Bring Your Favourite Historical Character to Life on Twitter

You can find real celebrities on Twitter (with the checkmark after their name).

But, you can also find dead celebrities, famous people and others created by someone with an interest in history or just having a lot of snark. I also follow a few who post from the point of view of people living in a specific period of time, like Victorian women.

If you have an interest in a particular celebrity or famous person try searching for the name on Twitter, see what comes up.

If you created a historical fictional account yourself, who or what time period would you mimic? 

Historical Tweets – outdated database but still useful.

Talk Like Maxwell Smart, Agent 86

get smartDo you remember ‘Get Smart’?

Adams gave the character a clipped, unique speaking style. Feldon said, “Part of the pop fervor for Agent 86 was because Don did such an extreme portrayal of the character that it made it easy to imitate.”[citation needed] Adams created many popular catch-phrases (some of which were in his act prior to the show), including “Sorry about that, Chief”, “Would you believe …?”, “Ahh … the old [noun] in the [noun] trick. That’s the [number]th time this [month/week].” (Sometimes the description of the trick was simply, “Ahh… the old [noun] trick.”), and “Missed it by ‘that much.'”

From Wikipedia: Don Adams.

Take the Maxwell Smart idea and play with your words:

“Ahh… the old dog in the coffee trick.”

“Ahh… the old houseplant in the lifeboat trick.”

“Ahh… the old pizza in the hand cream trick.”

See more about Get Smart:

Cold Reading – Writing Backwards

Cold reading is a series of techniques used by mentalists, psychics, fortune-tellers, mediums and illusionists to determine or express details about another person, often in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do.[1] Without prior knowledge of a person, a practiced cold reader can still quickly obtain a great deal of information about the subject by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readers commonly employ high probability guesses about the subject, quickly picking up on signals from their subjects as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, and then emphasizing and reinforcing any chance connections the subjects acknowledge while quickly moving on from missed guesses.

via Cold reading – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Choose a character you have already written (or use the idea to help you create a new character) and create a cold reading based on the facts you have given the reader about that character.

Street Photography: Fashion Photography of the Ordinary

I see a lot of street photography when I look at photographs and sites that interest me. But, I never really felt they were interesting photos until today when I found the photos from Vivian Maier, vintage street photography.

Looking at those ordinary people from the 1950s was fascinating. I started with one photo and then clicked for another and another and another. Soon I had spent 20 minutes looking at street photography. I was surprised. Then I realized, street photography is like creating a snapshot of our lives, a time capsule that can be opened any day.

Without knowing the people I could see the character and the role they played in life. Seeing their background was more important than it seemed at first. The background shows other people, fashion, buildings, products for sale, and so on. Without seeing a date on the photograph you could guess when the photo was taken and where (in a general way).

I have new appreciation for modern street photography and street photographers now. We don’t have time machines so we have to record our own history as we live it.


Street photography gives us a look at ourselves, in our current time and (with vintage photos) our past.

Write a Novel in 30 Days

Writing Novels

Free eCourse from SuteU.

By Sara McGrath


You can complete a novel of at least 50,000 words within thirty days while receiving the guidance through this course. You’ll learn to write for quantity and quality while you steadily increase your word count, advance your story, and give your characters, plot, and theme the added impact they need to catch the eye of an agent or editor.


Lesson 1: You Can Write A Novel in Thirty Days

You can write a novel of at least 50,000 words in thirty days even if you have a day job, a social life, and a toddler. I know this because I have all three. In this first lesson, I’ll discuss being a writer, scheduling your writing time, finding inspiration, and staying motivated. Then we’ll start writing. Continue reading Write a Novel in 30 Days

Writing Mysteries

Originally posted to SuiteU, part of Suite101. SuiteU is being removed from the site. I wanted to save the ecourses so this resource would not disappear.

