Category Archives: Writer’s Muses

The Demise of Livejournal & Migration to Other Shores

More than a decade ago, I started out blogging on Livejournal.In that time,  I met tons of friends, many fabulous writers, talented artists.  Many of these people are still my friends today. I even purchased a permanent account when they were being sold for very little money.  Back then, Livejournal was the place to be – more than Twitter and MySpace – Facebook was barely a backwater bulletin board at that point. Or maybe it hadn’t even been invented yet.  At any rate, Livejournal was an important beginning as to what social media was to later become.

Livejournal changed hands a couple of times and was later bought by SUP, a Russian company that has very strong ties to the Kremlin.  Almost immediately that the site came under Russian ownership the spam bots were let loose. Having a permanent account, I was mostly protected, but from time to time I would get spam commentary, some of it with malware links attached.  I set my comments on screened and the problem went away for a time.   Now, everything has changed. The servers for Livejournal are now residing in Russia.

Now there have been even more changes.  The servers for Livejournal now reside in Russia. What’s more is that Livejournal has just recently changed their user agreement so that in order to continue to use the site, you must agree to Russian law.  Part of that law is most adamantly against the rights and even tolerance of LGBT folks.

This morning, I got up and deleted all of my communities on the LJ site.  The only exception was Writers_Muses,  a prompt community that had prompts and responses every week.   A little over a year ago I ported Writer’s Muses over to Dreamwidth, mirrored it over on Pan Historia, and just a few hours ago, Writers Muses is its own dot com, hosted here on WordPress.  Soon the community that remains on Livejournal will be deleted.

I know that it’s going to be hard, but I also intend to delete my permanent account on Livejournal as well.  SUP isn’t making any money off of me anyway. I will probably just need a few more days in order to gather up the rest of my “things” before closing that door and walking away forever.  I am quite excited about Writers Muses moving on to possibly better things. I have a client quite interested in my prompts, and there is a Writer’s Muses writing prompt book in the works.   I also suspect I will be doing some video work and setting up a video channel for it as well on YouTube. So many things that can rise up from the ashes that are now smoldering somewhere in Russia.

If anyone needs any assistance in porting their content from Livejournal over to Dreamwidth, or if they are curious about PanHistoria, or want to follow the Writer’s  Muses blog, please feel free to drop me a line at fannyfae at gee mail dot com.  I will be happy to help.  It’s hard to leave those memories and those friends behind, but the future could be even brighter, I think.

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Filed under dreamwidth, livejournal, panhistoria, politics, racism, rants, Writer's Muses, writing

Character or Muse Questionnaire

This list is from some years ago.  Some of you may remember the heady days when Livejournal was the place to experiment in writing all kinds of fiction.  They have since moved to other sites such as Dreamwidth, Insanejournal, and PanHistoria, to name just a few.  For those of us who are writers who work with fictional characters and muses, this list of character traits helps gets OOC: I know that some of us who work with Muses and characters all of the time sort of struggle to get a handle on them.

For those of us who are writers who work with fictional characters and muses, this list of character traits helps get them down on paper. One thing that I and others who work with characters or muses have noticed is that keeping a journal at hand to get a handle on the flood of information we get about them. Sometimes those characters will just throw information at us in a flourish and it’s easy to miss or forget those important details.

The following is a questionnaire that I compiled from several sources, most of them come from writing courses I have taken in college, or from books. This list is more exhaustive than most you will find online. Most of the questions below will apply to your character or muse, while others may be questions for you, the writer to answer.   Have fun and play with it!
Character/Muse Questionnaire

Name:
Nicknames:
Age:
Birthdate:
Place of Birth:
Height:
Weight:
Body Type:
Physical Condition:
Eye Colour:
Hair Colour and Style:
Distinguishing Features (choose at least four):
Physical imperfections they would like to change:
Characteristic Gestures:

