Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Writers And Readers Websites Wednesday - Look at those Titles

Couldn't resist. This week I have for you a website that's a Title Generator. Yep it cranks out random titles. 

I'm not saying you'll find a perfect title here, but it sure is amusing and can help the brain get into gear and crank out your own fabulous titles.  A little kick-start never hurt.  Might even turn over a 'title' that sparks a whole story idea.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ebooks And The Reader And Writer

Hey, I’ll bet you already knew or guessed that Ebooks are changing reading habits all over the place. It’s sort of a tidal wave and I spotted an article on USA Today  printed just this month that confirms it with statistics. (We all love statistics, right?)  

Numbers, percentages?

All that’s great, but what it all boils down to is the simple fact that more people are reading (wow, Is that great or what?!), more people are writing, more people own EReading devices and the ways in which they discover their reading materials are changing as well. Fewer people prowling the aisles in bookstores (probably not so good for the bookstores and we sure want to keep them). More people learning about books at places such as,, local libraries who ‘lend’ digital editions and other locations (good for Ecommerce).

Looks like, from the ‘statistics’, that 40% of adults now own an Ereader or tablet of some sort and the numbers are only growing (having already more than doubled in less than the last two years).

Surprising? Not really. I mean how great is it that you can carry virtually your entire library on a small, not too heavy, device? That you can read in the dentist’s office, on the bus or train or plane and practically everywhere else without needing to tote along a cumbersome stash of books or magazines? You have choices right at your fingertips; fiction, non-fiction, short stories, educational, magazines, whatever you like. Additionally with many of the newer readers such as the one I got recently the Amazon Kindle HD   you can even plug in the earphones and listen to your own personally selected music while you read. And, when I want, I can email myself (an address Kindle provides) PDFs that I might want to be reading ‘on the road’.

It’s all right there in your hand (you just have to remember to keep it charged!)

There was a time when I went on trips with books and magazines crammed into my carry on luggage – now I tuck in my Kindle. I’ll be going to Hawaii for a lovely cruise next year and already I’m downloading the music I want on the device and will make sure to have the books and magazines downloaded before I go (in case  have no access to wireless in places).

And yes, I still love physical books. I have a physical library in my home. I still buy hardcover editions of some books – but I’m not the least bit disturbed when I can find a book I want only in Ebook edition.

When I have leisure time I love to hold one in my hand and turn the pages the good old fashioned way. It seems to me that there is plenty of room for both. It just seems to me that ultimately the physical book will be more relegated to real leisure time at and much more will be on my EReader so I can easily take it with me. Hey, I have to admit, the cost differential is definitely an influence as well.

And another thing that is key for me is the ease with which I can get a book I’m looking for. If someone tells me about a book and I want to read it, a quick search online, a purchase and a quick download and I’m reading. No need to call or run all over town looking for it. Accessibility – it’s opening up the world. And as a result people, including me (who was already an avid reader) are reading more.

And it looks like that ‘more’ includes a good uptick in reading of science fiction or fantasy (yay! I write in those genres and I'm discovering new authors like M Pax who writes science fiction and Luke Romyn who writes fun paranormal adventure) as well as mystery, crime and romance in the top tier.

So from my viewpoint, it’s all good. How about you? Have you jumped into the digital reading revolution?

Let me know what you think, whether you have an Ereader of some type, where you think it’s all going, I’d love to hear

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Writers & Readers Websites Wednesday - Gotta love those Generators

Here's one site - Serendipity  they offer several generators. Site had some problems with hackers but they're coming back strong.

Offering a variety of random text generators. 

There are a lot of generators out there – this one is a good addition to those you may have already bookmarked. I find generators come in handy for kickstarting ideas for lots of story angles.

This one currently has:
Fantasy Titles
Character names

- and will be adding more as they recover from the attack of the idiots.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tips For Editing What You Write For the Earnest Writer

You’re a writer and let’s face it, editing probably isn’t your favorite thing to do. No surprise there. But there are some guidelines I keep I mind that make it easier for me and might for you as well.

First I keep in mind that there’s a time for writing and there’s a time for editing. There’s no doing both at once, it just won’t work. I have to turn the crazy writer lose to get that story written and out there. If I try to edit at the same time and keep second-guessing myself it’s far too easy to become overly critical about what I just wrote. So take my advice, tell your inner critic to shut up until the story is actually on paper. Time to edit later.

When later arrives I do, however, read what I’ve written over and over and over until I’m nearly darn well sick of the whole thing. There are times when I have to let it rest in between and then go at it again.

BUT, and it’s another big BUT, there’s a fine line between tweaking and editing the writing you’ve just created to death. Really, don’t do it. Learn when to stop and maybe let someone else read it and provide some feed-back.

Write tight. I suspect most authors have a hard time cutting their own work. I know I do. There are some ‘precious babies’ in there! But, when in doubt cut the words. And bear in mind you can probably cut as much as 10 or 15 percent of your word count pretty easily. One book I had published was cut, by me, by more than 25 percent. Get an ax and have at it.

Never trust your spell checker. Seriously. Just don’t. The checker is good to locate the obvious for a quick and dirty edit. It won’t catch things like their, there, they’re, or if typing quickly things like Ties in place of times or horse in place of house or a myriad of other little mistakes.

Read your writing for clunky, overlong and just downright irritating sentences. Sentences with lots of commas, semi-colons and convoluted points to make. You know the ones. They’re the sentences that have to be read several times just to figure out what’s happening to who. Or who said what to who. Find them. Kill them. Cut them down to size. Read your work out loud, you’ll find them easily.

A professional editor isn’t a bad idea. But if you have friends you can convince to read the writing in progress, print it out and ask them to scribble notes. I’ve found that’s the best way. Yes, your victims could just receive a word document and add their comments with the tools in the program and I won’t say that wouldn’t be productive. But there’s just something about a printed page in front of a person that seems to make finding the rough spots all that much easier.

Think about these suggestions implement them with your writing and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Writers And Readers Websites Wednesday - Pick The Brain

Pick The Brain ~ 10 Writing Tips from the Masters

Many of these are amusing, but they’re no less helpful for writers struggling with getting the story right and informative to readers as to what goes into writing that great novel you’re reading.

Other Posts Of Interest:

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