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Top 10 Resources
January, 2008

Greek Ghosts

Top Ten: Holiday Block
Sites to help break the block
By  Sarah E. White

seem to be suffering a bit of writer's block. Or maybe it's not writer's block; I have ideas but none of them seem to be any good. I think I have something brilliant to share, but on further examination there is little help to speak of. So since I'm not trusting my ideas, here are the top 10 sites for ideas to help you break the block, in no particular order.

Creative Writing Prompts
The name of this site pretty much says it all. This bare-bones, no frills site features a numbered list (one to 203). Hovering over the number pops up a writing prompt, from things like "the best thing in life is." to plot questions, story starters, poetry prompts and more. 

New Life Stories
This site designed for journal writers has an interesting collection of pictures that can be used as writing prompts for fiction and nonfiction projects. This site also offers education, advice and resources on all aspects of journal writing and features a regular newsletter.

Be Creative Adults
This site, part of the amazing Creativity Portal, lists a series of questions to ask yourself about your life. Great for journal writing, these questions could also be used by fiction writers working on character sketches. There's also a list of words (ability, modesty, snowflake) to spark writing projects.

Once Written
Once Written is a site full of good information for writers, with information on contests, events and new books. But the really great thing about this site is the newsletter, which provides a week's worth of prompts along with other news for writers. The site also offers a daily prompt service for $3 a month or $25 a year.

Aella Lei
This site is a treasure trove of ideas for writers. Click on the idea generator to get a one-sentence plot, or build characters, generate names, or read random inspirational quotes. You'll also find tips on subjects from getting started as a writer to passive voice, as well as writing exercises and tips for web designers.

Story Is A Promise
Maybe your problem isn't so much that you have no ideas but that you don't know how to shape them into a work of fiction. The essays on the craft of dramatic writing featured on this site will help you understand the basics of dramatic writing, whether novels, plays or screenplays.

Alicia Rasley
This site is full of great tips for fiction writers, as well as classes you can take and books you can buy to get your writing back on track. If your story has stalled, check out her top 10 plot problems. You're bound to find something on this list you can relate to and fix in your own work.

Writing Advice
For a great series of articles on how to write a novel, check out this site by British writer Carol Clarke. This site offers more than 30 pages of tips, from faults of beginners to conflict, pacing, historical fiction and more. This site will take your story from a mere idea to a truly workable piece.

Practical Fiction
Suite 101 has a lot of good sections, and though this one on practical fiction doesn't appear to be updated regularly, it is still a good place to look for information and advice on taking your ideas to the next level. There's also an article here about where to find ideas if you're still stumped.

Steampunk Advice On Novel Writing
This site is one continuous hyperlinked site offering handouts and discussions from Crawford Kilian's writing course. Everything from developing good working habits to storyboarding to sending queries and reading a contract is covered here, so you can be assured your ideas will come to something great if you follow this advice.

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Top 10 Resources
IN This Issue
Top 10: On Hiatus
Top 10: Knock, Knock
Top 10: Perspective
Top 10: History
Top 10: Writer's Slump
Top 10: Moth Mentality
Top 10: Outlandish
Top 10: Illusion
Top 10: Appreciation
Top 10 : Fear

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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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