Archives pour la catégorie Top 4

TOP 4 : [How to ] Create a list (To do not included)

We all make lists almost everyday : to do lists, grocery list, people we need to call lists. They are tools, they rarely last for long. Since I’ve lanched the Great Book of list event a couple days again, based mainly on emotional and inspirational lists, I won’t deal with to do’s ins this article because they are so specific, they call for an entire category. Let’s talk about long lasting lists with a great value

They require attention and call for a different approach than the brain dump.

1/ Title, date, place
These elements help to give perspective to the information lists contain. they  and might motivate you to update it. A kid luggage checklist changes every 6 months, especially in the early years.
If the list is meant to appear on your blog, you might want to add a tag.

2/ A precise theme
The more precise it is, the greater value it gives to the list.

Let’s keep the luggage check list example. Luggage check lists vary depending on whose luggage it concerns and where  this person is heading to. A general luggage checklist won’t really have a great value if used by everybody in the household.
The same goes for emotional lists. For example,  classmates list; it just gives one type or information. »Favorite classmates list » provides more information.

3/ A minimum of 5 entries
It’s a personal point of view, there’s no golden rule saying you must write at least 5 items in a list but 5 is a good number to reach for.
First, because it will provide you a good amount of information, ready for you to use or reflect upon later. Second, because by the time you’ll hit your fifth item, more ideas are likely to pop up in your mind.

4/ With a personal spin
List prompts are everywhere. If they do not inspire you, maybe you can give the prompt a little twist that’ll ignite your creativity.

For example, let’s take a Favorite movies list. Too vague or maybe too long to write ? You can turn it into Favorite cross over movies (where all the MCU movies could find a spot 😉 ). Or maybe Favorite movies shot in New Zealand by someone else than Peter Jackson.

The list is yours, it’s more important to enjoy doing it than to stick to the letter of the prompt.

TOP 4 : How to craft a great villain

Make him the hero of his own story

Your villain isn’t just a plot device, it’s the direct opposing force to you main character. When working on his persona or writing a scene where he appears,, don’t forget his point of view. As a character, he is fighting to achieve his goal and your main character is the way of his achievement.

If you start thinking of your vilain this way you’ll soon start to write him differently, you’ll take his goal and motivations in consideration, you’ll start to wonder why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’ll get more profound and more interesting.

Give him doubts

A villain who has no doubts joins the club of the dumb ones with a winning monologue which only results in defeat. The quickly forgotten ones. Give your villain time to doubt, question his decisions, eventually back off or come back full speed.

Not only will you give your readers hope that things won’t get too ugly for your main character but you’ll also win a great share of endeared readers who have shared the same type of dark time in their life.

Give him qualities

A villain is a character, not necessarily a monster. he is also the opposing force to you main character. he must have qualities to sustain his positions and challenge your main character. Why should you readers care about a villain that has no qualities ? Why should your readers care about a villain that is no that threatening after all ? A good way to do it ti to pick the quality that is the opposite of a villain you have no respect for. I personally do not like villain that are dumb. So I tend to craft them smart.  

Give him the cool toys

What’s the interest of being a villain if there is no cool items involved ?
Those will of course vary depending on the context of your novel but If your villain does not intrigue your reader, he will fall flat and come off as a simple plot device. So, while you’re brainstorming on your story, try to think of anything really cool, something you’d like to have for yourself and give it to your villain. You’ll enjoy writing him a lot more and this will reflect on the page.

NB : I use him in the article to refer to the villain, but the exact same tips apply for a female villain

Tuesday Top 4 : Top websites on writing, a guest spot by Kris Moore

I met Kris during Blogging 201 and I have decided to ask her if she’s like to do a guest spot on my blog. She ha agreed to share with us her top 4 resource websites she checks when she’s in need of some answers about writing.


In the world of writing, one can always expand, always sharpen and hone the skill. From everything I’ve learned, these websites are my top suggestions to grow and mature, no matter what writing level you may be on.

stephen-king-francois-sechet-paris-06Who better to learn from, then The King himself…Stephen King? In his 56 plus year career, Stephen King has rocked the writing world again and again. I strongly suggest, picking up his novel: On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft. Below is a link of his top 20 rules.

