Alternative Words to Said and Physical Characteristic Descriptions ~ Resource List

Finding alternatives to words like said, replied, answered and all the usual cliches has become my current life’s work… as has writing effective place and character descriptions. I have trolled the Internet for inspiration and while these goodies are in my head, I will share them with you.

Alternatives to said:

  • frdgtge3438fwefhSPW books has a great list in a table form and also
    links to other useful materials in the side navigation bar.
    Raid the list at: http://www.spwickstrom.com/said/

I seem to be writing in waves, adding in layers over the plot and characterisation. Right now I am into description, including body language. Some of the most helpful resources found are listed below. There are also dozens on my Pinterest board for all genres of writers, so I’ll place that link here as well.


Physical characteristic descriptions:

  • Angela Ackerman’s blog also has brilliant information on skills and talents and why your character needs them. http://writershelpingwriters.net/author/angela/ Her books, The Emotional Thesaurus, The Positive Traits Thesaurus and the Negative Traits Thesaurus are a goldmine for authors. I have never heard a negative word about them. Angela’s work is well written and researched. (No, she hasn’t asked me to say a word, I’m just a fan.)

Please add your suggestions in the comments. I highly recommend chasing resources like this down, they have blossomed out my word count! After too many years writing non-fiction, I have learnt to write too tight. This new venture is doing me good.

Happy hunting!

REBLOGS WELCOMED


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

All clipart used here is from Openclipart.com

Writer Beware

Gold class sites

 

http://www.accrispin.blogspot.com.au

“Writer Beware® is the public face of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Committee on Writing Scams. We also receive sponsorship from the Mystery Writers of America. Like many genre-focused writers’ groups, SFWA and MWA are concerned not just with issues that affect professional authors, but with the problems and pitfalls that face aspiring writers. Writer Beware, founded in 1998, reflects that concern.

Although SFWA and MWA are US-based organizations of professional fiction authors, Writer Beware’s efforts aren’t limited by country, genre, or publication history. The Writer Beware website and blog can be used by any writer, new or established, regardless of subject, style, genre, or nationality.”


REBLOGS WELCOMED

This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Support an Author: Grab that Book You’ve Been Wanting ~ #saam14

There is a pie shop near here that has the slogan, “Buy one so we both don’t go hungry.” It is one of the best advertising slogans I’ve seen. Books feed both the reader’s and the writer’s soul in so many ways. So, you know you’ve been meaning to… this week, your love task for Support an Author Month is to go buy that book you’ve planned to get, but didn’t get around to.

Don’t forget, wherever you buy your books from, leave some love!

 Please note: this is a pre-scheduled post. Comments are off.

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Author Survival Resources

salvagente_architetto_f_01rCommuniCATE frequently posts tips, references and encouragement for all writers and authors. The post links below will take you to the most helpful information on the blog.




Social Media and Networking Help




Book Marketing



REBLOGS WELCOMED

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Support an Author: How to Write a Book Review

To sell books, we all need reviews… as much as we sometimes dread them! One of the best ways to support any author is to write a well-crafted review. I had to do a lot of searching online to find out how. Most of the information you get off the Internet is about F.o.r.m.a.l. college-type reviews, technical journals and things that scare my hair off. So to save us all, I have “borrowed,” and slightly modified these awesome tips. They are user-friendly. So please, write a book review this week… unless you hate the book. In that case, just walk away quietly and leave the world a more peaceful place.

The source of the wisdom below is http://slashdot.org/faq/bookreviews.shtml I took out the negative parts of writing a critique, as this is support, not tear apart, month!

  • writing spinesDid you like previous works from the same author or series?
  • Where and when does the story take place?
  • Is this book part of a series?
  • Is there an identifiable central conflict, or a complex of conflicts?
  • What is the tone and style? Is it frightening? Clinical? Amusing? Scattered?
  • Do you like the characters? What about them makes them believable, dynamic or static?
  • From whose viewpoint is the story told, and how does that affect the narrative?
  • Does the book remind you of others by the same author, or in the same genre?
  • Do any twists particularly inspire? (Don’t give away too much, of course.)
  • If you really have to, don’t ‘pan’ a book without specifying your context and expectations. I did ask you nicely not to though, so please, walk away…

If you can add more suggestions, please do in the comments below. Plus, as one commenter pointed out, if someone asks you to write a review, don’t say that in the review! It looks rigged.


acomm

Please do not reblog this post.

The suggestions in this blog post are Copyright Slashdot.org. Only a very small part of their entire page has been reproduced here. (It is massive.)

