Browsing Tag

writing tools

Tool Time Tuesday: Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS)

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS)

Platform: browser (and paper!)

Cost: Online: $39/yr ; Book: $60-70

What it does: CMOS is the style bible for fiction (though it’s not all about fiction). Most publishing houses use CMOS rules as part of their house style.

As a writer, knowing the rules and guidelines of writing lets you write stronger prose. It also allows you to decide when it’s appropriate to break those rules and guidelines to their most effective use.

The online version is really simple to use too. It allows you to search within the entire CMOS for whatever it is you’re trying to find. It covers everything from basic grammar and punctuation to citing online sources. In it, you’ll learn that Dumpster should be capitalized, since it’s a trade name (like Kleenex), not a generic name. Didn’t know that, did ya? 😉

But if you’d rather have an in-your-hands version, they also put out a hardcover edition. The 17th edition of CMOS will be published on September 5, 2017, and can currently be pre-ordered either on the publisher’s site or Amazon (links below). If you’re not married to being completely current in your style, you can find the 16th edition for cheaper. The 17th ed comes in at a whopping 1184 pages, so make sure wherever you order it from, you’re getting free shipping!

The online version is currently the 16th and 15th editions (you can choose when you search), but I suspect they’ll update to 17th not long after the hard cover comes out.

Also, here’s something kinda cool. Interested in seeing what the very first edition of CMOS looked like? They’ve got a pdf available for you to check out!

Where to get it: Online Subscription or Paper – 17th edition (Amazon)

Do you use CMOS?

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

Keep writing!

 

 

 

All images courtesy of Chicago Manual of Style.

Tool Time Tuesday: CoSchedule

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: CoSchedule

Platform: web

Cost: variable; for most: $30/month (annual plan), $39/month (month-to-month)

What it does:

Allows you to send and/or schedule social media across multiple platforms easily and helps you with scheduling blog posts on WordPress.

That’s the short description of what it does. I’ve used other social media platforms like TweetDeck and HootSuite; and they’re great, but I like CoSchedule better. There’s no option for bulk upload, meaning that you can’t just dump all your social media posts into a spreadsheet and upload. But the inconvenience of that lack is inconsequential when put up against all the great features, many of which are not available in those other services.

Calendar view — this is one of my favorite aspects. I can see, at a glance, how many social media posts I have scheduled on any given day, what type they are (one-off posts, social media campaigns, pimping out my blog posts), and which platforms each are on. And if I need to change the date? Simple — drag and drop the scheduled post to a different day. That is so much easier than having to go in manually to each post I want to change and revise the date accordingly.

Social media campaigns — Got a new book coming out? You can create an entire campaign, scheduling social media posts exactly when you want them to go out based on your publication date (or any date you decide). And what’s more, even when what you’ve scheduled has run out, you can go back into that social media campaign and simply add more posts. Another fantastic thing about social media campaigns is that if you move the opening post, all the posts after will move relationally. So if you had set a later post to go up 5 days after the initial post and you move the initial post, the later post will still go up 5 days after, not on the original date it was set for. I can’t tell you how much time this has saved!

WordPress integration — When I create and schedule a blog post on my site, CoSchedule automatically picks it up on the next sync. Or I can schedule the post on CoSchedule directly. It will create the WP post and then give me a link to click to take me to WP to write the post. There’s also a WordPress plug-in that will let you create your social media for CoSchedule right in your Edit Post page of WordPress. Or you can come back to CoSchedule and do it there. However you decide to do your workflow, CoSchedule will handle it.

Analytics — The analytics for the basic plan aren’t particularly robust, unfortunately, but one thing that is very handy is that CoSchedule will show you which of your blog posts has gotten the most traffic and it makes an easy task of creating more social media posts for those blogs.

There are a lot of things I really love about CoSchedule that I haven’t mentioned, like the Headline Analyzer and all media kits and other educational materials. But I especially love the time it saves me. It’s absolutely worth the price.

Where to get it: Check it out at the Coschedule website!

Have you tried CoSchedule? What do you think?

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of CoSchedule.

Do You Only Make Your Target Word Count During NaNoWriMo?

Craft of Writing, Writing

Motivation and Procrastination

Some writers have the drive to write even when they’re not at the computer (or the notepad). For some, they’ll ignore most of the rest of their life in order to get their words done. I’m not really like that. When I’m not writing, I forget that I like to write. This is especially problematic for me when I’m in editorial mode for clients, because it’s more challenging to get back into creative mode, which causes me to forget for even longer that I like writing.

My Struggle with BICHOK

As an editor, I advise my writerly clients to get their Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. You’ve probably heard that or something similar, if you frequent any sort of writer groups, whether in real life or on Facebook or some other social platform.