WDvert_color_400x400Another great source is Writer’s Digest. Veterans of 90 plus years, you can’t go wrong with their ingenuity. Anything you could possibly want…will be here. Q & A’s… they’ve got you covered. Publishers, Literary Agents, Writing tips and much, much more.They’ve got you covered.

DIYMFA_teal_logo-Header3Building the infamous plot, oh how I wish it were that easy. I particular like using a plot map. This method allows you to easily identify unneeded scenes. Or how about adding those brewing in your head.  At a glance, you can maintain or tweak plot threads and pacing, very beneficial. This map of Chapter 1/Scene 1 from my Novel, Nyx, Shadow of Light is a great example. Orange signifies the main plot; red and blue signify subplots. This was all orientated from the link below. To read more… kmplotmap

bartlebyLast, but not least, check out Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. Grammar is a pain, I know, but this manual breaks down the rules to easily skim through and easily brush up where you may be lacking. This website is an insight, otherwise I strongly suggest picking up this book as an arsenal in your “how to” library.


With all the great material out there, every author needs to be on the up and up!

Top 4 : Exercices de développement de personnages


Nous connaissons tous les fiches de personnages, on peut en trouver de nombreuses versions sur Internet. Courtes ou longues, elles vous garantissent de développer des personnages avec de multiples facettes, dans me moindre détail.

Si c’est une bonne méthode pour commencer de développer une histoire, je pense que, souvent, ce n’est pas suffisant pour créer une véritable connection avec mes personnages principaux et leur offrir l’histoire intéressante qu’ils méritent.

Je vous propose aujourd’hui 4 exercices qui m’aident beaucoup à trouver la voix de chacun de mes personnages et à entrer dans leur tête.

dreamcatcherLe rêve
 :  J’essaie de savoir à quoi ils rêvent, ce qu’ils veulent plus que tout, ce qui leur donnera l’énergie de se lever et de se battre. Ce rêve est la clé de l’histoire, ce qui leur donnera la motivation pour agir et se mettre en danger. Cela doit être quelque chose d’assez puissant et d’universel pour intriguer les lecteurs et les motiver à lire l’histoire jusqu’à la fin. Cherchez l’émotion la plus intense et la plus sincère qui soit.


9355090806_80b6faabc7_cL’interview, le journal :  Je me mets dans la peau d’un journalistes et je pose des questions à mes personnages. J’écris leurs réponses dans un fichier word. Des surprises et des revirements intéressants apparaissent lorsque je suis assez détendue pour écouter la voix de mes personnages. De cette manière, ils me donnent beaucoup d’éléments.


doll-499003_1280Writing a letter :
They spoke to me, now It’s time I spoke to them, hence the letter. I tell them everything I intend to give them in the story. Think of it like a job application letter in which you tell your future boss what’ll you’ll do for him. Thinking of your main characters as real persons with a potential  interest to appear in your story will help you treat them better, offer them nice entrances in the text, nice exit if need might be, beautiful scenes. Be eloquent enough to get the job.


free writingFree writing : Once I have done all the 3 previous steps, I start writing scenes with my character and others from the same story. It helps me define their dynamic and narrow down their speech pattern : long or short sentences…imperative ? descriptive ? How do they move, how do they talk.

This is  my learning curve, the warm up before jumping in the manuscript. I have written many of these little snippets of texts over the last two months in order to prepare for NaNoWriMo.



This post is an answer to today’s assignment in Writing 101 course : Mine your own material. I was inspired by my post Dear villain in my novel

Top 4 : My favorite Character design exercises


We all know character sheets, you can find many of them on the internet. Short or long, they guarantee you to build full fletched multi layered characters by developing all the details of their lives.
While it is a good start when developing a new story,  I think it’s often not enough to connect with all my main characters and offer them the interesting story they deserve.