“Slashdot welcomes readers’ book reviews. In particular, we’re interested in reviews of books on programming, computer security, the history of technology and anything else (including Science Fiction, cyberpunk, etc.) that fits under the “News for Nerds” umbrella.” http://slashdot.org

Support an Author Month: Love a Blogger! ~ #saam14

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This month is Support an Author Month here on CommuniCATE. The aim is to spread the love… It’s a time to put away competition and give each other a hand onwards and upwards! We are stronger as a unified community.

Most posts this month will be geared towards that goal, with call to action posts every Friday.

This week, your call to action is to visit a favourite blog; locate a post that inspired you and leave a comment saying, “This is my favourite post or blog. Thank you!” Be sure to Tweet, Facebook or share it on G+ so the author knows you’ve spread the word.

#bestpostever or #bestblogever

You are also welcome to leave a link in the comments here and recommend a blog, if not a specific post.

Cheers everyone!

How to Avoid “Dead” #Triberr Tribes and Easily Manage Yours: The Missing Manual

 

goldfish jumping out of the waterThis post is pretty much the Triberr user manual which desperately needs to be written and I often see asked for! Triberr is the best blog traffic and network booster I have come across (click on link above to learn about it.) Handled well, it is gold! These are the lessons I’ve learnt, which I often see questions on.

The most important one is “think community.” This is about give and take, not all about you!

Joining Tribes

If you are looking to join new tribes, or receive an invitation, always look at the member list. Avoid or leave them if:

1. There are many followers who haven’t been made into members. That is a sign the Chief is on the free Triberr plan and there is no room. You will see and be able to share everyone’s posts, they will never see or be sharing yours. If you have never been admitted to a tribe as a member, you can go into the list of tribe members and remove yourself.

2. The Chief hasn’t logged in for several months: no free-loading, or inactive members will be removed. Again, you will be sharing their posts, they won’t give a fig about yours. Don’t forget, people try Triberr and forget it or don’t like it. Each tribe has old members who have stopped blogging or moved on. They need weeding out. (It’s not a sign of a mean Chief, just a smart one!)

3. Look at how recently a majority of members shared. If there are quite a number of members who haven’t been sharing in around three months or more, that will be a very low value tribe. I have culled 20 tribes from my stream on that alone and it made no difference to the number of shares I received. Anyone who I would miss, was invited to my tribe.

4. If you hate certain kinds of posts, such as SEO, social media how-to, constant product promotion posts, or erotica, check out how much of that sort of content is in the tribal stream. You can mute individual members, but that may be the wrong tribe for you.

5. Tribes with fewer members in them can be more faithful than the giant ones. Don’t let the head count swing your decision. Look for activity.

6. I have always found that the best Chiefs are paying, Prime members. As we pay for the service, we make sure our tribes function! You can tell who they are as they will have tribes with over 20 full members in them.

7. Don’t feel pressured to share everyone’s posts, all the time and don’t expect the same from them. If, like me, you have a topic specific blog, as long as you share as many as you can and support members by following them on Twitter and visiting their blog, you are ok. One concern I see is members worrying about filling their social media streams too much with shares. You can set share frequency to combat that problem. Be generous, but discerning.

super triberrFor best effect, join as many tribes as you can handle and use autoshare for your favourites. Consider paying the $10 a month for Triberr Prime. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for Triberr.

Remember this service is not supported by advertising, so pay for use is fair. I appreciate their Paypal option.

Did you know you can also follow individual members? If you know people who you just love to read and share, whether they are in a tribe with you or not, you can still stay in contact with them. Moving tribes won’t affect you.


How to Maintain a Tribe Effectively and Quickly

Chiefs, it takes very little time to maintain your tribe. New followers asking to be members I check out and add or reject as the notices arrive. Other than that, it is very low maintenance. Every few months, I see who is inactive, check and see what’s happening with them (in case their activity stats are wrong, as new Triberr features are added, some areas do become buggy); remove the “dead wood” and invite any new actively sharing members I now have the space for.

Set a specific goal or theme for your tribe. People will try and join without reading it, but if someone joins just to swell their numbers and not add value for everyone, you have good reason to refuse membership.

Sorry, you do have to keep a check on all those damn emails! I have learnt to skim them and just attend to the ones which apply to my three tribes. Also, crack down on members who use the message screens to further promote themselves in a spammy manner. You can delete those posts as Chief.

If your tribe is full, turn the settings to “Protect My Tribe” so you don’t get masses of frustrated followers you just can’t add. Sure, they may share your posts, but they soon lose interest as they realise they are being used.

If you start a new tribe, invite new active sharers. I have found no one wants to be a founding member in an empty tribe. It takes little time.

