Plotist Writer’s Gift Guide – January 20175 min read
A monthly gift guide for writers
I certainly didn’t get much writing done over Christmas (it’s difficult to write when your hands are filled with leftovers and chocolates), but I did gift and receive the tools to get it done in 2017! Here are my favourite gifts for writers from January 2017.
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A shower notepad
You have no idea how often I hear about this particular author’s dilemma: hitting upon an inspired idea for your story while in the shower or bath, and forgetting it by the time the lovely warm bubbles have evaporated. My partner suffers from shower epiphany syndrome, and I wanted to find an easy solution so he could enjoy a lovely hot shower without having to worry about memory lapses or slipping on his face trying to get to the nearest pen and paper. Luckily, a small company called Aqua Notes seems to endorse the humble shower epiphany, and sells these waterproof notepads for about $7 on their website. We now have one in our household which promises to be the saviour of many a story idea!
A writer’s thesaurus
I was initially told about this set of writers’ thesauruses by a friend who dabbles in romance writing, and thought they might work as an excellent Christmas pressie for a writer friend of mine. There are six currently on offer; I opted for the ‘Negative Trait Thesaurus’ to help her write the perfect villain. Each double-page spread in the book offers you a character trait, say ‘manipulative’, and provides you with synonyms, associated behaviours, positive and negative aspects, and an example from literature. They make a great little reference book to dip into when you feel like you’ve exhausted all your adjectives to death.
I received this beautiful compendium for Christmas, and instantly recognised it as a fantastic resource for writing diverse female characters. The book collects women through history – mythical and real – whose resume’s would almost certainly be rejected by Disney, whether because of the x-rating, the danger level, or simply the lack of ‘Princess’ title. The Griffin-Riding Muslim Queen of California anyone? Or how about the 1st century Sisters who Stomped China? If you feel especially nervous about writing female characters, this book contains many successful recipes for warriors, wives, astronomers, mothers and more.
There was plenty of time for board games over Christmas: personally I revisited Dixit and forced everyone to revisit it with me! As I explained in my top board games for writers post, Dixit is my favourite choice of storybuilding games. It’s light, utterly gorgeous, easy-to- play and a unique source of story inspiration.
Yes, I am one of those pitiful souls who uses candles to help get me through the winter. But I also think these can be great at setting the mood for a good scene-writing session. There are lots of sources of fiction-themed candles nowadays, but I wanted to highlight From the Page on Etsy this month. I picked up her Thornfield Garden candle recently, and in a time of horrid weather it’s repeatedly transported me to a sunlit garden where I can join my characters in a frolicking session.
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