14
Sep
09

Fill my idea jar!

There’s a reason why I don’t try to make extra money as a blogger or columnist or any other freelance work that would require me to come up with a clever and nifty idea ever week or so.

It’s because I clearly suck at it!  Every Single Week I tell myself that I need to write my Saturday blog post at some point during the week. Every Single Week I forget until Friday evening, when I start desperately trying to come up with something interesting and unique.

You’ve seen the results. Sigh.

Okay, so I’m going to throw it out to y’all in the form of a contest. Give me ideas for blog entries. Anything goes. Extra points awarded for originality, coolness factor, and also for presentation (e.g. giving your idea in haiku form!)

Best three will get autographed copies of Mark of the Demon (and if you already have that one, I’ll put you on the list to get Blood of the Demon as soon as I have copies.) Contest is open to everyone everywhere, it closes this Friday (Sep 18) at midnight Louisiana time, and winners will be announced in my post next Saturday. (Really, I’ll make a post next Saturday. I promise!)

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12 Responses to “Fill my idea jar!”


  1. 1 Kim W.
    September 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    The key to blogging regularly is being able to have something you can talk about a LOT, but that something doesn’t have to be significant. Richelle Mead writes a lot about funny t-shirts that show up to her signings, and that seems to work for her.

    So talk about things you know and can chat about easily. It could be a quick story about an interesting person you saw in the coffee shop. It could be a thought or two about human reactions to dead people. Or a weird coroner story (in my anatomy class, the coroner who was leading the dissection actually scratched at himself with his scalpel gently, leading to much EWWWing on all of our parts).

    It could be easier – something about your favorite drink or about parenting in or actors you imagine filling the roles of your characters, or about the time you took to find some moment of quiet in your week. Or about your hair. Or how you like some particular household chore. Or about a game you like. Or what you had for dinner and how you made it extra-yummy. Loads of ideas!

  2. 2 Kim W.
    September 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Or if all of those are “not authorish” enough, then talk about how different things affect your writing cycle — whether exercising actually does help, or how cool it is when someone comes up to you and recognizes you as an author they like (I would!… if I weren’t in New York) or what you do when you run into a difficult scene, or how you avoid injecting too much cynicism into your characters when the world is being crappy.

  3. 3 Ilasir Maroa
    September 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I hate to be repetitive, but conventions and signings are exciting. Or, at least, they seem to get a lot of reader attention. Doesn’t matter if it is about t-shirts, or the idiot in the third row of the “History of Vampires” panel. People love to hear about it.

    Honestly, most readers will lap up pretty much anything. Guest blogs, plugging a favorite author, your three-year-olds latest poem. :) As long as you don’t feel uncomfortable, go for it.

    Like Kim said, it doesn’t have to be partictuarly significant to your readers (though that helps) as long as it is significant to you, and the reader can see that. Pretty much anything that interests you will interest the reader. I’ve even seen pictures of wine cork collections garner much positive attention. I know this sounds a bit cynical. But try to think of it as you being just that cool.

    I *could* re-write this comment in a sequence of lame haikus, but I figure being clearer trumps being clever. (*crosses fingers*)

  4. 4 Annah
    September 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I think going meta and talking about how you talk about ideas or generating them would be pretty cool. I also think it would be neat if you talked about how you would then incorporate those ideas into your work and the process of pushing those ideas through the training that gets them to work or why some of them fail.

    And… I’m always rather fond of world building discussions, or culture/language building, or even character creation.

    I think it really depends on what you want to write about and what you think is the proper place to write about certain things. Perhaps, you think, this blog is just about writerly things so talking about how interesting the graphic design on a particular mug you saw wouldn’t be appropriate, or maybe you do. I think a lot of blogs function simply because the people writing them have people that are interested in *them* and what they have to say, even if they’re small matters like mug designs.

    I visit because I really like the atmosphere and I like the writerly discussions and how it usually all ties into life and perceptions and things like that. I like this blog because all of you who post here seem like really nice, really cool people.

    But if I had to put one idea into the idea jar, it would definitely be about story creation, or weaving and knitting ideas into stories and making them work or how characters come to you and how you add and edit their traits and personalities, unless, of course, they come to you as an entire being first.

