Everybody Loves You, and When Good Things Come From Bad Things

Everybody Loves You, and When Good Things Come From Bad Things

I shared this story and video at a work even the other day, so if you were there, don’t read this post — you’ll be bored! Read a different post. Or get a cup of coffee. Whatever you want to do. I’m not trying to run your life.

Last year, I helped organize a series of events at my company celebrating the written word. One of the events was really just my thing. It was called Poetry on Video. I spent a long time curating great poetry videos on youtube and from other places — a couple of hours’ worth total. People were supposed to be able to come in and watch a few or a bunch, and come and go as they pleased.

I reserved a big room for the event, set up with 200 chairs.

Four people came.

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WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU’VE Been Up to!

WIP Wednesday Bryn Donovan

Hey there! Late last week I did a poll to ask you what I should work on for NaNoWriMo.

To be honest, I had planned on starting the second book of a paranormal romance/urban fantasy trilogy, but I had begun to ask myself things like, “Would anyone but me get into this trilogy concept?” (Arguably a better question to ask before beginning book one… ) So I put it on the poll with other story ideas that I’ve played around with a little. I actually liked all the ideas, so I was up for whatever.

But hey, the trilogy idea won! (Just barely — the idea I wrote about 100 pages on last summer came in second, so I’ll probably finish that project at some point, too. 🙂 )

So I’ve just started writing book 2, and I’m going to share an excerpt. I hope you’ll share a paragraph to a page of whatever you’re writing lately in the comments!

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WTF Should I Do For NaNoWriMo?

You know how it is when you just finished a big project and you’re trying to figure out what to do next? That’s where I’m at, and I need to decide fast, because NaNoWriMo starts on Sunday!

Want to vote? Sure you do! Please don’t second-guess what I would enjoy — just pick the one you actually like best.


[polldaddy poll=9144790]

Feel free to elaborate in the comments. And if you want to talk about what you’re working on, go ahead! Thank you!

ETA: Although I don’t have a favorite, it is ridiculously exciting to see people vote!

MASTER LISTS FOR WRITERS Officially Releases Today!


I’m so excited to announce the launch of my reference book for writers! Master Lists for Writers grew out of some popular posts on my blog, but most of the content is new. Whether you’re getting ideas for a brand new story, developing your characters, or searching for the right words as you write, I think it’s going to be a great resource.

It’s 270 pages in print. It’s available at Amazon in print or ebook versions, and at Barnes and Noble in ebook version as well. I hope you like it!

The easiest way to decide if it sounds good to you is to take a look at the Table of Contents. Check it out after the jump!

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Master Lists for Writers by Bryn Donovan

The people who get my newsletter already know about this! I’m really excited about it. My book MASTER LISTS FOR WRITERS: Thesauruses, Plots, Character Traits, Names, and More is going to be for sale on Monday, October 26.

This book is designed to help people get inspired, stay inspired, vary their approaches, and most of all, write faster. I can’t stand it when I spend so long searching for just the right gesture, phrase, or description that I lose my momentum!

It began as some of my most popular blog posts, including Master List of Facial Expressions (longer and better organized in the book) and Master List of Physical Descriptions. Here are some of the other lists:

Master List of Emotional Descriptions (vivid ways to convey emotion)

Master List of Evocative Images

Master Lists of Sounds and Scents, for evoking settings

500 Words for Writing Action Scenes

175 Master Plots (Romance, High-Stakes, Family, and Workplace)

50 Character Goals and Aspirations (useful for plot development as well as character development)

25 Plot Twists

25 Plot Points That Crack Readers Up

50 Ways to Show Attraction and 50 Ways to Show Animosity

50 Ways to Show a Character Is a Good Person and 25 Ways to Show a Character Is a Jerk

Words and Expressions from Medieval England and Victorian England (for writing authentic historical dialogue)

100 Positive Character Traits, and 100 Negative Character Traits

100 Character Quirks

lists of contemporary character names, and historical names from many eras…

Plus a lot more!

The great thing about lists is that they spark your imagination. You can use anything right out of the book, and the lists will make you think of many other possibilities, too.

This book has been a true labor of love, and I think it’s going to be a great resource for fiction writers in any genre as well as scriptwriters. I hope you check it out!



