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7/ Growing your ideas

Style checkers, idea generators, and the tangled vines of footnotes.

David Gane
David Gane
2 min read

Hello friends,

After nearly a month’s hiatus, I’m back with a new essay about story gardening, which I’m very excited to share it with you. After having not written any articles for several weeks, it feels good to be putting fresh ideas down on the page.

I hope you enjoy it, as well as this week’s collection of links.

Writing Tools


A friend of mine (and supporter of this website) mentioned that she’s tried out Hemingway, another grammar checking app, which I don’t remember recommending yet. This one is unique because it focuses specifically on style, which means it will catch your meandering sentences, weak phrasing, and passive voice.

Writing Help


I loved this article by Byrne Hobart on networking for the introvert, a challenge for many writers.

His solution is to become micro-famous by writing articles (or perhaps books) that others want to talk to you about and effectively “outsourcing the extroversion to them.”

At least in my mind, the other benefit is the shift of trying less to write the bestseller and instead focus on the smallest viable audience.

Generating Ideas

This article is a wonderful collection of techniques to generate ideas and embrace your obsessions. I think this pairs nicely with my essay on idea gardening and the slip-box.

Writing Ideas

Notes on Notes

Footnotes on footnotes

This essay on footnotes (or is it a collection of them) is both frustrating and moving. Whether its the articulation on the winding paths of footnotes, its argument for the difficult read (I gave up on Infinite Jest about a third of the way through, but this essay gives me pause to reconsider), or the personal nature of it all, I was drawn down its winding paths.

The Reading

There are so many wonderful newsletters out there for writers, and I thought I’d share ones that I discover. This first useful one is The Reading from Yanyi, which answers short questions on the craft and industry of writing.

Fun Stuff

Eating your book

This is one unique approach to promoting a book.

Merlin Sheldrake did a video of himself eating the mushrooms that sprouted from his book, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, & Shape Our Futures.

They were delicious: I couldn’t taste any off notes, which suggests that the fungus had fully metabolised the text.

Oh my!


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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