Here are 4 exercises I do during the character design phase that help me connect with my characters and find their voices.


dreamcatcherThe dream :
I try to find out what they want, what they dream about, what will give them the energy to rise and fight for what they want or believe. That dream is the key the story, what will give them motivation to act and put themselves in danger. It has to be something powerful and universal enough to intrigue and engage the reader.


9355090806_80b6faabc7_cVoice Diary/ The interview : I ask questions to my characters and write down their answers in a word file.Surprises and interesting twists happen. When I’m relaxed enough I just “listen” to the character’s voice. This way, you character will tell you a lot of things.


doll-499003_1280Writing a letter :
They spoke to me, now It’s time I spoke to them, hence the letter. I tell them everything I intend to give them in the story. Think of it like a job application letter in which you tell your future boss what’ll you’ll do for him. Thinking of your main characters as real persons with a potential  interest to appear in your story will help you treat them better, offer them nice entrances in the text, nice exit if need might be, beautiful scenes. Be eloquent enough to get the job.


free writingFree writing : Once I have done all the 3 previous steps, I start writing scenes with my character and others from the same story. It helps me define their dynamic and narrow down their speech pattern : long or short sentences…imperative ? descriptive ?How do they move, how do they talk.

This is  my learning curve, the warm up before jumping in the manuscript. I have written many of these little snippets of texts over the last two months in order to prepare for NaNoWriMo.



This post is an answer to today’s assignment in Writing 101 course : Mine your own material. I was inspired by my post Dear villain in my novel

Tuesday Top 4 : Books I read to prepare NaNoWrimo


Today, I decided to share with you some of my writing companions : books on creative writing. The followings are my all time favorites. They do offer methods and tips you can actually learn, understand and reproduce, based on well known books and films.


OOnWritingn Writing, Sol Stein : One of the most classic among the classics. Sol Stein lists the mistakes he often sees as an editor and explains how to fix them. I like his very pragmatic approach and multiple examples that help improve your writing. It’s chapter on dialogue and dialogue set ups and tags completely changed the way I write them.


MakeASceneMake a Scene, Jordan Rosenfeld : If like me you are a planner, this book will help you cut your plot into scenes and craft them according their nature and place in the book. I really like the fact that objectives to reach are listed in each scene section. Loose rail tracks, exactly what I like.


writing-subtext-linda-seger_mediumWriting subtext, Linda Seger : One of my all times favorites. It shows you how to imply instead of showing and usually, the result is pretty powerful. The first part of the book itself is so useful to help you wave subtext into you work that it’s worth the price by itself.


from2kto10kFrom 2k to 10k, Rachel Aaron : This book taught me a lot of things about knowing myself as a writer and organize my writing work. I never reached 10k a day but I did reach 5k on several occasions. It covers everything from taking a scientific approach to How to improve your productivity to novel plotting and revisions. Don’t hesitate.

Tuesday Top 4 : Writing Apps and sofwares

scrivenerScrivener : My favorite software for my novels. I can gather my outline, character sheets, researches and my manuscript in a single file. It needs a little time to learn bit offers a lot of useful features : worcount target, isolated writing, name generator…

Download :

Price : $45 (search the web, you can find coupons)



scapple_logoScapple : 
Created by the same company than Scrivener, this free writing app allows you to drop and organize your ideas. Contrary to other mind mapping softwares, you do not need to start with a central idea. It’s very intuitive and I use it a lot when I create a new universe. I can write and link all the different elements.

Download :

Price : $17



ommwriterOmm Writer : It was created by communication agency executives who had to solve their copywriters problem: focus. The result ? a small app who offers an immersive and visual writing experience.

Your creativity is stimulated via bacjkground colors for the writing window, different wallpaper options, fonts, sound effects and music. 

Ommwriter is on fullscreen mode to help you focus on writing. it also offers very few options to play with. The goal is clear : you’re her to write


Price : $6 minimum



google driveGoogle Drive : I use it for short fiction and blog articles. I can access it from anywhere with wifi or via my smartphone. Google Drive offers many possibilities : create files, fill them with docs, tabler folders or slideshows. I can upload many types of files (pictures, video, zip).