Lastly, if you want to stop using Triberr, don’t leave a dying, hanging tribe. Ask who wants it and then under the membership setting for that person, promote them to Chief. You can then opt to leave Triberr altogether, or stay in that tribe without worrying about it’s future.


REBLOGS WELCOMED

This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

#Romance University for Writers: A Gold Class #Writing Site

Printhttp://romanceuniversity.org

Purpose: Dedicated to helping writers establish and advance their careers, introducing readers to a variety of authors, and delving into the ever-inscrutable male mind.

Monday: Crafting Your Career
Most writers begin writing because they love the process–using just the right word, crafting the perfect sentence, giving life to imaginary people. However satisfying the writing process, many writers begin to want more. The want people to read about and love those imaginary folks. Okay–they want people to pay to read about those imaginary folks. Join us each Monday at RU where we’ll discuss the business of writing or career topic. Visiting Professors (guest bloggers) often stop by the school to offer advice.

Wednesday: Anatomy of the Mind
This is the day we explore every facet of writing, reading, and men.

Friday: Chaos Theory of Writing
On Fridays, RU Faculty along with industry professionals and established authors will focus on the elements of manuscript writing. Tips to help you hone your craft and write a damn fine book. After all, it will be your writing that will catch (and retain) the interest of a lucky agent or editor.We’ll tap into our own experiences, share what’s working and what isn’t as we chase our dreams of becoming published authors. We’ll also discuss advice from our favorite writing reference books and websites. So join us each Friday to experience the chaos of writing.”

Gold class sites

#Character Archetypes Treasure Troves for #Writers

I promised myself this year, that I would get back to fiction writing and I will… write that is… once I stop having a field day planning characters personalities, strengths and weaknesses; and plotting about how I can weave all that into plots.

Delve into the inspiring world of character archetypes and see what comes out. There are a few hundred to choose from and you will be intrigued by how assigning roles to people (especially couples), fuels ideas!

If you are asking, what is an archetype, here is the definition: a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology; mid 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek arkhetupon ‘something moulded first as a model.’

Original Source Embedded in Graphic

Original Source Embedded in Graphic


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Writing Historically Based Books: Author Philippa Gregory

The-Other-Boleyn-Girl-by-Philippa-Gregory“Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl which was made into a tv drama, and a major film. Now, six novels later, she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.” Sourced from her web site, http://www.philippagregory.com

These videos are on how she researches her books and is drawn to work on the main characters. It’s a fascinating process, which I enjoyed hearing about. If you are a lover of research or historical fiction, you’ll be inspired by watching these clips.

The Power of Day Dreaming in Fiction #Writing

Thos Office 2

“Set Building”

I am a fantasy writer, who has hassles with description. Day dreaming and visualising is the only way I can cut through all the one sided fuzz that runs through my head. Otherwise my writing just sounds like a monologue! For me it’s a challenge as I am very analytical. I am more interested in the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the story, than telling it.

I have a few tricks for getting over this: Pinterest, story boarding and “set building.” The last two set my ideas in concrete; Pinterest shows me things I can mull over, and all these techniques expand and improve my work. I find I rarely click on the links in Pinterest, it is the images or quotes which give me the ideas, so that is what I use the boards for.

I use cheap home design software for set building, to mock up the main areas where scenes take place. Without knowing where things are in relation to each other, I trip myself up. Details can be hard to visualise. Avoidance of bad reviews and harsh criticism sounds like a great goal to me… It’s amazing what details readers notice…

This is the perfect example of how Pinterest helps. This gorgeous Celtic motif Witches Dagger is made by Bladesmith Jeff Helmes. I wanted to buy it, buy Aussie Customs had other ideas... please click on the image to go to his Facebook page. If you are a fantasy, historical or crime writer, you will love him.

This is the perfect example of how Pinterest helps. This gorgeous Celtic motif Witches Dagger is made by Bladesmith Jeff Helmes. I wanted to buy it, but Aussie Customs had other ideas…  Please click on the image to go to his Facebook page. If you are a fantasy, historical or crime writer, or just love shiny things, you will love him.

I have been building Pinterest boards which give writers the same inspiration that Pinterest gives me. So many images generate story ideas! As I am not well, I have cut my public boards down to four pivotal areas I relate to the most. (Sorry, the romance board just had me nauseous, it was the first to be divorced.)

If you are into fantasy, historical writing, Steampunk or Memoir, you will enjoy my themed boards. The Inspiration Board for All Writers has been there since the beginning and there are over 1100 pins on it, specifically on writing skills. (Though Pinterest is not letting me access all of them and I have no idea why.) Links are below the image. Have fun raiding it and please tell me, what works for you?

