Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration.
CHARACTER, POINT OF VIEW, DIALOGUE
Advantages, Disadvantages and Skills (character traits)
Family Echo (family tree website)
PLOT, CONFLICT, STRUCTURE, OUTLINE
SETTING, WORLD BUILDING
TOOLS and SOFTWARE
My Writing Nook (online text editor; free)
Bubbl.us (online mind map application; free)
Freemind (mind map application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
XMind (mind map application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
Liquid Story Binder (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $45.95; Windows, portable)
Scrivener (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $39.95; Mac)
SuperNotecard (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $29; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
yWriter (novel organization and writing software; free; Windows, Linux, portable)
JDarkRoom (minimalist text editor; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
AutoRealm (map creation software; free; Windows, Linux with Wine)
awesome idea while falling asleep
created plot and dialogue and character development
‘i should write this down’
‘no self this is good you’ll remember it tomorrow trust me’
- if you’re a vampire or a ghost or something along those lines — you’re forever trapped in whatever body presentation you had when you were transformed— then, okay, it makes sense for you to look sixteen or seventeen or whatever. that said, you still don’t have to pretend that’s your age forever. you’re clearly not seventeen any more; you can get a fake ID made, you can tell everybody you’re twenty-one — I MEAN PEOPLE DO THAT JUST TO GET INTO CONCERTS AND DRINK COME ON — you can live a life that doesn’t involve going to high school as a cover.
- YOU CAN EVEN DATE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS IF THEY HAPPEN TO BE YOUR SOULMATE/YOUR LOVER REINCARNATED/A PLOT POINT. my dad, who is probably a normal non-immortal human, was dating my mother when she was seventeen and in high school and he was in his mid-twenties, and it was fine. it might raise a few eyebrows, but it’s not that weird. sheesh.
- THEREFORE, if you are an immortal who is not restricted to one specific body, if you have to deliberately create a corporeal form, why would you choose to be a high school boy?! you can’t get anything DONE, you can’t buy alcohol in the US, you can’t grow decent facial hair, YOU HAVE TO GO TO HIGH SCHOOL OR FABRICATE SOME VIABLE EXCUSE AS TO WHY YOU DON’T GO. (why don’t more vampires pretend to be homeschooled? IT’S A VIABLE LIFE CHOICE.) I repeat, you can still date or talk to high-school girls if you look, like, twenty-three. and it’s not like the age difference is really going to be any more questionable if you look five to ten years older than her when YOU ARE ALREADY THREE HUNDRED YEARS OLDER ANYWAY.
- I mean. when I was a teenage girl I wasn’t even attracted to teenage boys. and I was awesome. you missed out, immortal dudes. you. missed. out.
- furthermore, why do you so often think and act like high school boys? really prissy, high-minded-yet-boring high school boys much of the time, to be sure (I LOVE CLASSIC LITERATURE AS MUCH AS THE NEXT GEEK BUT CAN’T YOU BOYS GET INTO SPIRITED CONVERSATIONS ABOUT DOUGLAS ADAMS OR HARRY POTTER TOO OR DID YOU JUST HATE EVERYTHING WRITTEN AFTER YOU DIED), but still high school boys. mooning around and not doing anything cool with your immortality and angsting over whether some girl you just met likes you or not and whether she can deal with your ~terrible secret~, thinking like humans, petty and mortal-minded, without offering any gorram reason why you are doing this.
- in fact more often than not you don’t seem to have any actual interests.
- boys, you’ve lived through so much history, if you’re a vampire and have been walking the earth, or you’ve been living in another world, if you’re, say, an ~angel~, this should colour your perceptions of things. no, in ways other than an irritating air of superiority. you’re going to have really weird assumptions or cultural prejudices, you’re going to have an interesting understanding of current events that may result in awkward dinner conversations when you suddenly rant about how this or that conflict has its roots in the Great War or colonialism or the Crusades because you’ve watched the cause and effect chain happen. you may or may not be slow to accept and/or use new technology (it’s entirely possible you could reason that it’s just going to change beyond recognition in another ten years, so why bother?). your taste in music may potentially rival that of the most cultivated hipster’s, because you’ve had the time and opportunity to be into EVERYTHING. you may still be super interested in something that hasn’t been all that cool in a really long time — horse racing, doing the Olympics without clothes on, square dancing, idk — and have tastes for food and clothes that have gotten harder to find. you’re probably going to be really good at reading people, at least superficially, because you’ve had practise. (or you could have got to the point where you overestimate your ability to read people — an immortal would have the hubris to lump all people into basic categories and assume that they’re just going to stay there — and if your teen girl plot point love interest transcends your categories — probably because you’ve been forced to get to KNOW her instead of analysing her from afar — that’s a far more legitimate and interesting reason for you to be ~captivated~ with her than her perfect special normalcy or whatever.)
- why are you never ever connected to your own culture? like, okay, if you’re a vampire and you’ve only been a vampire for fifty years or something, I can see you trying to keep going for a facsimile of humanity, getting various degrees and holding human-type jobs until you have to quit and leave the area before anybody notices you’re not aging. after a hundred years or so, though, that’s probably going to get old. it makes sense that there’d be enough other vampires that you’d have your own way of living — vampire jobs and vampire communities where you could live a fulfilling eternity without having to be in disguise all the time. where you have your own arts and culture, your own way of seeing and talking about things. but no. EVERY DAMN VAMPIRE’S A LONE WOLF WHO’S BEEN WANDERING AROUND FOR THE LAST TWO HUNDRED YEARS OCCASIONALLY BUMPING INTO OTHER, COOLER VAMPIRES AND NOT FINDING ANY FULFILLMENT UNTIL SOME HIGH SCHOOL GIRL BLINDS HIM WITH HER ~ORDINARINESS~. somewhere all of the other vampires are existing like the separate culture they are, and you’re just bumping into stuff like a Roomba.
Can I just say that I agree with all of this? It’s not hard for someone trapped in a 17-year-old body to just say they’re 19 to get out of going to high school. Why don’t they do that? I don’t get it, either.
Man, this would be so useful. Not even just for roleplaying, but for story writing as well. I sometimes run out of ideas for back stories (or just don’t care to think of something) but having them adds so much depth. :)