When you’ve got kids you get more hugs, more stains, more laughs, more tears…and less money and time. So the word FREE becomes a sound that gives you naughty, exciting tingles whenever you hear it.
Or, at least, it does me.
Especially when I discover a new tool or resource to help my writing craft that is…(say the magical word with me) FREE!
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve stumbled upon some doozie that I just have to share.
The Free Stuff
1) BEAT SHEETS
These are amazing and I wish I would have had my hands on these years ago. A beat sheet is break down of what happens in a story and when (inciting incident, turning points, ect.). Jami Gold’s Blog has four great beat sheets:
a) Romance Beat Sheet
b) Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat
c) Larry Brook’s Story Engineering (A book I am currently reading and finding very insightful, so having a beat sheet to go with it is great.)
d) Michael Hauge’s Six Stage Plot Structure (If you’re working on a love triangle, highly recommend this one)
Both of the links above will take you to a blog post of hers where you can access them all. She also includes great explanations about how to use each sheet and the methods each one is designed around. Jami Gold’s blog is quickly become one of my favorite resource blogs. I can get lost for hours in her posts.
2) SCRIVENER TEMPLATES
Something else that has been a recent discovery for me is the writing program Scrivener. Although I haven’t got to use it on a project yet, from the little that I have played around with it, I love the concept and organization of Scrivener. Here’s the low down on what Scrivener is and what it could do for you and your writing: (information taken from http://www.literatureandlatte.com)
Grow your ideas in style
Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.
Your complete writing studio
Writing a novel, research paper, script or any long-form text involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done. Collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure—most writing software is fired up only after much of the hard work is over. Enter Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application.
If you like Scrivener, check out S.M. Worth’s blog for a 25% or 20% discount before you buy.
I got really excited about Scrivener after I found Mel Corbett’s Scrivener templates. On her blog, Mel has three templates that are free and easy to download (she includes download instruction on her blog). Each template is built around a particular fiction form. Combine FREE templates and Scrivener’s clean, organized format and you’ve got a lower stressed way to get your day dreams into book form. What’s not to love?
These are definitely worth the time to check them out.
a) Hero’s Journey Template
b) Mystery Novel Template
c) Beat Sheet Template (based on Larry Brook’s beat sheet)
Another free Scrivener template is David Hewson’s. His is designed to be more of a basic novel writing template (that you can adjust for your own needs) and doesn’t have the detail of Mel Corbett’s theory/genre templates.
Between the four of them you would have endless options for structuring your story, or if not…just build your own template in Scrivener. That’s the beauty of the program.
3) Feeding the Muse
One of the best things I can do for my writing is to inspire my creativity by reading fiction other than my own.
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” -Stephen King
When we write we create from within ourselves. Whole worlds, epic dramas and detailed descriptions of a lamp post all come from our hearts, souls and minds, and that energy has to be replaced.
Now, I know with the advent of the e-reader there is a plethora of “free” books out there, but, let’s be honest, most of those books are a roll of the dices whether they are really a good read. Besides, can you ever have too many FREE books? NEVER. So here’s a few FREE books to feed that hungry muse of yours that won’t be a complete waste of your time.
Nicky Charles is awesome. All of her books are free, and her Law of the Lycans (paranormal romantic suspense) series boasts high star reader reviews. Below are Amazon links to her books, but they are also available on Barnes and Noble or her website for free as well.
The Law of the Lycans Series:
I hope you find my list of freebies helpful. (In a future post, I’ll cover my list of favorite FREE character sheets.) No man or woman is an island, in both the parental or artistic waters, and we all can use and extra dingy sent our way every now and again.
So what’s your favorite freebie?