    That’s what I’m interested in. Where things come from and why, and possibly what they mean to you.

    Umm. And that’s it. Hope I don’t come off as demanding. (And I totally could never be a very consistent original blogger. I would totally stick to my absolutely favorite topics and just write the crap out of them all the time and people would be like, “Argh, why is she writing about this AGAIN?”)

    Best of luck~

  5. September 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    If I was creative I would give you ideas in an acrostic form, but uh…. Well, Ok, I’ll give it a shot:

    Maybe you could talk about trying to find ideas to write about –
    And that could be either ideas for blogs or ideas for stories, whichever you prefer.
    (Really, it’s helpful if there’s a contest. Contests draw readers like flies). But
    Kick-ass females are always good. How did you come up with yours? What qualities

    Of your protagonist do you like best? Is there anything that annoys you about your characters?
    Famous people – everyone’s met one or two. Have you met any?

    The writing process is always a good choice. How do you do your plotting?
    Has it been hard for you to write every day? How do you motivate yourself?
    Everyone has a vice. Like chocolate. Or coffee. Or tea. Care to share?

    Do your characters do what you tell them to or do they have minds of their own sometimes?
    Endings. How do you plot them? Do you know the end going in or does it come to you as you go?
    (Maybe this is too many ideas? I didn’t realize your title was so long when I started this!)
    OK, I think I’m running out of steam. Just one more suggestion:
    Naughty or nice? If you had to choose one or the other kind of romantic interest for your protagonists for all future stories, which would it be?

    Geez… That was hard! But I’d try just about anything for a copy of Blood of the Demon. *grin*

  6. September 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Puzzling sentences
    In the midst of revisions
    What *were* you thinking?

    I always love to hear about other people’s mangled english, unless it made it into the final draft. Or amusing misspellings. Or things the spellchecker thinks makes sense, but absolutely don’t.

    Ideas discarded
    I have no use for this thing
    Fertilize daisies!

    What doesn’t work for stories for you? What did you poke at and discard? Why? :)

  7. 7 Pamk
    September 15, 2009 at 6:25 am

    what about a question and answer day. You could take questions from readers and answer them. Or you could pimp your favorite books and authors cause lord’s knows I always need more books to read. Can you hear the sarcasm? rofl my tbr stack is going to fall over and kill me one of these days.

  8. September 15, 2009 at 6:43 am

    One thing that you are really good about is finding sources to answer questions that arise when you are writing (i.e. keeping a record of people with the information that you might need “someday.”) That is a life skill that could generate a post or two.

    Another potential idea: do you ever get an idea that simply MUST be written? It may have nothing to do with your current work and may in fact be so insistant that you have to stop what you are doing to “tend” to it? What do you do in that situation? It seems to me something that a creative mind like yours (and your fellow authors)
    might fall prey to.

    Another potential idea: Do you think certain things are harder to write than others? Or is writing just writing?

    Just some thoughts. No Haiku, sorry. It is too early in the morning and I have absorbed not nearly enough caffeine.

  9. September 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    What about character inspirations. Where did the characteristics come from you used for your characters. Or even why did you name them what you did.

    Also, recommendations of good books is always great. I have found that if an author whose books I like says that someones elses book is good odds are I will enjoy it.

  10. September 16, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Another idea: A list of really useful reference materials for fantasy and science fiction writers.

    Grammar (yay Strunk and White!), Mythological references, Monster manuals, etc.

    What do authors keep on their desks to help them do their jobs?

  11. 11 Kim W.
    September 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    One more question, out of genuine curiosity — what does writing give back to you? When most people choose their careers (as opposed to falling into them by accident), it is because they get a lot back from whatever they do. There are legions of very good writers who will never be professional writers because they find the process exhausting without reward. So: are you addicted to the high of when scenes are good? Do you find telling stories to be about pleasing an audience? Do you love forming the perfect sentence? Do you like the plotting process of creating a thing, and somehow find that meditative? How do you stave off the loneliness of your profession?

  12. 12 Lindsay
    September 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Blog about the incredibly kickass people you’ve met in the publishing world. I mean, nobody in PARTICULAR, just… you know…


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