I can share my texts, invite other people to read or give feedback.

Price : free


Tuesday Top 4 : Logiciels et applications d’écriture

scrivenerScrivener : Mon logiciel de prédilection pour mes projets de roman. Dans un même “projet”, je peux réunir mon plan, mes fiches de personnages, mes recherches et mon manuscrit. Il demande un (tout) petit temps de prise en main mais il a plein de fonctionnalités hyper utiles : suivi du wordcount, mode écriture isolée, générateur de noms…

Téléchargement :

Prix : $45 (il y a de nombreux coupons de réductions disponibles sur le net.)



scapple_logoScapple : Développé par le même éditeur que Scrivener, ce logiciel d’écriture libre vous permet de ‘jeter’ vos idées et de les organiser. à l’inverse d’un logiciel de mind-mapping, vous n’avez pas besoin de partir d’une idée centrale. Il se prend très rapidement en main. Je l’utilise beaucoup lorsque je crée un nouvel univers; il me permet de noter les différents éléments et de les relier entre eux.

Téléchargement :

Prix : $17



ommwriterOmm Writer : Il a été développé par une agence de com qui avait besoin de régler les problèmes de concentration de ses créatifs. Le résultat ? Un petit programme qui vous propose une expérience immersive visuelle et sonore.

Votre créativité est stimulée par les options de couleurs proposées pour le fond d’écriture, les fonds d’écrans possibles, les polices de caractère et la musique d’ambiance. En effet, vous tirez un maximum d’Omm Writer si vous avez votre casque sur la tête.

Votre concentration est favorisée, car Omm writer va occuper tout l’espace de votre écran et ne proposer qu’un minimum d’options.
Le parti pris est clair : vous êtes là pour écrire.

Téléchargement :

Prix : $6 minimum



google driveGoogle Drive : Je m’en sers pour mes fictions courtes et mes articles de blog. Je peux y accéder de partout où je peux me connecter à internet via wifi ou à l’aide de mon téléphone. Google Drive permet de créer des dossiers et différents types de fichiers (textes, tableur, présentation) et de télécharger presque tous les types de format (photo, video, zip).

Enfin, je peux partager mes textes, inviter d’autres personnes à les lire ou les commenter.

Prix: gratuit


Le Top 4 du mardi : se motiver à écrire grâce aux mantras

Le top d’aujourd’hui est fait vous motiver à écrire et conserver cette motivation.

Dans ce domaine, je trouve que les mantras peuvent être d’un grand secours. Ils vous aident à rester concentré dans la vies quotidienne se fait un plaisir de mettre de battons dans les roues de votre inspiration.

Voici mes 4 préférés  : 

wonder-woman-533663_640Croyez en vous : 

Plus facile à dire qu’à faire, je le sais, mais croire en vous est la première chose qui vous emmènera jusqu’à la fin de votre projet d’écriture. Pensez que vous pouvez le faire et vous y arriverez. Personne d’autre que vous ne peut écrire l’histoire à votre place tout simplement parce qu’il s’agit de votre projet. Peu importe les obstacles, si vous êtes convaincu de pouvoir mener le projet à son terme, vous le ferez.

keyboard-690066_640Soyez productif :
Oui, c’est le grand secret. Si vous voulez réussir et atteindre le but que vous vous êtes fixés, il faut y travailler tous les jours.
Commencez petit, par exemple 100 mots par jour.
Quoi qu’il en soit, faites-le.
Tous les jours
Vous allez vous amélioré et développer votre muscle créatif. vous découvrirez des trésors  en vous et dans votre écriture.
Au bout d’un moment, abandoner vous semblera tout simplement bête.
Parce que vous aurez grandi en tant qu’auteur et que vous aurez réalisé tant de chose, un jour après l’autre.
Et ça commence aujourd’hui. Asseye-vous à votre bureau et écrivez. recommencez demain, et le jour suivant et celui d’après encore, etc.
Cela se transformera en habitude d’écrire, inclue dans votre vie quotidienne.

sparkler-839831_1920 Viser l’excellent : Oui, rien de moins.
Le génial est en fait tout ce que VOUS trouvez excellent.

