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Cafe Doom  |  The Critique Crypt  |  General writing chat  |  Useful writing resources
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Author Topic: Useful writing resources  (Read 8854 times)

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Offline Ed

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Useful writing resources
« on: March 11, 2008, 03:56:11 AM »
Now and then I come across something useful on the internet. It's rare, but I do. One such thing is the random name generator at www.kleimo.com/random/name.cfm where you can set male/female, the number of names you want, and how obscure you want them to be. This is something I've only just found and I think will become an indispensable tool for me - choosing names for my characters can be a bit of a chore sometimes. I even went through a phase a while back of naming all my MCs 'Steve' intending to change it later, when I had more time to sit and mull over it.

Another good one I found a while ago is Sonar - http://www.spacejock.com/Sonar.html submission tracker. It's a tiny little programme that you can use to log and track any submissions you send out to magazines and publishers. The same site has a bunch of other free tools for both readers and writers.

Then for markets there's the old favourites of www.duotrope.com and www.ralan.com

SallyQ's competition calendar, too - http://www.sallyquilford.co.uk/page25.htm

Please add stuff to the thread if you know of anything that might be useful to writers :afro:
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 03:56:44 AM by Ed »
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline delboy

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Re: Useful writing resources
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 04:02:33 AM »
I use that random name generator. It's pretty neat. The other place I get random names from is my spam email folder. I figure I ought to get some benefit from that crap!

Regards,
Del
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline starktheground

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Re: Useful writing resources
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 09:03:33 AM »
Great stuff, Ed! I've been using Sonar since you recommended it to me. I love it! I'll have to try out that name generator too. I usually get my character names from the most random places anyway! My last story, Carter Hobbs, remind anyone of a cartoon? Or my favorite, Brianna Foster. Let's just say I picked that name when I had a sweet tooth!  :cheesy:

Offline Geoff_N

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Re: Useful writing resources
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 10:52:33 AM »
Don't forget that Duotrope is more than a market finder it is also a submission tracker and more so.

I belong to http://ideas4writers.co.uk  in which there are engines such as name engines that are realy useful but Sod's Law is such that I often want an Arabic name or an authentic soundng street name in Colombia. Googling helps. Sometimes an Atlas will help with personal names. For my Xaghra's Revenge fantasy I needed to know what the Barbary Corsairs named their galleys. Googling and heavy history tomes in the library found hundreds of names of Christian ships of the same 16th Century era but only one name for a moor galley. I've visited several Maritime museums in the Mediterranean - no joy. Eventually I made up a few names eg The Infidel's Tears, sent them to a friend in Istanbul, who didn't know either but as a historian reckoned they'd be ideal.

I find this random title generator good fun and within a few minutes it triggers in me a plot idea or three

http://www.kitt.net/php/title.php

Geoff

Offline Sallyq

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Re: Useful writing resources
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 04:13:39 AM »
The Reverse Dictionary is a good resource if you get a submission call with a theme http://www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml

You can put a complete sentence in it (though not too long) and it brings up words surrounding that concept.

Also, Cally Taylor and I put together a story generator which is on my site here http://www.sallyquilford.co.uk/page19.htm

It is aimed mainly at the womens' magazine market, but you might get something from it.

And finally, the Seventh Sanctum have several generators, aimed at the spec fic markets, including 'what ifs' romance story generators and many others. http://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-writ.php

Offline bintarab

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Re: Useful writing resources
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 11:23:21 PM »
Googling and heavy history tomes in the library found hundreds of names of Christian ships of the same 16th Century era but only one name for a moor galley. I've visited several Maritime museums in the Mediterranean - no joy. Eventually I made up a few names eg The Infidel's Tears, sent them to a friend in Istanbul, who didn't know either but as a historian reckoned they'd be ideal.

I c'n mebbe help. I know some Arabic. The Infidel's Tears doesn't sound terribly Arab-Islamic to me, though it may well be that you don't want anything too close to Arab-Islamic to me (look what's happened to Salman Rushdie). Arab names that are post-Islam tend to be references to G-d not to humans, infidel or other. Names are like "Sword of religion" (Sayfuddin), "Holiness of religion" (Salahuddin), "Servant of the Compassionate One" (Abdulrahman), "Perfection of religion" (Kamaluddin), and so on, or they tend to be biblical like Muhammed, Sarah, Noah, and so on.

Sorry, I realize that's probably unnecessary and untimely info, but if anyone has specific inquiries, you're surely welcome to ask me. If I don't know the answer, I'll just tell you so.

~bint

Offline bintarab

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Arabic names
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 11:31:04 PM »
Oh yeah, this might be helpful for Arabic names: Muslim names and their meaning (based on Guyanese Muslim naming practices, I think, which may or may not be helpful for Moorish names)

~bint

Offline Ed

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Re: Useful writing resources
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2008, 04:39:22 AM »
Good stuff, Bint. I recognise some of those names from something, somewhere. Strange, though, if you google 'barbary pirates' you get lots of good reading, but no ship names :scratch:
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline elay2433

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Re: Useful writing resources
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2008, 02:31:28 PM »
I get names from the graveyard occasionally. When I try and a make up a name it often sounds phony. The names on the tombstones are real so they tend to sound more real.

Sometime the names, combined with the dates and the inscription, will inspire a brand new story.  Also, if you're writing a period piece the tombstones can be helpful. You look for dates matching the period of your story and pick the names accordingly.

-elay
Jerry Enni lives in a small house in the center of the San Joaquin Valley with his beautiful family. By day he makes signs and by night he writes stories. To learn more about him, check out Clear Perspective, Blurry Lens

Offline Ed

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Re: Useful writing resources
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2008, 03:06:31 PM »
That's a good idea :afro:
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

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