Country of Origin:
Race:
Ethnic Group:
Religion:
Married / Divorced /Widowed:
(First, Second Third, etc. and how long for each)
Spouse’s Occupation:
Children:
Family Background / Lineage:
Father’s Current Status (Living or Deceased):
Mother’s Current Status (Living or Deceased):
Years of Schooling:
Major and Minor Studies in College (if applicable):
Degrees:
Grades achieved in school:
Special Occupational Training:
Skills, Abilities, and Talents (Name at least four):
Areas of Expertise (Name at least three):
Current Job or Occupation:
Moonlighting or Past Occupations:
Military Experience:
Short-Term Goals (3-4):
Long-Term Goals (3-4):
Short-Term Needs (3-4):
Long-Term Needs (3-4):
Personality Type:
Introvert or Extrovert?
Eccentricities:
Quirks:
IQ:
Method of Handling Anger or Rage:
Admirable traits:
Negative Traits:
Bad Habits / Vices:
Predjudices:
Pet Peeves / Gripes:
Things that Make Uncomfortable or Embarrass:
Most Painful Things in One’s Life:
Ever Been Arrested (if so, for what?):
Arrests, and Convictions: (list types of convictions & time served for them):
Medical Condition:
Political or Social Issues Important to your Character:
Opinion on Abortion:
Opinion on Environmental Issues:
Opinion LGBT Equality:
Opinion on Military Intervention:
Opinion on Progress:
Opinion on Crime and Gun Control:
Opinions Particular to Character:

What kind of government does your character live under? Democracy? Monarchy? Dictatorship? Theocracy? Do they support their government? Apathetic toward it? Rebelling against it?
Political Party:
Liberal, Conservative, Centrist, or Radical?
Income:
Do they have a sense of humor? If so what kind?
Fears (3-4):
Phobias:
Manias:
Physical Illnesses or Chronic Disorders:
Mental Illnesses:
Hobbies:
Personal Interests:
Sports:
Favorite Pastime(s):
Favorite TV Show(s):
Favorite Movie(s):
Favorite Music / Favorite Band /Singer:
Favorite Travel Destination:
Pets:
Why / How did they acquire them?
How Important Are They?
How do they treat pets? Wild animals, etc?
Drinks Alcohol? If so, how often?
Favorite Alcoholic Drink:
Favorite Food or Meal:
Favorite Book(s) and Author(s):
Diet (Rich, low fat, cholesterol, restaurant, etc):
Favorite Restaurant/Ethnic Food:
Grooming:
Posture and Movement: Walk, etc.:
What is the most attractive feature about your character?

What turns them on?

What turns them off?
Traumas, Psychological Scars from the Past:
Clothing Styles, favorite kind of clothes:
Favorite Pet Sayings / Words:
Speaking Style – do they have an accent? Describe it:

Are they loud or soft-spoken?
Philosophy on Life:
Close Friends – who and how many?:
Best Friend:
Other Friends:

Enemies:
What experiences shaped your character the most into who they are today?
Home – do they live in a house, apartment, condo, other? Describe what it’s like:
How is it decorated?
What is their neighborhood like?:
How do they travel? Is it by foot, car, horse or other?:
If they drive, do they drive fast or slow? Do they obey traffic and other laws?:
Major Problems that your character face. How do they intend to solve or overcome it?:
Minor Problems?: What and how to deal with them?:
Attitudes about Money:
Dancing? Do they know how? Do they enjoy it?
Do they like being outdoors or indoors most of the time?
If your character has a partner or spouse, how do they get along with each other?Children?

Do they have any children?
Parents:
Siblings:
Do they get along with their neighbors?
How do they deal with those who are higher in society or more successful than they are?
How do they deal with those who are lower in society or less successful?
Sleep Patterns:  Do they sleep well? Fitfully? Not at all?  Who do they sleep with?
When do they get up in the morning?
What awakens them?  Is it an alarm clock? Rooster? Dog, Wife or Parent? Kids?
What do they do normally eat for breakfast?  Do they read the paper? Talk to spouse or children? Rush out the door?

Do they read the paper? Talk to spouse or children? Rush out the door?
What is your character’s normal routine around dressing? Is it difficult? Easy? Meticulous?
Does the morning fill your character with anticipation or dread?
Does your character like their job or hate it? Do they give their work honest attention or avoidance?
Would He or She rather be doing something else?
If so, What?
How long and hard is the work day
Do they stop for lunch?
Where?
Eating what typically?
With Whom?
Does He or She Enjoy the Meal?
What does it Consist of?
What Goes on During Dinner? (Conversation? Fighting? Reading?)
Who Cleans up?
What does your Character do on a typical Evening?
Where?
With Whom?
How Much Does He or She Enjoy it?
What Would they prefer to be doing?
Why Doesn’t He or She Do That?
What id the evening atmosphere like?
Bedtime: Does he or she go to bed consistently at the same time?
What Time?
With Whom?
When does bedtime occur at a different time?
Do they fall asleep right away?
If No What is He doing in the meantime? Reading? Watching TV? Sex? Tossing and Turning?
How Much do they enjoy this activity
Does He or She dream a lot, little or never?
Are most of his or her dreams scary, pleasant, sexual, etc?
Is any dream that they have a recurring one? What is it about?
What is his or her earliest memory?
If they were to suddenly become much richer, what he or she do with the money?
What is his or her stated dream in life?
What does he or she really long for?

