Well, bite my steaming, swollen toe!


I’ve had a lot of favorite writing books over the years. Fiction Is Folks by Robert Newton Peck, Shut Up, He Explained: A Writer’s Guide to the Uses and Misuses of Dialogue by William Noble, The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever, and Sue Viders, Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Deb Dixon, Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women edited by Jayne Ann Krentz, Sun Signs by Linda Goodman, Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson, and 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt are just a few of them. One was a small book bound in light blue paper that I got from Beverly Wadsworth that had been written by an author she represented. It was an informative little piece of work that had one of the best character sheets I’ve ever seen in it. I can’t remember either the title or the author of it, and I lost it during one of our many disasterous moves.

So you can see it would be hard for me to pick just one book. These days, like everyone else, I rely a lot on Internet websites for assistance and information. The two I use most are Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/) and Seventh Sanctum™ (http://www.seventhsanctum.com/). Dictionary.com has a dictionary, a thesaurus, an encyclopedia and a translator all on one site. It’s good for spelling, short information on a subject and synonyms and antonyms. I use the thesaurus section most often, particularly when I’m stuck for a word or stuck on one.

Seventh Sanctum™ is a collection of “generators.” These generators are programmed to randomly create names, characters, plots, ideas, items, or just about anything you can imagine. If you need a name for a minor character in a hurry, try the Quick Character Namers. It generates names based off census data for America. It uses common names only, so you won’t get something like Grail Steelreaper or Ginger Lustflame. However, if you need a name like one of the afore-mentioned, you can certainly come up with it on the Weird Name Generators.

Two of my favorite generators are the Romance Stories generator and the Cuss-O-Matic. The Romance Stories generator will give you a romance-oriented plot and pair of characters complete with extra details and plot complications. For example: This story starts in a small city in the Antarctic. In it, a silly professor is in love with an unwise project manager - all thanks to a murder. If it does nothing else, the generator will certainly get you thinking.

The Cuss-O-Matic is found at Serendipity(http://nine.frenchboys.net/). If you need a colorful epithet, try generating one like, “Oh, pinch my pestilent, pogo-sticking rump!” One of my favorite all time exclamations came from the Cuss-O-Matic. It’s fun to use Seventh Sanctum™ or one of the other generators links on its page. The only problem is you can get caught up in the whimsy and adventure of generating that you don’t get much writing done. But if you need a quick writing boost, Seventh Sanctum™ is the place to go.

5 comments:

Joan Vincent said...

Jeannie, thanks for the many writing book titles and the very interesting links. Tomorrow I mean to try several of them.

Roxann Delaney said...

Great list of books, Jeannie! I think I counted 5 that I have. The links look really interesting. I'll check them out later today.

snwriter52 said...

"Fiction Is Folks" is a great book. I can't say enough for all the writing reference books. Reference books and website links are a wonderful tool.
Jeannie interesting information.
Sharon.

Becky A said...

Hi Jeannie,
Ok, I gotta ask, how do you get any writing done if you spend time reading all those books and websites? I'm embarrassed to admit, I do very little research type reading because if I do, I never get anything written. Am I weird or what? (Be nice when you answer that!)
Oh, and thanks for making me feel like a putz again :)
Love ya anyway, Becky

Penny Rader said...

Great resources, Jeannie! I've read several of the books you mentioned and have a couple more of them waiting to be read. Can't wait to check out Seventh Sanctum.