Hello all! Today I’m here to tell you about a nifty website I’ve discovered called Hemingway. Basically you paste in some writing and it not only gives you an idea as to the reading level of your piece, but it also points out where you may want to change passive voice or turn adverbs into a more descriptive verb. (For example, it will let you know if you want to turn “She slowly walked towards the door” into “She tip-toed towards the door”.) It’s rather handy!
Do note that, of course, none of this is supposed to be a Bible or a set of unbreakable rules – rather, it’s a very neat and easy to follow way to get some ideas on how to spice up your writing a bit.
If you are in the US, a writer, and on Twitter, then here’s a deal for you.
Amtrak is offering up to 24 lucky writers a special writers’ retreat where you get your own private room on a passenger train and get to write whatever you want while the scenery zips by your window.
Sound awesome? Sound especially comfy?
That’s because it is awesome. And probably incredibly comfy.
I recommend you take a moment and fill out the form if you are interested. The worst that could happen is that your life continues as is, and the best that could happen is that you’re writing on a train holy fork how awesome is that?
All college freshman Cadence Dillford wants on school break is to be left alone with her art, her thoughts, and her diminutive and wisecracking imaginary friend. Unfortunately this isn’t to be, because her mother has decided that it’s time to introduce her painfully shy daughter to the talkative seven-year-old girl next door. This wouldn’t be the best combination to begin with, but as it turns out there is much, much more lurking in the nearby forest– and in the corners of Cadence’s own imagination– than anyone could have guessed.
I’m rather fond of this little “bedtime story” and I’d love if you read it and shared it with your favorite artist (or artist-in-training). Chuck a review up on Amazon or GoodReads too!
Sometimes all it takes is the right place to inspire your writing. For example, I had the general idea for my latest book, Cricket Song, in my head for a good few months already when something interesting happened in my life and I found myself back in Washington State, the land of my childhood. While I now consider Montana my home, I spent the first ten years of my life in Washington among the seagulls, the overcast skies and the biggest trees in the world, and it was as I was traveling over Deception Pass that I suddenly realized that this was where I needed to set the book. I wanted it to have a magical, childlike quality and what better way would there be to evoke that than to attach my own emotions and childhood to the project?
Giving the book a special location really helped to cement its themes and ideas and give it a unique flavor.
Is this something that should be applied to all of your writing projects? Not necessarily. But give it a try the next time you’re stuck or even just trying to think of a way to add to your current project. You may be surprised how much life a specific and memorable location will give to a story.
We all have our preferred writing soundtrack, but what if you need something appropriate to your scene on the fly? That’s where Songza comes in. Head over, click on Film Scores, pick the appropriate mood for your scene, and off you go. If you’re feeling fancy go ahead and take a look around the other playlists as well.
The only real downside is that the soundtracks aren’t quite as varied as I’d like and you’ll wind up with a lot of music from the same movie. Still, it’s good at grouping moods and themes together, so if you’re writing a tense standoff you’ll have some tense standoff music ready to go. Same with a major epic battle or some ominous plot twist.
P.S. I know this is terrible to say since I’ve just recently started blogging again, but I may not be around quite so much for the next few weeks since I am hosting a very special visitor. We’ll see how things go, however!
Did you know that if you write, then you are a writer? Pretty great, isn’t it?
On the flipside, though, if you do not write then you are not a writer.
Don’t be an “aspiring writer”. Just be a writer. Yes yes, I know, writing is a pain. It never stops being a bit of a pain. But I’m certain that you can manage a few sentences today. Even if no one else believes in you, I totally do!
If you need a boost today, here’s WrittenKitten. It generates a kitten image when you hit a target word count. You’re welcome.