For All Writers

Fantasy Writer’s Dream Board

Steampunk

Memoir / Life Story / Autobiography

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(If you have been following me and pins have gone missing, my sincere apologies. As they were mainly repins, there shouldn’t be a difference. I also had to cut back on many of the people I was following as it was just too much.)


Creative Commons License
This work, created and Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2014 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Think Outside Your Niche: Awesome Plot and Character Ideas

2013-12-02_15-04-37In addition to gaining more markets and outlets for our writing, exploring the sites of other genres can also turn up gold dust. Last year Damian Trasler wrote me an excellent post on the success he has had with switching to screenwriting. It inspired me to think outside of the confines I have placed myself in as a writer. There is more out there I can do, I simply need an open mind. 

When I was planning my blog posts for this year, I came across “The Script Lab” web site, and thanks to Damian, I stopped and had a good look around. It is exceptionally useful to all kinds of writers. I am encouraging you to go plunder it for your own needs.

hairymnstr_Coffee_Mug_1Some of their content includes:

  • Character and scene questionnaires to help you build backstory, develop personality traits etc.
  • Naming characters effectively to convey their role or personality.
  • Key moments and plot points in story structure (there are quite a few of these and they are great.)
  • Comparing movie plot breakdowns, which every writer can use.
  • Don’t miss their articles on the Triangle, the 100% Rule and the Three C’s!
  • Rules on Writing Heroes
  • Scene Types… and masses more!

Go raid it! http://thescriptlab.com/screenwriting-101/screenwriting

ArtiosMediaSiggy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheScriptLab

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheScriptLab

Their writing inspiration board on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thescriptlab/writing-inspiration/

REBLOGS WELCOMED

realcharacters


This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Images in this post belong to The Script Lab and Open Clipart.com

Words with Old World Class!

ffffffffffI am still offline sick, so here is a continuation of a popular post series from last year. Comments are switched off, sorry. Last year I put up a few posts of out of use words sourced from an old Australian dictionary, circa 1900. They give an insight into why some words fall out of usage and how much society has changed focus.

Here is another list of older words to inspire and prompt you to write. If you’d like a challenge, put together a story or paragraph using at least four of the words.

  1. AEsculapian: beloning to a medical man; word origin is a god of medicine. (Roman Mythology. The god of medicine and healing.) This is interesting as the modern definition is: relating to medicine or physicians. It is an adjective: archaic.
  2. Smirch: to cloud, to smear, to dusk, to soil.
  3. 220px-CivetCivet: a strong musky perfume that comes from the Civet-cat.
  4. Presuppose: to take for granted.
  5. Theopneustic: given by or due to the inspiration of God / God-inspired.
  6. Ratiocinate: to reason or argue. ( Ratiocinative: argumentative.)
  7. Wastel: a round cake made from fine flour.
  8. Mensuration: act, process or the art of measuring. (That is an art? Ok then…)
  9. Zoophilist: a lover of animals. (Don’t take that in an amorous sense.)
  10. Demogorgon: a terrible god capable of the most vindictive action.

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This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Hitting the Bullseye: The Power of Life #Writing : #Memoir

bow-and-arrowNote from Cate with sincere apologies to Sharon Lippincott, the author of this post : I’ve been struggling through a lengthy migraine. I am taking some recovery time off, so comments are switched off for this post. I’ll be back in a few days. Cheers everyone!

For most of my life I’ve thought of my father as a background person in my life. He was always around, eating dinner with the family every night, taking us on picnic and camping trips, and occasionally directing my sister and me to clean up the kitchen on nights my mother may not have bothered. He was handy to have around for help on math homework in high school.

But he was not much of a conversationalist, and much of our interaction took place through the filter of my mother. For example, she would tell me, “Your father doesn’t like thus and such,” or “Your father thinks you should do this or that.”

As I wrote The Albuquerque Years, I recalled all sort of things I did with my daddy as a very young girl. I “helped” him irrigate and tend the garden. I watched as he killed chickens for Sunday dinner. I rode in the basket of his bicycle to get fruit from the stand up the road. I rode on his shoulders. I learned how to take pictures. I tricked him with a fake yoyo on April Fool’s Day. I regretted that these memories of direct involvement seemed to taper off as I grew older.

A few minutes ago I began skimming a free pdf version of Paulo Coelho’s book The Way of the Bow that I downloaded from his website. As I read the description on page nine of Tetsuya stringing his bow, I recalled the long-forgotten yellow bows and arrows my father gave my sister and me when I was nine or ten. I don’t remember the occasion, but I do remember spending hours and hours over a period of years trying to perfect my aim.