What event are they most afraid of possibly happening?
Who does he or she in their wildest deepest soul really love best in the whole world?
What would he or she be willing to die for if anything?
What does he or she believe about God or the Divine?
What do they believe is the purpose of life?
Do they believe in an afterlife?
What does he or she actively work to gain or keep or protect – or not?

Do they merely say is important, but actually invest time and emotion in – money, fame, family, love, country, revenge, etc.?
How would he or she describe himself or herself if totally honest?
In a single word, how would YOU the writer sum up this character/muse’s attitude toward the world, interested, optimistic, defeated, Exploitive, compassionate dissatisfied, power mad, controlling, happy, etc. ?

Would your character or muse agree with your assessment?
Why or Why not?

Do you like your character or muse as a person?
Sources:
Dynamic Character”: How to Create Personalities that Keep Readers Captivated” by Nancy Kress, 1998, Writer’s Digest Books
“Building Believable Characters” by Marc McCutcheon, 1996, Writer’s Digest Books

“Getting Into Character” Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors” by Brandilyn Collins, 2002, John Wiley & Sons

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Filed under dreamwidth, fanfiction, fiction, livejournal, nanowrimo, panhistoria, reblogged, Writer's Muses, writing

Writer’s Muses: Prompt Set # 1

1. What did your mother tell you to never do? Write about the first time you broke that rule.
2. Write about an unanswered prayer or ungranted wish.
3. A year after his death…..
4. “Paranoia is just reality on a finer scale.” – Philo Gant, “Strange Days”

5. Who would you die for? Would you prove it?
6. Question to the Writer: What was the stickiest entanglement your character ever faced?

7. Photo Prompt

tornado

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Introduction to Writer’s Muses

writing_smAbout 7 years ago, some writer friends and I started a writing prompt community on Livejournal. We did this because one was desperately needed. We wanted it to be an answer to other writing / character-centric communities various blogging venues. Those of us who were there were looking for new and interesting ways to stretch our characters and to dig down deep into who they were and are wanted to create a compelling reason to show up at the page – and so Writer’s Muses was born. It was well received and copied many times over.

Time and the social media landscape being what they are, however, Writer’s Muses along with the scores of other sites fell to the wayside. Following the incredible amount of encouragement from past members of the sites  over at Livejournal, Dreamwidth, PanHistoria elsewhere , we decided to repeat that past success if possible and do it here on my blog, as well as on past venues – and with social media links on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Bloglovin’.

How it works
Each week will feature a series of writing prompts.  In the past on the Livejournal and Dreamwidth communities we had a minium word count of 150 words.  It wasn’t a hard and fast rule because we know that sometimes certain characters that we write tend to be very short and sweet with their responses, and so those are acceptable, too. The key to  Writer’s Muses prompts was for members to simply enjoy the process and want to show up at the page.

After picking a prompt, write it out in your blog or even your physical journal.

A good format to follow is the one that we set up for our members, but you can do it any way you like of course!

Prompt Set #, Prompt Number and Letter( if applicable), and the Title.

An example would be:
1.1 – What Mother Told Me Never to Do

Some of us add the name of the character, the fandom and the word count. such as shown here.  It can be listed at the top of the entry or most prefer it to be beneath the entry like this.

Muse (Character):Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology
Word Count: 454

You can add your own tags for muse names, subject and the like .   The key is to have fun!

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Character Questionaire or Muse Intelligence Dossier

This list is from back in the days when Livejournal was the place to write.  For those of us who are writers who work with fictional characters and muses, this list of character traits helps gets OOC: I know that some of us who work with Muses and characters all of the time sort of struggle to get a handle on them. The following is a questionaire that I compiled from several sources, most of them come from writing courses I have taken in college, or from books. This list is more exhaustive than most you will find online. Most of the questions below will apply to your character or muse, while others may be questions for you the writer to answer.   Have fun and play with it!
Query me, baby!

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Filed under dreamwidth, fiction, livejournal, panhistoria, Writer's Muses, writing