Feeling Famous at the Hallmark Gold Crown Store

My day job is Master Writer at Hallmark Cards, and I don’t blog about it too much, but this summer has been so fun and exciting that I can’t resist. Hallmark introduced four studio collections, each one featuring the work of someone on their creative staff, and one of those collections is mine! (Yes, Bryn is a pen name, but I prefer to use it on the blog 🙂 )

These cards came out of project I worked on in summer of ’14. It was a few weeks after my kidney donation surgery, and I was ready to come back to work early, but my surgeon recommended working at home for a week first. Because I had thought it would take me longer to recover, the studio hadn’t scheduled me to do anything. So I worked on a little collection of quirky and positive messages. I had no idea they would turn into my own card line!

Here are a couple of my favorites from the collection! (They are a bit hard for me to photograph in my studio at home because they are so shiny 🙂 )

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 7.20.30 AM IMG_3404

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WIP Wednesday – If Your Story Had a Clickbait Internet Headline, What Would It Be?

WIP WEDNESDAY - Clickbait Headlines

This isn’t my clever idea — it is author Kelley Lenhart’s, and I borrowed it with her kind permission because I thought it was so much fun!

The idea here is that you come up with an alternate title for your book as though it were a clickbait headline for an article on the internet instead. You know those headlines. I think Upworthy may have pioneered them, but lots of people use them. They’re like:

This Guy Got Kicked Out Of The Gym. His Response Is Brilliant.

What Happens When a Cat Meets an Iguana? You Won’t Believe It!

This Is No Ordinary Dance Recital… At :41, My Jaw Drops.

Here’s one that fits my story.

He Was Going to Kill Her For Being An Evil Witch… What Happened Next Will Melt Your Heart.

What clickbait headline would you give your WIP? Let me know in the comments! And feel free to link to your blog, if you have one!



WIP Wednesday – Share What YOU Are Up To!

WIP Wednesday

Last month I asked people to share a bit of their work in progress–and they did! It was so much fun and so inspiring, so I’m doing it on the first Wednesday of every month.

I’ve been working really hard on a nonfiction book, so I’m going to share a paragraph from my completed paranormal romance, The Phoenix Codex, which is the first in a planned trilogy. It still really is a work in progress, because I’m always fiddling with it and making tiny changes. Is that the way you are, too? The poet Paul Valery said once that “A poem is never finished – only abandoned,” and I think perhaps a novel is never finished until it’s published.

Anyway, here’s a little bit of it!

His gaze on me was steady. “What are you thinking about?”

“You’re the mind reader,” I said.

A whisper of a smile crossed his face. “I can’t do it without physical contact.”

My heart stuttered. “That’s what I was thinking about.”

He crushed my lips under his in a fierce kiss. Immediately, my mouth parted under his, inviting him to go deeper. Liquid heat poured through me.

Breaking off the kiss, he tugged my lower lip between his teeth, and a small sound came from the back of my throat.

I was still sitting on the edge of the low bed. He stripped off my tank top and knelt between my knees, the better to give and to take. His mouth assaulted mine again, one of his hands cupping the back of my skull, his thumb grazing across my jaw. He hauled my hips to fit against him and through his jeans, his emphatic hardness pressed against me.

I wrapped my hands around his back, then froze as I touched his stitches. Fearing I had caused him pain, I moved my hands to his shoulders instead.

Please give us some of what you’re working on in the comments! You can give us some context, or none, as you like. Less than a page, please, but if you want to share something shorter, that is fine. Last week I said five sentences, but that really wasn’t enough for people. I hope your writing is going great!

WIP Wednesday – Share What YOU Are Up To!

WIP Wednesday, Bryn Donovan's blog

A couple of times in the past, I’ve shared excerpts from a writing project in progress. Since some people reading this blog are writers themselves, I thought this time I’d try something different.

I’m only going to share five sentences from the thing I’m working on – and I’m inviting you to share five sentences from your own work in the comments! You can give as much context as you want – or no context, if you prefer to be mysterious.

Please limit it to five, but feel free to link to a bigger excerpt or a post about your work.

Here’s mine. It’s from the beginning of the story, as you can probably tell. And it’s a draft, so this might change!

“He’s beautiful,” the lady staring at Gryffen breathed. Her chestnut-brown eyes, fringed with long lashes, travelled over his form of weathered stone. “And he’s so big!”


Gryffen adored how she said he, even though it would have been more accurate.


She lifted her rapt face, just inches away from his, to study his features.

Can’t wait to see snippets of what you’re working on. I hope your writing is going great!


WIP Wednesday!

A little while back, I shared an excerpt from the paranormal romance I’m writing. I didn’t share the beginning, however, and later thought that maybe I should have! So here’s the opening to the book!

I am in final edits now, and I am super excited about it! It’s hot and funny and action-filled and angsty and and pretty much everything I was hoping it would be.


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