Thursday, August 3, 2006

Story Planning and Character Planning Worksheets: Now Available via BitPass

If you're a fiction writer - be it in the form of short stories, novellas, or novels - then you might want to check out our Story Planning Worksheet and Character Planning Worksheet.

You can get these Writing Worksheets via BitPass.

(Format: PDF) (Cost: AU$0.35 or US$0.26)
(Format: PDF) (Cost: AU$0.35 or US$0.26)

You will be given 50 visits for 30 days upon payment. But, don't worry. You just need to make sure that you click on 'Save a Copy' in order to save a copy of the worksheet/s to your computer.

To purchase via BitPass, you need to have a BitPass Buyer Account. It's free to sign-up and open an account. To add funds to your account (so that you can use the money to purchase other goods from hundreds of BitPass merchants), you can use your credit card or your PayPal account. If you only plan on using BitPass occassionally, you can avoid the hassle of pre-funding your Buyer Account by enabling "PayThru" - which links your BitPass Buyer account to your PayPal account. So, you can just pay-as-you-go.

For more information about BitPass Buyer Accounts, please read the BitPass Buyer FAQs.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Blog Back Thanks

Creative Writing Web Links'Just want to say a quick thank you to all who are linking to eWriteLife.com:

So, if you're linking here and I haven't mentioned you - please leave a comment so I can thank you too.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Welcome to the Australian Reader's Digest Readers!

Reader's Digest - July 2006 CoverIf you got here through the Diamond Anniversary Special of Australian Reader's Digest (July 2006 issue), let me just extend a warm blogging welcome to you. Thanks for taking the time to visit and check out this blog based on the article "Your hobby + a computer = extra money" by Louise Waterson.

Reader's Digest - July 2006 FeatureIf you've never heard of the term blog before and would like to learn all about it, my site on About.com's Web Logs will be a good place to start. I have several information for blogging newbies right there. The best article to start reading is probably this: Top 10 Questions On Basic Blogging. To learn more about making money online, you might also want to check out my blog, Just Make Money Online.

Here are a few of my other blogging projects:

  • ShaiCoggins.com - This is my personal blog site, where you can also find some of my art work, musings, and links to other sites.
  • Self Help Diva - Find inspiration, motivation and ideas on self-help, counselling and psychology.
  • FreshWave.TV - One of the first and few video blogs based in Australia. I run this vlog with a good friend, Bern Relos.
  • Shai in 60 Seconds - This is my podcast (audio) show that I haven't updated in a very long time.
  • Chrysalis Creativity - As mentioned in the article, this is my blog for all things creative - from prompts to ideas to projects to mini-workshops.
  • eMothersOnline.com - This is a collaborative blog that I run with several other women - mothers just like me, and even grandmothers. Our goal is to help empower, encourage and educate one another as mums in our society.

If you have any questions or ideas, feel free to ask away by leaving a comment here or sending an email to shaicoggins@gmail.com.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Welcome to Readers of The Advertiser!

The Advertiser Feature Hello and welcome to new readers and visitors who came here. I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to come and visit. I hope that you will find something here that you might find helpful or useful in some way.

If you're interested to check out my other online blogging projects, here's a quick run down:

  • ShaiCoggins.com - This is my personal blog site, where you can also find some of my art work, musings, and links to other sites.
  • FreshWave.TV - One of the first and few video blogs based in Australia. I run this vlog with a good friend, Bern Relos.
  • Shai in 60 Seconds - This is my podcast (audio) show that I haven't updated in a very long time.
  • Chrysalis Creativity - As mentioned in the article, this is my blog for all things creative - from prompts to ideas to projects to mini-workshops.
  • eMothersOnline.com - This is a collaborative blog that I run with several other women - mothers just like me, and even grandmothers. Our goal is to help empower, encourage and educate one another as mums in our society.

Again, thank you so much for being here. And, I look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Writing Descriptions

How to Write Amazing Descriptions for Stories, Essays, Poems, and More.

Have you ever wondered why some stories, essays, poems, and other types of literature seem more interesting than others? Apart from following the rules of grammar, spelling, and other technical aspects of writing, one factor that makes a piece worth reading is the use of amazing descriptions.

Amazing descriptions make any topic you write about more interesting, colourful, and alive. So, how do you try and achieve this?

The most important tip to remember is: make use of your senses. Using our different senses, try the writing exercises as follows:

Sense of Sight

What do you see around you right now? Don't limit yourself to simply writing down: "I see a computer in front of me." Describe exactly what you see. For example, "Red borders surround the language arts for kids web site. The colorful titles, logos, and tables resemble a rainbow."

