Creating a Book Template in InDesign

This article is a technical look at setting up a template in Adobe InDesign. It is not a beginner level tutorial and expects you to have some familiarity with InDesign. I’m including this here because when I was looking for information on setting up book templates I found tutorials severely lacking. Starting from scratch seemed a bit daunting and was discouraging at first. Hopefully this tutorial will make things easier for others doing the same thing. Continue reading

SPAM Writing Prompt #2

I hate spam in my email just as much as the next person. But it seems like such a waste to just delete it all, week after week. So I started looking at the subject lines, trying to see if there was anything that could be done with them. While probably 80% of them are…dirty, to say the least, the other 20% or so work perfectly as writing prompts.

Every Tuesday I’ll be posting a new spam subject line here to get your creative gears going. Feel free to post whatever it inspires in the comments below for everyone to enjoy.

A couple of basic ground rules for submitting your work. Please, nothing derogatory or defamatory about any person, living or dead. Also, please keep your writing samples PG-13 rated. I reserve the right to remove comments that I don’t find appropriate for the site or that I deem may be potentially offensive.

SPAM Writing Prompt #2: This is Rob, wondering where are you

Visual Writing Prompt #4

Photos are often great inspiration for writing. Whether it’s a photo of a person, an activity, or a setting (or even something completely abstract), visual images can spark the beginning of some wonderful stories. In my own writing, I like to collect photos while I’m planning a story to give myself an idea of what my worlds look like. This is true whether I’m working on a science fiction or fantasy story or something set in our own world.

If you’d like to share whatever you write based on the image below, please include it in the comments below. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to the image, just as long as the image was the inspiration for it. At some point in the future, this may turn into a weekly competition with prizes. So get your practice in now!

A couple of basic ground rules for submitting your work. Please, nothing derogatory or defamatory about any person, living or dead. Also, please keep your writing samples PG-13 rated. I reserve the right to remove comments that I don’t find appropriate for the site or that I deem may be potentially offensive.

Photo by Hamed Saber

Photo by Hamed Saber, via Flickr

Taking the Plunge: Self-Publishing

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m currently writing a non-fiction book (details on exactly what this book is about will be revealed within the next month or so, once I’m a bit further into the project). When I first got the idea for the book, I planned on writing up a proposal, an outline, and a couple of sample chapters, and shopping it around to agents and publishers. It’s a long process, finding an agent, and sometimes an even longer one to find a publisher. Continue reading

Writing A Non-Fiction Book

I am currently working on my first non-fiction book. While I’ve completed somewhere around a thousand blog posts and articles over the past couple of years, this is my first attempt at book-length non-fiction. It’s a bit of a daunting task, the idea of writing 250 or so pages about something that I didn’t make up. And the idea that I will not be judged just based on my words and their ability to entertain, but also on the accuracy and usefulness of those words, is kind of scary. Continue reading

How to Write a Novel

To date, I’ve completed at least one draft on five different novels. Two were fantasy, one was science fiction, one was slipstream fiction (though on rewriting it may just become a mainstream novel), and one was women’s fiction. The first novel I ever wrote was a high fantasy epic. It was terrible. The writing itself wasn’t too horrible and the characters were decent, but the storyline was so cliched that I will never let it see the light of day in its current form. Instead, I’ll take part of the basic concept and two of the main characters and start over from scratch. It will bear little resemblance to the first draft when it’s finished. Continue reading

Visual Writing Prompt #3

Photos are often great inspiration for writing. Whether it’s a photo of a person, an activity, or a setting (or even something completely abstract), visual images can spark the beginning of some wonderful stories. In my own writing, I like to collect photos while I’m planning a story to give myself an idea of what my worlds look like. This is true whether I’m working on a science fiction or fantasy story or something set in our own world.

If you’d like to share whatever you write based on the image below, please include it in the comments below. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to the image, just as long as the image was the inspiration for it. At some point in the future, this may turn into a weekly competition with prizes. So get your practice in now!

A couple of basic ground rules for submitting your work. Please, nothing derogatory or defamatory about any person, living or dead. Also, please keep your writing samples PG-13 rated. I reserve the right to remove comments that I don’t find appropriate for the site or that I deem may be potentially offensive.

Photo by Elin B, via Flickr

Photo by Elin B, via Flickr

Musical Writing Prompt #1

When I write I’m almost always listening to music. I have soundtracks in my head for different books, and on occasion a song will inspire part or all of a story. Lyrics are a great place to get inspiration, whether you’re working on a novel, a screenplay, a short story, or anything else.

Each week I’ll be featuring part of the lyrics to a song, sometimes just a line or two, never more than one verse, to help you get inspired. I’d encourage you to track down the actual song and listen to it for further inspiration (Last.fm is a good place to start).

A couple of basic ground rules for submitting your work. Please, nothing derogatory or defamatory about any person, living or dead. Also, please keep your writing samples PG-13 rated. I reserve the right to remove comments that I don’t find appropriate for the site or that I deem may be potentially offensive.

Musical Writing Prompt #1

It’s the middle of the night and you’re here
Playing dominoes and drinking beer
I tried to think of something deep to say
But my well is dripping dry today

From Horse, by Live

Visual Writing Prompt #2

Here’s the second-ever Visual Writing Prompt.

Photos are often great inspiration for writing. Whether it’s a photo of a person, an activity, or a setting (or even something completely abstract), visual images can spark the beginning of some wonderful stories. In my own writing, I like to collect photos while I’m planning a story to give myself an idea of what my worlds look like. This is true whether I’m working on a science fiction or fantasy story or something set in our own world.

If you’d like to share whatever you write based on the image below, please include it in the comments below. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to the image, just as long as the image was the inspiration for it. At some point in the future, this may turn into a weekly competition with prizes. So get your practice in now!

A couple of basic ground rules for submitting your work. Please, nothing derogatory or defamatory about any person, living or dead. Also, please keep your writing samples PG-13 rated. I reserve the right to remove comments that I don’t find appropriate for the site or that I deem may be potentially offensive.

Photo by frozenchipmunk, via Flickr

Photo by frozenchipmunk, via Flickr