Thursday, March 15, 2018

Writing About Mental Illness

Mental illness has become a serious issues in many countries. Many writers know nothing or very little about mental illness. Research is important when a character of yours has a mental illness. With so many illnesses out there you must be precise about the affects and the way mental health affects someone's life. It is important to be accurate. Though not all mental illnesses affect everyone the same.

Research is difficult with all the websites out there that say they are legit but aren't. Make sue you find ones that are. It is hard to find them. Try out mental health clinic sites, university sites, old school reference books (yes I know, that takes forever), see if you can speak to a mental health therapist, someone that has a mental illness (Twitter is a good source), or a mental health physician's assistant. These are all great sources.
When approaching someone with a mental illness please ask if they are willing to talk. Many try and hide it. Those I found on Twitter are usually open about it and are willing to help. Make sure they understand that you are only looking for information for your writing and not writing about them in particular. If they believe you will be writing about them it may scare them and not want to help.
Another thing to remember, that two people can be diagnosed with the same illness but very different symptoms, medications, therapy and daily life.
Here are the three I like and know are legit.
National Institute of Mental Health,  Mayo Clinic and Science Daily There are more just look and be careful about what information you use. If someone with mental health reads your book, misinformation could possible upset them.

 The main mental health issues I find in novels are: anxiety, bipolar disorder and narcissism. Antagonists are usually the narcissists, which is good.

Now that you have some information get to researching!

@jesdeh2o on Twitter is open about her anxiety, mild OCD, rage and bipolar disorder. Feel free to contact her (aka ME)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Book Bibles... Yay or Nay?

Over the years I have found that many authors use book bibles. At first I thought it was just for novel series, I know better now. So, this post is going to explore BOOK BIBLES.

What are Book Bibles?

A book bible (also known as a story bible, show bible, series bible, or pitch bible) is a reference document used by novelists, screenwriters for information on a television series' characters, settings, and other elements. Basically it's a handbook of information that allows the writer to create a consistent universe over a number of events or even years/centuries of events.

Why a Book Bible?

The primary goal is to make finding what was said or described in other books in the series, in order to achieve consistency among the books in the series and to save time researching past work.  To that end, it is useful to separate the written words of the books produced (content) from the supporting material.

So if Jane was wearing a purple dress in chapter 1, the description will be the same in chapter 2, 5, 8, etc. if it comes up again.

Things That Might be Included in a Book Bible

I, myself use mine for character, place and item descriptions. I use Aeon Timeline to track dates of events that happen from day to day and century to century. Lately I have been trying out Scapple to see if it'll work for me in my book bibles.
To learn more check out Hallow Land's, A Writer's Blog by Karen Myers It's a blog I follow and learned how to use Scrivener & Aeon Timeline together.
Here are things that are sometimes included in a book bible...
  • The overall concept
  • Ongoing characters - main, supporting, villains
  • The setting
  • The rules of the world you're creating
  • Gadgets and gizmos [if any] and how they work
  • What CAN'T happen in future storylines
  • Format
  • Series tone
  • Series theme
  • An opening story
  • Story suggestions
Here are some timeline programs I found besides Aeon

Word Processing Programs
Microsoft Word
Google Docs

All writers have their preference when writing and they will have a preference for timelines and mapping programs as well. Only the writer herself/himself will know what works for them.

In short, a book bible is a great thing to keep track of everything. Whether it's for a single novel, screenplay or a novel series, it'll help (in my opinion). 

I am not paid for my opinions or referrals to programs and/or websites. All my suggestions are my opinions alone.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Time For Prepping for NaNoWriMo

One month from today we start a 30 day writing frenzy. Are you ready? Have you tried any new apps or programs for your writing? Well I'll start off with ones I know about. If you know more post links in the comments section.

