As I have been pecking away at the keys working on my new projects, I’ve been compiling a little list for myself. I thought I would make it pretty and share it with all of you. I do like to share. Is that weird? Well, not everything—my toothbrush is off limits. Now that I have made that clear, here is my latest infographic.
When I travel, I am often seen taking pictures of what must seem like random things to other people. I stand six inches from wallpaper or get down on my knees to catch the perfect angle of a fallen leaf. This summer, I visited Nevada a couple of times. These pictures were taken in The Silver Legacy Hotel & Casino. The Starbucks barista did look at me a little funny when I took a picture of the cup sleeves, but I’m glad I did.
Here is a sample of what you can do with these photos:
I used a fabulous website called Canva to add the text.
Naming characters can be a difficult task. Sometimes they just come to me, and other times I search and claw and bang my head against the keyboard (figuratively, at least). I want the name to not only feel and sound right, but also to convey some sort of meaning (at least most of the time). I’ve been guilty of trolling names site for so long that I use up all of my writing time (I would never procrastinate).
Favorite Free Resources
Below are some of my favorite sites for finding names for characters:
Behind the Name: First Names: Give your novel more depth by choosing names carefully. Find out about the etymology here.
Varying your vocabulary is as important as varying your sentence length. It keeps readers interested and staves away boredom. Now, do you need to use a synonym every time? No, but it is beneficial to avoid using the same words in the same paragraphs. Why not find the perfect word? Isn’t that the beauty of writing? Finding the precise word to express your idea is part of the process.
I realize that different genres call for different treatment of words such as “said.” My point is to know your genre. If you are writing for younger readers they may need more context clues. Sometimes it is helpful to know if a character is simply asking or if they are interrogating. It completely changes the tone of the scene.
I’m in the process of rereading the first twenty-three chapters of The Fallen: Part Two. As I have been perusing the pages of my first draft, I’ve been finding some word repetition. The problem with overusing a word, is that it becomes distracting to the reader.
I remember reading a book recently where the author used the word swung for everything. I swung into the car. I swung my legs out of bed. I swung around the corner. I swung my arms… well, you get the point. I got so irritated every time I saw the word swung, that it distracted me from the story itself, and this was a NY Times bestseller! I am not saying that I am perfect, but I do work really hard to avoid repetition (having a lot of beta readers helps).
During this go through, I found that I was overusing the word whisper, so I created a word list for myself. I decided to go ahead and share it. Enjoy! And go forth and use synonyms!