With that memory dozens more came pouring forth, and suddenly I’m suffused with the most delightful realization that although he may not have shown it openly, he always loved me more than I would have imagined. I never doubted that — I was just not fully aware of the extent of it. This memory hit a bullseye in my heart! I’m simply aglow with gratitude and joy.

Image from Open Clipart sources.

Image from Open Clipart sources.

I doubt I ever would have stumbled across this discovery if I hadn’t spent so much time writing and thinking deeply about various memories. Individual stories were a good way to start this process, and I’m finding that going on to the next step of integrating those vignettes into a more comprehensive overview is deepening the results and insights.

When I first began what I now recognize as the practice of life writing, I had no idea that it would be come a lifelong pursuit. I thought I could just write a few stories — maybe even one hundred — and be done with it. I can no longer count the number of stories I’ve written, but the last time I did, the total exceeded seven hundred, and I’ve just begun to write. Now I realize that the longer I stick with it, the deeper I write and see, and the happier and more peaceful I feel. The positive effects reach every corner of my life, and I can’t imagine not spending time at least several days a week on this ongoing exploration.

Write now: make a list of memories of happy times spent with a special person in your life. Use this to write a paragraph or two or longer story about each memory, or as journal prompts.


slm-pres07

This post is Copyright Sharon Lippincott 2009. All Rights Reserved Internationally

Blog Sidebars: Easy Ways to Add Whatever You Want

BlogTamingMonthCommuniCATE2If you are having issues getting images to show as the right size on blog side bars, or if you want to add colours to links or other fancy stuff to your blog, this post shows you how. It uses a “what you see is what you get” online app, which will let you do all that without having to turn into a geek or learn web code.

I will also tell you where to get more information and how to get the code into your blog. It is all free and very simple. If you are looking at this post saying, “I CANNOT and DO NOT want to write in html,” I don’t blame you, but don’t quit until I show you this service. You don’t have to learn any html. 

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A screenshot of the editor.

Basic Coding for Internet Links, Text etc.

1. Go to the site. There is no sign-up, mailing lists or catches.  http://html-color-codes.info/html-editor/

2. Type in what you want in the same way you would use a Word Processor or in the way you enter text and web addresses into your blog posts. When done, you can print the code and preview what it will look like. If you’re happy, then hit the html button to get the code, which you paste into the widget/gadget box on your blog. (Instructions on that are below.) Just type it in.

2014-01-09_15-48-483. If you want to keep a copy of your code on your computer, paste it into Text.exe on Windows or TextEdit.app on your Mac. If you paste it into some word processors, if can take the coding out of your view making future copy and paste impossible. You know it has done this if your program just shows you the final product with no codes in brackets.

4. If you already have widget or gadget code from another source that you wish to place on your sidebar: if you use Blogger and have pre-existing Javascript code you can paste in, you are fine. WordPress.com blogs will NOT EVER take any Javascript code. Their system just deletes it. That means you can’t monetize these free blogs and you can’t use a lot of great tools.


Image Coding

Html editing apps like Color Code’s Editor are also handy for getting image sizes in sidebars correct. I open up a new file in Dreamweaver to do my sidebars, as guessing at sidebar width in relation to the actual image width drives me nuts! Dreamweaver also allows me to colour text and size it as a headline. The web editor will allow you to do all that too.

1. To add an image to the web editing software, simply click on the tree photo icon in the menu bar, enter in the web address of the image (if you have uploaded it to your blog or Picasa, it will have a web address you can find if you locate the image in your Media files.) In WordPress, go to Media and upload any new image, then click on the image name in the Media Library and it will give you the link.

seamonkey-with-font2-web_r2. Once you place this in the web editor, you can then resize it, give it a border, align it etc. as you would in a blog post. It may be wise to ignore the advanced options.

If you want your own web editing software for your computer, use SeaMonkeyhttp://www.seamonkey-project.org It is also “what you see is what you get” and won’t scare you. It works like a Word Processor and is made by the Mozilla people, so it is free and handy if you are wary of your Internet usage.

One small caveat, I am not recommending coding your blog posts for WordPress.com sites. It will delete a lot of code outside a narrow allowance of what it will let you do. 


How to Enter Your Code into Your Blog

Both the WordPress Widget and the Blogger Gadget are really simple. They are just boxes where you paste the code in. You don’t need to fret that they will have a dozen settings which you have to understand. Just paste the code in, hit save. You are done.

What bloggers html gadget looks like with my code in it for my books.

What bloggers html gadget looks like with my code in it for my books.

WordPress’ Html Widget looks like the image below. There are no additional settings. You can use WordPress’ Image widget, but this is just as easy and the image one is much more complex.

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Easy Web Code References for your Blog:




This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.