Writing Mysteries

By Janet Blaylock

Janet Blaylock writing on Helium


What are your favorite genres? Romance perhaps? Maybe it’s Adventures or Comedies? How about the more intense genres of Mysteries, Detective Fiction, Suspense, Horror, or just good old Thrillers? Have you ever wondered how they are written? How the author builds up the suspense and the excitement that keeps you turning those pages right to the very end? If you do, then you will probably find “Writing Mysteries” intriguing. In the previous course, “Mysteries,” you learned about the different writers such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie; or the later writers such as Catherine Coulter, Nevada Barr, Sara Paretsky; or the famous authors of suspense or thrillers such as Mary Higgins Clark, Tess Gerritsen, Stephen King, and John Grisham. They have learned the essence of a good thriller/suspense book. When you first pick up a book and you say to yourself, “This looks like a great book.” They have already captured you and will now hold you hostage until the plot is inevitably revealed. Finally, you say to yourself, “Wow, I wish I could write a book like that!” Well, you can! You will learn about the elements of fiction writing such as settings, themes, characters, plots, etc. You will also learn how to write mini-mysteries and short stories. The information you receive in this course will help you to write your first novel, so lets climb on board and let the suspense begin! Continue reading Writing Mysteries

Character Development

This is originally posted to Suite101 University which has been closed and is due to be demolished soon. I wanted to keep the content I’d like to read again myself.
Character Development

By Linda Orlando
IntroductionWhen I was writing my first book, I went searching for tips and techniques from more experienced writers. I wanted my book to be the best it could be. I even joined a writer’s book club and read as many books about writing as I could. I found books on plot, dialogue, even how to write a novel in thirty days. But I found little information available in the many, many writing books on point-of-view or character development. Point-of-view was covered in several books but only in a very superficial manner, just a basic definition of point-of-view and a hard-and-fast rule on which was best. Most of the books I found about character development were generally written from the perspective of character traits or personality. I even found a book that was set up like a thesaurus. It included descriptive terms for physical features, clothing and accessories. Continue reading Character Development

Don’t Turn Your Back on that Garden Gnome

Here we are, surrounded by snow at this time of year. It’s a nice time to think about Spring, which I know is coming, eventually. It just takes it’s own time; keeps it’s own schedule. Sort of.

I’m thinking of a garden setting for a scene. It’s early morning, the dew is still on the grass. If you walk out there you will have soaking wet feet. But, it does leave pretty cool footprints.

Way out there, in the corner of the back of the backyard, is that old rattan garden furniture. It’s been left under the big tree and probably needs some looking after now. But, it is kind of useful for sitting under the shade when it gets really hot in summer. Those hot days the plastic furniture will burn your butt and leave those big wide stripes on your bare skin. I’m not a big fan of summer, but that’s another story.

I’d like to write a story about garden gnomes some time. They really should have some kind of secret life and a secret society or something. Garden gnomes… far worse than moles and much scarier than zombies. For one thing, they have a lower reach. You won’t even notice that sweet garden gnome until it trips you with the garden hose and starts offering your brain to the lurking zombies, collecting your blood to sell on the black vampire market. Aren’t you feeling just a bit more suspicious about garden gnomes now?

Of course, they could live in garden sheds… but that would be too predictable. Anyway, not everyone has a decent garden shed and garages just don’t cut it. Those are for cars and their associated gremlins.

A real garden gnome lives in garden furniture. If you want to appease your garden gnome have a look in the garden furniture shop  for something nice. The links today are from Bridgman garden furniture. Gnomes think the imported stuff is fancier and we do want to keep them impressed, happy, less likely to gnaw off our fingers. Find some fancy garden furniture for your gnomes. Get them thinking everything is good, then try to trap them. But, beware, trapped garden gnomes are not happy garden gnomes. Really, there isn’t much you can do with them at that stage. You just know they are going to get out again. You can try to transport them far away. I’ve heard one guy mailed off his garden gnomes, all the way to some tiny village in the back roads of China. They were back in a week, with a new accent and some Karate moves.

Don’t think you are safe just because you have never bought or brought home a garden gnome. Don’t suffer such false hope. The garden gnomes are there, in your yard,  dead heading your flowers just for fun.

Give a character to something we usually think of as harmless or mildly silly (mice, fairies, mail boxes…). It’s kind of fun.