Neil Gaiman is one of the darlings of sci-fi. Like another British-born sci-fi darling, Douglas Adams, his wit is dry, and his prose whimsical.
Gaiman started out as a journalist, but quit. In spite of his disillusionment with the medium, journalism was a good springboard for Gaiman, as it was for Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stephen King, and Hemingway. (For all its faults, journalism trains writers to produce, and to not waste words.)
As I’m sitting here, sipping on my Coke Zero Sugar, I’m trying to think of something creative, some sort of short little story to write for this prompt like I usually do. But I’m having trouble thinking of anything. No good ideas are coming to me.
Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Maybe just a brief flash of a possible scene. But not enough to build something on.
I think my tank of creative juices must be sitting close to zero right now. Looks like I’m going to have to try to do something to refill it.
Maybe I’ll try to take care of something around the house to see if I can get the creative juices flowing that way.
Or maybe if I try writing on my work in progress, I’ll have better luck coming up with something.
Or maybe I’ll just read a book instead to try to get the juices going.
I don’t know. But I’ll think of something.
Having zero creative ideas sure does stink sometimes when you’re a writer.
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “zip, zero, zilch”:
Hi, SEers! Mae here. Last month I shared tips on how to write a query letter for agent representation. You can find that post HERE. Today, I’d like to share several resources you may find helpful.
Before you start submitting, you need to find an agent. There are several places you can check.
Query Trackeris a free resource that allows you to search for agents by genre or name. From there you’ll be able to discover how they accept submissions (mail, email, form), and also their website and Twitter account. Always check the website for the most current information on submitting. Query Tracker will also allow you to track your queries and responses. It also includesa list of who represents who. Look up your favorite author by last name and you’ll find out who represents them. I spent a lot of time searching the acknowledgements in…
I’m not sure how common this type of hero is outside of anime and manga. Not these days anyway since I think Inspector Clouseau may fall into this category. Still, I tend to see friendly, foolish characters leading anime/manga. You have Monkey D. Luffy, Goku, Naruto, and many others. So, what is this type?
The ‘Friendly Fool’ is exactly what it sounds. A hero who is friendly and not the sharpest knife in the spoon drawer. They don’t always understand what is being explained and tend to make a mess out of plans. Instinct drives them more than intelligence. Even with their penchant for obliviousness and ignorance, they have a presence that attracts others to their side. They’re too friendly and helpful to really hate, especially since they tend to be true friends. Since these characters aren’t bogged down by details, they can be fairly simple and that…
Luke Skywalker was the obvious hero of Star Wars: A New Hope, so why does it seem like Han, Leia, and Darth Vader got all the attention?
When I think about the characters from Star Wars, Luke is often the last one who comes to mind. It’s not that he’s forgettable, but he doesn’t stand out from the crowd of characters who surround him, despite the fact that the story centers on him. The other characters overshadow him, even characters whose roles are not as critical to the story.
This can be a good thing for a story’s hero (or protagonist). If the hero is too iconic, they can veer off into becoming unrelatable. Make the hero someone that anyone can relate to (like Harry Potter, for example), and then surround the hero with unforgettable iconic dynamos.
On Monday, I reviewed a lovely memoir by Judy Kiehart, a book I heartily enjoyed. Today I want to talk about a book by one of my favorite authors, who shall remain nameless. I don’t love every book that comes my way, but I don’t do negative reviews.
However, we can learn a great deal from books embodying poorly executed plots and badly scripted dialogue.
The book in question is the third installment in what may become a five-part subseries set in the early days of his 22-book universe. I have been a fan of this author’s work since the opening pages of book 1 in this epic series.
I immensely enjoy the way he explores the concept of good vs. evil and gives the side that began in the first five books as antagonists a role that makes them heroes. His protagonists are usually likable, easily relatable people. I…
Ciao, SEers. Today is part five: plot development. Here at Story Empire, we’ve covered different ways to plot a story (I covered Vonnegut, Booker, and Nutshell, and Craig has discussed three-act structure), so I’m not going to teach “plotting” today. Rather, I want to discuss how to develop a plot.
Last time, we discussed dialogue as we expanded our story bible with character development. Now it’s time to start developing our plot. You’ve got an idea that has taken root and is ready to grow. How do you do that? First, it’s time to start thinking about the structure of your story. Where will it start? Where will it go? Where will it end? How will it get there?
Picture one reader—your ideal reader—when you’re answering these questions. It’s much easier to have this “conversation” with someone in mind rather than a nebulous concept of…
Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. One of my first posts at Story Empire was titled “The Stories Around Us.”
Ideas come to me in all kinds of places and all sorts of situations—on an Alaskan cruise ship, observations in restaurants, things I see while driving, listening to a song, or watching a movie. Story ideas are certainly all around us.
I once told someone that I had more ideas than I have time for writing. That’s probably true for a lot of writers. What’s an author to do when he or she gets a great idea for a future project?
Not having time to write doesn’t mean you need to abandon your ideas. Many writers have a backlist of potential stories. Some keep them in file folders on the computer. Others jot them down in a notebook. I’ve even heard of a few that use index cards.