Lit by Lightning turned 1 today!
Oh god I have not done anywhere NEAR enough on this in a year.. This is not a happy reminder but a necessary one
“in the early days of television, when the “kitchen sink” school of realism held sway, we always reached a point where we “explained” the character. around two-thirds of the way through, someone articulated the psychological truth that made the character the person he was. [paddy] chayefsky and i used to call this the “rubber-ducky” school of drama: “someone once took his rubber ducky away from him, and that’s why he is a deranged killer…”
“…i always try to eliminate the rubber-ducky explanations. a character should be clear from his present actions. and his behavior as the picture goes on should reveal the psychological motivations. if the writer has to state the reasons, something’s wrong with the way the character has been written. dialogue is like anything else in the movies. it can be a crutch, or when used well, it can enhance, deepen and reveal.”
Finding the information you need as a writer shouldn’t be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of search engines out there that are designed to help you at any stage of the process, from coming up with great ideas to finding a publisher to get your work into print. Both writers still in college and those on their way to professional success will appreciate this list of useful search applications that are great from making writing a little easier and more efficient.
Find other writers, publishers and ways to market your work through these searchable databases and search engines.
- Litscene: Use this search engine to search through thousands of writers and literary projects, and add your own as well.
- Thinkers.net: Get a boost in your creativity with some assistance from this site.
- PoeWar: Whether you need help with your career or your writing, this site is full of great searchable articles.
- Publisher’s Catalogues: Try out this site to search through the catalogs and names of thousands of publishers.
- Edit Red: Through this site you can showcase your own work and search through work by others, as well as find helpful FAQ’s on writing.
- Writersdock: Search through this site for help with your writing, find jobs and join other writers in discussions.
- PoetrySoup: If you want to find some inspirational poetry, this site is a great resource.
- Booksie.com: Here, you can search through a wide range of self-published books.
- One Stop Write Shop: Use this tool to search through the writings of hundreds of other amateur writers.
- Writer’s Cafe: Check out this online writer’s forum to find and share creative works.
- Literary Marketplace: Need to know something about the publishing industry? Use this search tool to find the information you need now.
These helpful tools will help you along in the writing process.
- WriteSearch: This search engine focuses exclusively on sites devoted to reading and writing to deliver its results.
- The Burry Man Writers Center: Find a wealth of writing resources on this searchable site.
- Writing.com: This fully-featured site makes it possible to find information both fun and serious about the craft of writing.
- Purdue OWL: Need a little instruction on your writing? This tool from Purdue University can help.
- Writing Forums: Search through these writing forums to find answers to your writing issues.
Try out these tools to get your writing research done in a snap.
- Google Scholar: With this specialized search engine from Google, you’ll only get reliable, academic results for your searches.
- WorldCat: If you need a book from the library, try out this tool. It’ll search and find the closest location.
- Scirus: Find great scientific articles and publications through this search engine.
- OpenLibrary: If you don’t have time to run to a brick-and-mortar library, this online tool can still help you find books you can use.
- Online Journals Search Engine: Try out this search engine to find free online journal articles.
- All Academic: This search engine focuses on returning highly academic, reliable resources.
- LOC Ask a Librarian: Search through the questions on this site to find helpful answers about the holdings at the Library of Congress.
- Encylcopedia.com: This search engine can help you find basic encyclopedia articles.
- Clusty: If you’re searching for a topic to write on, this search engine with clustered results can help get your creative juices flowing.
- Intute: Here you’ll find a British search engine that delivers carefully chosen results from academia.
- AllExperts: Have a question? Ask the experts on this site or search through the existing answers.
Need to look up a quote or a fact? These search tools make it simple.
- Writer’s Web Search Engine: This search engine is a great place to find reference information on how to write well.
- Bloomsbury Magazine Research Centre: You’ll find numerous resources on publications, authors and more through this search engine.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus: Make sure you’re using words correctly and can come up with alternatives with the help of this tool.
- References.net: Find all the reference material you could ever need through this search engine.
- Quotes.net: If you need a quote, try searching for one by topic or by author on this site.
- Literary Encyclopedia: Look up any famous book or author in this search tool.
- Acronym Finder: Not sure what a particular acronym means? Look it up here.
- Bartleby: Through Bartleby, you can find a wide range of quotes from famous thinkers, writers and celebrities.
- Wikipedia.com: Just about anything and everything you could want to look up is found on this site.
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Find all the great philosophers you could want to reference in this online tool.
If you’re focusing on writing in a particular niche, these tools can be a big help.
- PubGene: Those working in sci-fi or medical writing will appreciate this database of genes, biological terms and organisms.
- GoPubMd: You’ll find all kinds of science and medical search results here.
- Jayde: Looking for a business? Try out this search tool.
- Zibb: No matter what kind of business you need to find out more about, this tool will find the information.
- TechWeb: Do a little tech research using this news site and search engine.
- Google Trends: Try out this tool to find out what people are talking about.
- Godchecker: Doing a little work on ancient gods and goddesses? This tool can help you make sure you have your information straight.
- Healia: Find a wide range of health topics and information by using this site.
- Sci-Fi Search: Those working on sci-fi can search through relevant sites to make sure their ideas are original.
Find your own work and inspirational tomes from others by using these search engines.
- Literature Classics: This search tool makes it easy to find the free and famous books you want to look through.
- InLibris: This search engine provides one of the largest directories of literary resources on the web.
- SHARP Web: Using this tool, you can search through the information on the history of reading and publishing.
- AllReaders: See what kind of reviews books you admire got with this search engine.