Other than colors, you can take note of things like shapes, sizes, and patterns (among others) when describing something, someone, or some place.

Sense of Smell

When you read, "The aroma of coffee, freshly baked bread, and cinnamon wafting in the air," it is easy to picture a sense of homely calmness. Describing scents gives the feeling of familiarity - whether you're describing a flower garden, a stinking alley, or a hospital. You can set the stage for your essay, story or poem, with scents of lilies and roses, garbage dump stench, or the smell of anesthesia.

Other words about smell: perfume, smoke, rot, moldy

Sense of Taste

How do you describe taste? Other than writing the usual words associated with taste (bitter, sweet, dry), you can also try to liken something with another thing. For example, instead of simply writing "The apple is sour," you can write something like, "At first bite of the apple, I grimace in disgust. It's like eating a tropical green mango."

More words associated with taste: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, hot

Sense of Hearing

Listen closely to the sounds that you hear. If you're writing about a day at the beach, what would the sounds be like? An example of describing a day at the beach using your sense of hearing may be: "The shrieks and giggles of girls in bikinis disturbed me as I was reading my book. I looked up almost at the same time as the waves crashed on the shore."

More words associated with sounds: banging, animal sounds (woof/bark of a dog; meow of a cat; moo of a cow, etc.), clinking glass

Sense of Touch/Feeling

Try to continue describing a day at the beach by listing down the different things that you feel when you're there. Some examples may be: the scratching sand in your toes and swim suit; the sun rays burning your skin until it turns pink and itchy; the stinging splash of cold water on your sunburn...

More words associated with touch/feeling: scorch, dry, humid, wet, smooth, tight

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Psalms Ideas

Robin Jones Gunn, author of over 30 books, uses verses from the book of Psalms in many of her books. A couple of favourites are:

"And they who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe if Thy signs;
Thou dost make the dawn and sunset shout for joy."

- Psalm 65:8 (NASB), in her book titled SUNSETS.

"The voice of the Lord echoes from the clouds.
The God of glory thunders through the skies."

- Psalms 29:3, in her book titled ECHOES.

Both books are romances and had little to do with being preachy. Many other writers draw ideas and inspiration from this book and you can do it too. So, why don't you grab your bible, sit in a comfy place, and whisper a prayer. Then, open the book to Psalms and wander about.

One good way to be undaunted by the verse is to pick a verse or two that you like best and simply meditate on why you think the verse/s appear special to you. Then, pick only one or two essential words and do a freewrite using the word/s you chose.

You need not come up with a novel-length book the way Ms. Gunn did. Your special verse (or verses) from Psalms may be woven into a vignette, short story, or poem.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Writing in the New Year

Excuse me for being late in greeting you a happy new year - and for not writing much in this blog lately. Anyway, let me just share something I wrote one new year season... and have just recently updated.

"A goal is a dream with a deadline." - Leo B. Helzel

Every year, I come up with a fresh list of goals and dreams. I write these things down in my year-long organiser and review them on a regular basis. Every time a dream or goal is met, I put a check mark beside it and reward myself in a special way.

With this kind of approach, I have met over a hundred goals for the past 10 years (wherein I write about 12 to 15 goals a year). Through this, I acquired a sense of purpose in my day-to-day life. And, I was able to publish and sell several fiction, nonfiction, and poetry pieces for the past 15 years. But, the challenge continues...

One writer I have come across in an online writers group shared this insight -

"... despite having 2 other part-time jobs, a husband and 3 kids, a house with 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths and not having time to write every day, I've met 2 of my writing goals already this past year. I sold something to a big name magazine ("Guideposts") and sold a piece for over $100 (an article on teaching lefties in the classroom for "Christian Classroom")." - from Betty Winslow

And I say: Right (and Write) On!

Setting goals enable us to see if we're making any progress with our dreams, or if we're just in the 'wishful thinking mode'. So, as you review this year's accomplishments and setbacks, you may also want to try and set aside some time to set goals for this new year.

Here are some exercises that you may want to try out yourself:

1) List 5 things you wish to write about

2) From this list, pick one topic (e.g. "crayons"). Then write, "I want to write about (crayons) because..."

3) List 3 major writing goals (e.g. "Get a short story published this year in an online publication."). Just remember to set realistic but challenging goals.

4) Give yourself a deadline and a possible reward.

5) Complete this sentence: "One day, I hope I'd be a __________ writer. This will happen when..."

Now let me just wish you a wonderful 2006 - and may you meet many writing goals and dreams for this year and beyond.