do you get your ideas?” This annoying question is often posed by non-writers. The answer I give them is, “I subscribe to a newsletter for them.” This is the fun part of telling lies. If you want a more profitable (yet entirely legal) answer, I offer these sites:

To no one’s surprise, this is my go-to advice because it combines two of my favorite things. Every writer has heard, “Write drunk; edit sober.” Guess what? There’s science behind it, not just Hemingway’s raging alcoholism.

Write Drunk: The Science of Altered States and Creativity

https://litreactor.com/columns/write-drunk-the-science-of-altered-states-and-creativity

This one may look genre-specific but the elements it covers are universal to storytelling.

Plot Ideas: How to Discover a Blockbuster Story Idea

https://graemeshimmin.com/discovering-a-blockbuster-spy-novel-plot-idea/

 

 

 

Let the internet do the heavy lifting. A random generator will grind out writing prompts to spark ideas. Some are merely combinations of words that may or may not make sense together while others let you input parameters for the ideas you want. 

This one is an aggregate of generators. There’s bound to be something for everyone.

Plot Generator

https://www.plot-generator.org.uk/story/

Browsing name-generator sites is another way to find inspiration. These two are resources geared more for tabletop RPGs but have great ideas for place or people names.

https://thestoryshack.com/tools/town-name-generator/

https://www.mithrilandmages.com/utilities/CityNames.php

One of the more famous sites to find names is Behind the Name https://www.behindthename.com/. In addition to having an amazing collection of people names, as well as the history behind them, there is also a name generator tool.

This next one yields results for business names that can be a bit silly, but sometimes that’s what you need to spark an idea. A restaurant called Chopped Food sounds a bit like sci-fi dystopia while Bank Attic is vague yet intriguing. (Spoiler: I used this site when writing Keep the Mark Happy. See if you can spot it.)

https://businessnamegenerator.com/

 

Need a little something-something to get you in the mood? Slip into the writing groove with these sites:

For music lovers:

https://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/20-best-songs-writers-writing-ultimate-writing-mixtape

Podcasts for writing:

https://mashable.com/article/best-podcasts-writers-authors-creative-writing

 

 

Get your brain in shape with these:

Exercises to Improve Attention Span

https://www.artofmanliness.com/character/behavior/your-concentration-training-program-11-exercises-that-will-strengthen-your-attention/ Don’t let the site name dissuade you from using it. There’s a lot of useful and fun info.

Whether or not there is a correlation between ADD/ADHD and creativity, many writers fall under this umbrella. This may help focus your approach to writing. 

Attention Deficit Creators

https://litreactor.com/columns/attention-deficit-creators

 

 

Lastly, because I told you I collected weird information, here are a few of my personal favorites.

I have multiple color-description sites saved, but this Color Thesaurus is the one I consult first.

https://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/the-color-thesaurus/

Imbibe always has fun info. Ever wondered about sugar cubes? 

https://imbibemagazine.com/history-of-the-sugar-cube/

My only connection to Roman Centurions is through Doctor Who. I saved this anyway.

https://gizmodo.com/fascinating-visualization-breaks-down-how-the-roman-arm-1709902776

Mrs Daffodil Digresses

This entire site is fascinating, especially if you like to swan about in Victorian era fashions. Or if you write historical fiction, I suppose. This particular article befits the current time of year.

https://mrsdaffodildigresses.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/halloween-superstitions-ancient-times-reported-in-1916/

Auction sites

Mega-rich villains don’t shop at WalMart for décor to hang over the sofa.

https://www.invaluable.com/

https://www.langantiques.com/

Fair warning: This one may destroy your childhood.

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/53261/original-mahna-mahna

Now that you have a plethora of plot possibilities to ponder, start creating that cohesive chronicle of a clandestine cliff-hanger. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)


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