Scrivener by Literature and Latte

Literature & Latte ©

Scrivener is an all in one program for writers. Available for iOS, Mac & Windows. Keep notes organized, outline, write & edit.  Export your finished document to a wide variety of file formats, including Microsoft Word, RTF, PDF and HTML—making it easy to share your work with others. Or self-publish by exporting to ePub or Kindle* formats to share your work via iBooks or Amazon, or for reading on any e-reader.
Another feature I love is the word count option/tracking.
Photo from Literature & Latte ©

I auto-save to Dropbox which means I can open my file from any computer that has Scrivener installed and it'll save the new version. I know others sync with cloud services.
Check them out and see if you might like to use Scrivener. BTW- Scrivener usually offers an extended trial version for NaNoWriMo, normal trial period is 30 days of use...NOT 30 days on your computer. NaNoWriMo version usually ends Dec. 7th of so.

Scapple © by Literature and Latte 

Many think of it as mind-mapping. It isn’t exactly mind-mapping software—it’s more like a free-form text editor that allows you to make notes anywhere on the page and to connect them using straight dotted lines or arrows. You can nest them, so if you move one you move all that are connected. I haven't used Scapple much but I am not a planner.
Since it was created by the same people that created Scrivener you can drag your Scapple notes right into Scrivener. Here is a short tutorial on Scapple. 30 day trial... 30 days of use not 30 days on your computer.

Aeon Timeline

You can model not only the events of your story & the backstory of each of your characters. Keep track of relationships between events and your characters, locations, and story arcs. Visually group events by character, location, or arc (some events may appear in multiple groups), and change this selection at any time. Automatically calculate character ages for every event, allowing you to see how key moments would have affected and shaped your character (this is the one thing I love the most).
Find plot-holes or inconsistencies in your story. Create a custom fantasy calendar if your story takes place off-world, have more than 12 months, 7 days a week, etc. Nested events are there so you can zoom in for a detailed view of individual scenes, or zoom out for a contextual overview of your entire story — or further still for a contextual view of your entire world history. Add your images, external links, notes and research to your events. Filter events by almost anything. Add bookmarks within your story and backstory so that you can easily jump between key moments in time.

Another great feature is...  You can drag documents from your Scrivener project into your timeline, or events from your timeline into Scrivener, and keep the two in sync so that your timeline is always up-to-date with your writing.

Check out the videos to see if you might like this. Click HERE for videos.


This is one I'm not familiar with. Evernote is a cross-platform app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving. Though here is a link to learn more about it. Evernote.

Prepping Food for NaNoWriMo

Here are a few things I do to make meals quit and easy during November... Well I do it almost every month but November is a must. Plan meals ahead of time. I do it for a month but most people I know usually plan for a week at a time. Do it when it works for you.

On the 28th or 29th of October

  • Cook up meat for spaghetti & goulash & freeze it
  • Make up a meatloaf or 2 & freeze it
  • Cook up taco meat for 2 or 3 meals & freeze it
  • Make up freezer meals for my crock pot (slow cooker) Usually I do Sweet-n-Sour Chicken, Beef stew, chicken fajitas, beef fajitas, BBQ chicken, Mongolian beef, Applesauce BBQ chicken, flank steak, and Pre-packaged roast & veggies. Freeze all meals in gallon size freezer bags. Most of your favorite crock pot (slow cooker) meals can be made into freezer meals. If you have questions Tweet me @GetWordies 
  • Make cookie dough balls and freeze them for fast cookies


  •  Make sure all rooms are at least picked up to vacuum
  • Clean out refrigerator
  •  Vacuum
  • Dust everything so you won't look at it and get distracted
  • Clean the bathroom thoroughly
  • Wash bedding, curtains and anything you normally don't. 
A clean place leaves you feeling good and you can write more, usually. I do a total Spring/Fall cleaning every year so October is my Fall month.

On Fridays in November

  • Make up snacks: brownies, cookies, dips, cut veggies, spinach/artichoke dip
  • Make sure kitchen is clean so it won't distract me
  • Get kids organized and plans for the weekend
  • Plan you writing times for the week
  • If you have kids, make up snack cups/lunch box style snacks and lunch ahead of time (each day)
You can get a sink full of dishes done in 10 minutes, I use 10 minute writing breaks for that. I also fold laundry, skim social media and check in with kiddo-2. You'll find you can get tons of household things done in 10 minutes. It gives you that break from writing and you get stuff done.

Evernote, Literature & Latte, and Aeon Timeline are all .