- BookFinder: No matter what book you’re looking for you’re bound to find it here.
- ReadPrint: Search through this site for access to thousands of free books.
- Google Book Search: Search through the content of thousands upon thousands of books here, some of which is free to use.
- Indie Store Finder: If you want to support the little guy, this tool makes it simple to find an independent bookseller in your neck of the woods.
For web writing, these tools can be a big help.
- Technorati: This site makes it possible to search through millions of blogs for both larger topics and individual posts.
- Google Blog Search: Using this specialized Google search engine, you can search through the content of blogs all over the web.
- Domain Search: Looking for a place to start your own blog? This search tool will let you know what’s out there.
- OpinMind: Try out this blog search tool to find opinion focused blogs.
- IceRocket: Here you’ll find a real-time blog search engine so you’ll get the latest news and posts out there.
- PubSub: This search tool scours sites like Twitter and Friendfeed to find the topics people are talking about most every day.
HEY WRITER FRIENDS
there’s this amazing site called realtimeboardwhich is like a whiteboard where you can plan and draw webs and family trees and timelines and all that sort of stuff. you can also insert videos, documents, photos, and lots of other things. you can put notes and post-its and, best of all, you can invite other people to be on the board with you and edit together!!
this is really really awesome and a great tool for novel planning, so if you’re doing nanowrimo…. this could be good for you!!
Neptune’s Daughter … Sheet Music from Ziegfeld’s Follies of 1914
Lit. Meme - 3 Genres: High Fantasy
Notable Authors: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G.R.R. Martin
High fantasy is defined as fantasy fiction set in an alternative, entirely fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than the real, or “primary” world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent but its rules differ in some way(s) from those of the primary world. By contrast, low fantasy is characterized by being set in the primary, or “real” world, or a rational and familiar fictional world, with the inclusion of magical elements.
These stories are often serious in tone and epic in scope, dealing with themes of grand struggle against supernatural, evil forces.
Fishermen load their catch of sardines into crates on the Adriatic Sea, May 1970.
Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic
So I work at the Museum of the American Gangster, a fun and often taxing job of taking people around a small exhibit through the history of prohibition and beyond. We get a lot of tourists and fewer and fewer locals, a phenomenon I find strange. Now sometimes the groups are great, sometimes they’re bored and rarely they’re downright rude.
Yesterday was an unusually busy day for a Tuesday afternoon and my very first group was a family of three. An older couple brought their teenage grandson, and right from the get go I smelled trouble. When they awkwardly stepped in the front door I asked, “Are you hear for the exhibit?” We’re in a multipurpose building, and the older gentleman said, “Well I should hope that’s where we are, why else would I come to St. Marks Place? I grew up four blocks away from here.” He said this in an annoyed, rushed voice. I was already concerned. I started them on the tour as I usually do, his wife asked a couple of questions but for the most part they stayed stoic . We were interrupted twice by new tourists coming in and joining up on the tour but I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping things fluid. Just before we went downstairs, to check out the speakeasy, the older gentleman surprised me, “Have you heard of _________?” I’ve already forgot the name “He was a Jewish gangster who wouldn’t do any business on a Friday because he would go home to cook for his mother…” He proceeded to tell me, sweetly and enthusiastically, about a couple of books he thought I should read. I was pleasantly surprised.
After we finished downstairs (technically the end of the tour) he and his family came back up to check out some the exhibit on their own. He stayed and talked to me, asking about my history their, what I was studying, and talked about growing up in the neighborhood. He got the museum email and even wanted mine, saying he’d send me all the information on the books he’d mentioned. I figured nothing would come from it, but I obliged.
Flash to this morning, I waited 15 minutes for a slow L train and while walking to work a pigeon that must have been the size of a pelican decided to drop its load on my shoulder - I was not in good spirits. I get into my office and open my email where I see a forwarded message from one of my bosses:
subject: decent visit
i visited the museum at 80 st. marks place yesterday. i am a former resident of the area, having grown up on 4th street between ave a and b in the early 50s. it was a wondeful experience. the guide, eleanor, was a delight. despite the fact that there is little left of the lower east side i remember, your museum and eleanor brought back some wonderful memories.
please keep me in mind for any special events you will be holding in the future.
I actually clutched my chest. Last week I was yelled at by a woman with a Groupon who couldn’t believe the size of the museum. I’m used to the biggest bit of gratitude being a tip (which is lovely, but rare)
I then opened my next email, from someone I didn’t recognize,
hi eleanor, remember me, i was at the museum yesterday and told you about the 2 books on jewish gangsters. here are the details on the books:
But He Was Good To His Mother by Robert A. Rockaway
Tough Jews by Rich Cohen
both are available at amazon.
i also ordered the heebie jeebies at cbgbs on your say so. it better be good or i’m coming back there to give you a piece of my mind. a very small piece as i don’t have that much left. having used most of it up living and raising 4 kids during the turbulent 60s.
This actually brought tears to my eyes, I can’t explain why, but sometimes it truly is the little things.
I got into this job to learn, meet interesting people, and because Barnes & Noble didn’t transfer me once I moved. I have done a lot of that but nothing touched me like this man did. I’m moving in a week and a half to St. Louis, and I hope I keep in touch with him.
You have to remember that you may be reaching someone in a place or in a way that you don’t see. I try to always give my best but it is hard, you get beaten down when you think no one cares and you see people day after day that just don’t seem to get it. Always try, always be open to the idea that someone is listening because they need to, because they need to hear what you have to say. We allow ourselves to be amazed, interested, touched, and inspired by others every day, but we have to remember that we too could be that person for anyone we meet.