2.02.2016

Download all your Tweets

I came across this article on BlogHer explaining the easy way you can now download your entire Twitter archive. Even if you've been tweeting forever, it's nearly instantaneous and well worth the stroll back down memory lane.

For no good reason, I wrote this post back in 2013 and then never published it. I think I just wanted to add more cute Tweets to it, or maybe delete some. Who knows. I officially give up and am letting it loose into the world! I checked, and downloading your archive all still works the same, AND these Tweets below are hecka entertaining. So, enjoy, and let me know what your favorite old Tweets are if you do this! Newsflash: I have a new author Twitter handle I'd love to have you follow as well: @LaurenWaynecom

In the article, Diane asks what your first Tweet ever was. Mine were RTs — good links but a boring story for the purposes of this post. But my third Tweet made me chuckle:



Still true.

1.18.2016

Creating character & setting sheets for your novel

I mentioned in my post on winning NaNoWriMo this past year that one thing I noticed in writing the second book in my mystery series is how hard it is for me to keep track of minor characters' names and settings. I realized I needed a system in place to handle all these details.


Why make character sheets?

You're chugging along on your work in progress when suddenly your mind blanks. Were your protagonist's mom's eyes blue or brown? Rack your brain no more! Simply consult your handy-dandy character sheets, scroll to the appropriate box, and there it is in print: Oh, right! They were hazel!

If you're writing a series, it's even more imperative to keep track of these pesky details from one book to the next. Remember how long your characters have lived in a certain place, or what jobs they had in the past. Note down when they first met a new friend.

You can make the same type of notations for settings and other details in your stories. Then you'll know where their favorite diner is located, what its name is, and who the surly server is they love to hassle.

The other benefit of having character sheets (also known as character profiles, character questionnaires, character charts, etc.) is that it inspires you to include more description. If you're like me and description is locked into your head but rarely makes its lethargic way onto the paper, having character sheets staring you in the face with slots for eye color and height and so forth makes you want to make decisions about those things and figure out interesting ways to include them. Clever descriptions will bring your novel alive, so it's a boon to have an avenue for mindfully considering what to add to your writing.

So, now that I've convinced you you need them…

How do you make character sheets?

Some writing software, such as Scrivener (a Mac program I used for one NaNo), has built-in capabilities for crafting character sheets. I wanted something more mobile, though, because I often work on my novels (and blogging) when I'm out and about. Most comprehensive writing software (including Scrivener) doesn't have a mobile component that works on my (Android) phone.

Enter: Google Drive. Bam.

I already am writing my current novel in Google Docs, and I transferred my earlier writing there as well. (FYI, I blog on the go using Chrome and the horrifying Blogger app, but I don't recommend either for publishing, just for drafting. They both truly suck for the job, and I will take any suggestions for improvement over them.)

For my character sheets, I also considered Evernote, since it's also readily available on both mobile and computers, but I have problems with the Evernote app being finicky, and I understand and like the functionality of Google Drive. Plus, I realized I could best organize the data in — nerd alert! — a spreadsheet!

Google Sheets to the rescue!

Hope you can kind of see that. You can click on it to embiggen a bit.

1.15.2016

On winning NaNoWriMo 2015



First of all: Woot!

I hadn't been planning to do National Novel Writing Month this past year, but Tree of Write On, Mom! asked if I was going to, and so I did.

I am very suggestible.

The idea popped into my head that I could use the opportunity to do something I'd been meaning to, which was write the second book in my mystery series. And so I did! And now I feel so much better!

It's still a crappy first draft, because I'm working on finishing up editing the first one right now instead of fixing the second, but it's nice to have the story written and sitting there ready to edit. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

It makes me think I should write a novel every other month or so. Maybe every three months, with two off to edit? (This isn't going to happen, but apparently it could!)

11.17.2015

I write like Raymond Chandler

Apparently.



I write like
Raymond Chandler
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



Is it sad to admit I've never read a Raymond Chandler novel? Now I guess I have to!

If you want to see what author your WIP resembles, check out I Write Like. It's just for fun, and a nice distraction from actually writing. Heh heh.

If you need even more procrastination distraction, I recommend finding things like this and other tools and camaraderie at the National Novel Writing Month Participants Facebook group.

1.23.2015

Thank you, Mr. Exposition

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Sam and I are junkies for mysteries and appreciators of the jerk-cum-genius character as showcased popularly in House. So we decided to give Backstrom a watch.

For those who aren't as glued to their screens as we are, Backstrom is a new TV detective show on Fox starring Rainn Wilson. The titular character is presumably fabulous at closing cases but is otherwise a nearly unbearable boor. I found the pilot we viewed problematic for several reasons, one of which I'll talk about here.

Despite that, I'm curious now to try out the original source novels by Swedish author Leif G.W. Persson and have the first on hold at the library. I'm wondering how different the show is from the books. For instance, are the women as vapidly pretty? (/sarcasm)1 Here's an affiliate link to the first in the series on Amazon (the English translation), where you can see the dubious tactic of putting Rainn Wilson's face and full-body silhouette on the cover, a choice that might backfire if the series is canceled.

Anyway, what I'm going to address today is the writing sin of telling readers the background facts in a plodding fashion. There's a scene in which Backstrom goes to his house and says something to the man there along these literal lines: "You're my roommate who's a gay man and who also fences stolen items, which I tolerate because you are my criminal informant. We are not romantically involved."

It's not quite that awkward, but close.

7.02.2014

Make do vs. make due & Without further ado vs. further adieu

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

Make due vs. make do & Without further ado vs. further adieu == LaurenWayne.com

This is one of those times when people try to make things harder than they are. We have certain words in our language that are just so plain that apparently they beg for spicing up.

The phrase "make do" means to manage with what you've got. You don't have to add a fancy "due" to make do with the original.

"Due" is mainly used to indicate that something is owed, which doesn't make sense in this construction.

4.20.2014

Sunday Surf: Where's the money in publishing?

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:

The 7k Report – Author Earnings

What authors are really earning self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, and what’s right for you. Hint: Self-publishing’s earning more for everyone. Really interesting results!
1 WEEK AGO
Finances self-publishing traditional publishing

money
money (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)


An Open Letter to Journalists and Brands About Blogger Compensation | IFB

If you’re doing the work, you deserve to be paid. Tips for bloggers working with brands.
1 MONTH AGO -  2
blogging Finances monetizing 2 notes

Haters and Critics: How to Deal with People Judging You and Your Work - James Clear

How to focus on the positive and respond to the negativity.
1 MONTH AGO
writing criticism blogging reviews comments negative comments

On Professional Editing and Why I Charge My Friends For Advice

So I only work with highly successful highly motivated writers and I expect great things from them. You can’t hire me if you are only dabbling or if you want someone to tell you how great you are. You can only hire me if you are willing to succeed. And you can only hire me if you are going to be so successful that you make back my ridiculously high hourly fees and then some.
1 MONTH AGO
writing editing


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