Posted in General

July Recap

It’s hard to believe we’re over halfway through the year, and yet there’s only five months left. There’s still plenty of time in the year to get things done, but now is also a good time to reassess where you are on reaching your goals.

For me, that means admitting I haven’t gotten as much actual editing done as I’d like. Thankfully, because there’s still time, I’m switching focus to try and get things done. I’ve decided that I won’t work on any new projects until November.

I did however, get a couple of very rough novella drafts done. The titles are still under work, but I’m happy with the bare bones of the stories so far.

One big question mark still on the board is Crimson & Gold. At 13k, it’s an awkward length and I’m still not sure what to do with it. Tentatively I want to have an answer for what I’m doing with it by the end of August.

How was your July?

Posted in Exercises

Exercise: First Meeting

When it comes to developing characters, one of the things you might have to look at is how they interact with each other. A lot of interactions between people are based on previous interactions, which goes all the way back to when they first met.

Knowing how your characters met each other can help with more than just setting the tone of their relationship. They can also help you find hidden interpersonal conflicts and gives you a good base point of reference for how the relationship changes both in and out of the story as time goes  by.

As an exercise: Set a timer for ten to fifteen minutes and free write the first meeting between:

  • Protagonist and Antagonist
  • Characters and Love Interests
  • Protagonist and Supporting Characters
  • Antagonist and Supporting Characters
Posted in General

On Social Media

For the most part when it comes to socializing, I’m an observer. I enjoy lurking and learning about people. That’s true across both real life socializing and internet socializing.

Social media however, allows us to connect with and learn about people we might otherwise not have access to. So, after more than a year of dawdling and hemming on hawing if I really need social media…I have a twitter.

If you’d like to find me on there, I’m @WrittenVixen. Drop a comment below to let me know who you are and I’ll give you a follow!

Posted in General, worldbuilding

Naming Fictional Places

When you’re attempting to come up with a fictional place, one of the things you need is a name. This largely applies to cities and towns, but on occasion this can also apply to specific things like rivers, buildings or landmarks. Names for characters are difficult enough, and settings are no different. Thankfully finding a good name for your setting doesn’t have to be difficult.

Check local languages. A lot of places here in Arizona take their cue from the Spanish language. This applies names like Rio Verde, Sierra Vista and Mesa. There are also plenty of other examples. La Joya, Texas; La Puente, California and Cerro Gordo, Illinois are all towns with Spanish names. There are also plenty of other language based names. French and Native American words are scattered across the United States, which can give you a clue to their history and the culture around them.

History isn’t a bad place to look either. If you’ve ever had the occasion to visit Tombstone, Arizona, you might know that it’s named that way because the founder was told the only thing he’d ever find out there was his tombstone. Some cities are also named after their founders, with Rome being named after one of its two founders.

Local Landmarks play a crucial role as well. Stratford-upon-Avon is quite literally that: a town on the Avon river. Salt Lake City is another example. If you’re looking to name a landmark, try pairing an adjective and a noun together. This gives you things like Black Forest, Salt Lake, Sand Creek, the Dead Sea and Great Barrier Reef.

Adding on suffixes like ‘-ville’ and ‘-ton’ can be used to name. Like naming landmarks, these can be applied to simple adjective. This can give you name like Greenville, Waterville, Downton and Brewton.

Finally, when all else fails combining names can give you a unique name. If you only know your city is where your main characters meet, try mashing together ‘Main Characters’ for something like ‘Mairacter City’. If you need a little more help, there are a few word mixers on the internet which can give you a hand smashing names together.