Essayez de trouver les histoires, les livres, les films et les séries télévisées qui vous parlent le plus, celles et ceux que vous adorez. Prenez vos préférés. C’est votre excellent. Ajoutez de la bonne musique et un peu d’art dans le lot, votre but sera encore plus excellent.

Ensuite immergez-vous dedans, laisser tous les éléments de l’excellence infuser votre travail et améliorer votre écriture. Et même si vous pensez que votre écriture est nulle (ce qui nous arrive à tous à un moment ou à un autre), la bonne nouvelle est qu’elle peut s’améliorer si vous écrivez des histoires qui vous touchent et que vous aimez. Dans ce cas-là vous n’abandonnerez pas. Faites le pour vos histoires, vos personnages, vos lecteurs (même si pour l’instant il n’y a que tata Paula), et faites le aussi pour vous-même. Vous le méritez amplement.

sport-204547_640N’abandonnez jamais : Oui, vous avez reçu des lettres de rejet. Ce ne sont pas les premières et certainement pas les dernières. Et ça fait mal, je pèse mes mots.
Pourtant, chaque rejet vous rapproche de votre but. Si vous abandonnez au milieu de votre courbe d’apprentissage, il ne restera que ça, une courbe imaginaire stockée quelque part dans votre subconscient. Il ne restera que ça et une passion qui s’est transformée en frustration.
N’attendez pas que votre muse vous tape sur l’épaule pour vous mettre au travail. Montrez-lui que vous êtes disposé à écouter et à travailler sur ce qu’elle vous donnera.  Continuez d’écrire et votre inspiration se transformera en histoires qui compterons pour vous et que vous terminerez.

Tuesday Top 4 : Self motivation writing mantras

Today’s top is entirely about building momentum in our writing experience and keep it high. In this matter, I find mantras and  can be very helpful. They keep me focussed when life get in the way of my writing and challenges me.

Here are my 4 favorite ones  : 

wonder-woman-533663_640Believe in yourself : Easier said than done, I know but it’s the first thing that is going to carry you up till the end of your writing project. Believing that you can actually do it and that you will. Nobody except you has the ability to write your story down, because… it’s YOUR project. Whatever the obstacles, if you believe that you can write this story down, you will.

keyboard-690066_640Be productive : Yes, that’s right, the secret is out. If you want to succeed and reach the goal you’re settled on, you have to work on it, everyday.

Maybe just a little like 100 words a day.
But do it.
You’ll get better, stretch your creative muscle and find unexpected treasures in you and your writing. After a while, quitting will seem silly to you. Because you will have grown so much as a writer and because you will have achieved so much, a day after another.

And it starts today.
Sit at your desk and write. Do it again tomorrow and the day after and so on. That will lead you to make time for your writing and build a writing habit. Include it in your daily life.

sparkler-839831_1920Reach for awesome : Yep, no less.
The awesome is what YOU find  awesome.
Try and find the stories, books, movies and TV series that speak the most to you, that you absolutely love.
Pick your favorite ones. Add in some music, radio, art in the mix, Your awesome will grow even more awesome.
Then, binge on it, get inspired and let the awesome factor infuse in your work and make your writing better. Even if you think  your writing sucks (we all do at some point), the good news is : it can get better if you aim to write the awesome stories you love so much.
When you write about what you like in a story that matters to you, it’s lore likely you’ll stick to it.
The stories deserve it, the characters deserve it, your readers deserve it (even if it’s only aunty Paula), and you deserve it too.

sport-204547_640Never give up : Yes you have been rejected and will be rejected again and again and again.
And that stings to say the least.
But, each rejection gets you closer to your goal. If you give up in the middle of your learning curve, then, it’s only gonna be that, an abstract curve stocked somewhere in your subconscious. And you’ll have no stories written and only a passion that turned into frustration.
Don’t wait for your muse to show up if you to show her first that you’re ready to work on what she’s giving you.

Stick to your writing and you’ll find inspiration, you’ll find the stories that matter to you the most and  write them.