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Useful Writing Apps


My favourite writing app is called “A Novel Idea.” This is a much more organized way to record snippets of ideas for writing when you are on the go than say, post-its, or a notebook or the notes app on an iPhone.

One note:  I have the paid version of the app so this is what I will be discussing.  On the home screen you get five icons along the bottom: novels, scenes, characters, locations and ideas.  

Scenes, characters, locations and ideas are just so you can record random bits that don’t really go with a specific story yet.  You can later “attach” them to novels.  

The novels section has the following subheadings:  title, setting, theme, tone, POV, premise, plot and group.  You then attach scenes, characters and locations from the other icons.

 I find the novel section to be a good prompt for when I have started working on an idea.  Usually I combine two ideas and then start brainstorming characters, location and plot.  But I usually forget things like tone, premise and theme.  This app is a good little reminder since those three things are pretty important.  

If you are like me, you get your best ideas when you are out and about during the day, actually living your life.  This app is a fantastic way to keep all those ideas organized, and to sneak in some writing in between classes!

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Writing Body Language

It happened to me about an hour ago. I was writing a scene between two characters and I knew I had one central goal: To “show” the audience how someone was reacting via body language rather than “telling” them outright.

Tell Example:
"I’m sure you do," said Sara sarcastically.
Note how the writer explicitly tells the reader the underlying meaning and tone of Sara’s response.

Show Example:
Sara’s lips were pressed together in a thin line as Carl spoke. “I’m sure you do,” she said through a half smile.
Note how the writer shows the reader Sara’s actions, her body language. The reader would be quite aware of the cues body language provides, and begins to feel the underlying emotion behind that gesture rather than being outright told.

The central element in the example above was an understanding of and appreciation for body language. We communicate much of the messages we send and receive non verbally. And it could be argued that part of the excitement and interest we have in interacting with others is using that ability to piece together the clues and come to our own conclusions about what someone is thinking. The fun is partly diminished if that game is ruined by outright telling us exactly what we’re supposed to get from a scene, deciding for us how we’re supposed to think and feel about a situation.

So I decided I’d get over that short writer’s block by looking up resources for writing better body language. After reading through a LOT of online resources (many of which promised much but delivered little, or ended up just recommending a book that I could buy if I really wanted those GREAT tips) I did manage to track down a few that I feel actually helped me get a sense of the message I was trying to convey and gave me inspiring tips to do so through various characters’ body language.

I share them here in hopes you might find them interesting, maybe even helpful.

Quick Sheet anyone?


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George R. R. Martin's Cyvasse (unofficial game) - 3D Printer Ready with Rules

"This is my attempt to translate the chess-like game featured in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels (Game of Thrones). Being a huge fan of the man and his work, I wanted to try and give his game the best translation I could. Working with my good friend (and studious Martin scholar) Nate Stephens, I adapted the game to include everything mentioned in the book into a rules set I found believable for a game made during the emulated time period, while also keeping the games in mind that Martin has mentioned as inspiration during interviews. So, Let me know if you get to printing/playing it, and if you have any suggestions for rules adjustments, variants, etc, post in the comments below and let’s get a dialogue going. The rules PDF is with the other downloads, and its a light read (2 pages). Game on!"

- dutchmogul


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Filed under cyvasse print and play 3d printer board games unofficial games fan-made game file sharing strategy games george r.r. martin A Song of Ice and Fire game of thrones