As a writer, I struggle with this myself. For some reason, I put off writing, as if it’s a chore like doing the dishes (which I also put off! lol). It’s really not until I’m in my chair and actually in the midst of belting out words that I realize how much I missed it and wonder why I waited so long to get back into the chair. And you’d think that when I make this revelation that the next time I have a plan to sit down to write, I’ll remember it and be excited. But no, I still think it’s doing the dishes. *sigh*

My Most Productive Writing Time Period

I was lucky enough to be able to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree at Seton Hill University. During this program, students have a required page count that they are responsible to write each month. This number is decided on in conjunction with the student’s mentor for the semester, so it’s not arbitrary and the student has input in the decision. The common amount is 30 pages per month. There is also a critique group of, usually, two other students to whom a student sends these pages as well. So, at the least, you have three people every month who are waiting for your words.

As you might imagine, the years I was in that program were the most productive of my writing life.

If You’re Like Me…

…you do much better when you know someone is waiting for your work. I think this is a common issue for writers. It’s easy to push our writing off in favor of doing something with the kids, binge watching a few more episodes of Supernatural, reading the new Stephen King book, playing Halo, doing game night with friends, or even *gasp* doing the dishes. Sometimes it seems like we’ll do anything else aside from writing. Even when we know how much we like to do it.

But when there’s someone who’s looking over your shoulder, watching your progress…

Well, that changes everything.

A Tool to Help — AAMP

AAMP is the Author Accountability Mastermind Program. It’s designed to help you by giving you someone else to be accountable to. Essentially, you have your own personal cheerleading drill sergeant. 🙂

Why I created AAMP

At the beginning of the year, I joined the Single Malt Mastermind, which is helmed by Matthew Kimberley, who’s a fantastic sales and marketing instructor in the entrepreneurial space. While I was somewhat skeptical as to whether it would be useful for me, I was happily surprised. Having someone who watched what I was doing, even if he wasn’t directly involved at all, helped in making me much more productive. Knowing I had to write that email at the end of every week helped me keep my head in the game.

How does AAMP work?

AAMP is modeled on Matthew’s program, but structured a little differently and tailored for writers. There are two versions. A semi-automated version and a more personalized version. Whichever version you choose, you will receive an e-mail each Friday with writing tips, tricks, and/or advice. Then, depending on whether you’re a RockStar or a MegaStar, you’ll fill out a survey or reply to the e-mail directly.

RockStars will know that I’m reviewing the survey responses and I send out e-mails randomly to members for encouragement, help, or just to touch base. RockStars won’t get a personal response every week, but may get one any week.

Megastars have a slightly different path. They don’t fill out a survey. Instead, they reply directly to the e-mail and answer three questions. In the early part of the next week, I sent MegaStars — all MegaStars — a personal response.

Whichever version of AAMP you choose, I’m there, keeping tabs, checking in, and cheering you on!

When you can get access to AAMP

AAMP officially launches on August 1. That’s right. Just one week from tomorrow! There will be membership bonuses and a discount for everyone who signs up on Opening Day!

Want to make sure you’re in the loop?

Tool Time Tuesday: Mid-Year Review

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

We’re going to do things a little different this week. We’re going to have a recap of the TTTs we’ve had this year. So if you missed one, here they all are:

January

We only had one TTT post in January, because it was a new feature, so Scrivener has this section all to itself! Scrivener is — hands-down — the best writing environment for me, and a lot of other authors. If you’ve found it intimidating, don’t worry. You don’t have to learn everything about it. Learn what you need to do your work, and don’t worry about the rest.

Tool Time Tuesday: Scrivener

February

The spotlight for February was on two of my absolute favorite tools ever: The Writing and Revisions Tracker Spreadsheet by Jamie Raintree and Write or Die 2 by DrWicked. The spreadsheet, if you missed that TTT, lets you track both word count of your draft and/or number of pages revised, not just for one project, but eight! If you geek out on spreadsheets like I do, you don’t want to miss this one!

Write or Die 2 is a fabulous tool that will show you exactly how many words you can write in a given time frame. This can be really important for planning your writing time, particularly if that time is limited. Plus. you can proudly boast of how many words you can get down in an hour when you’re actually writing and not cruising around Facebook 😉

Tool Time Tuesday: The Writing and Revisions Tracker Spreadsheet

Tool Time Tuesday: Write or Die 2

March

March saw a couple organizational tools: OneTab and Aeon Timeline 2. OneTab is great for organizing and keeping tabs on websites you want to read or have handy. Instead of keeping dozens of tabs open in your browser (I’m not the only one who does that, right? … Right?), you can send them all to OneTab and still have access to them later.

Photo courtesy of OneTab

Aeon Timeline 2 is amazing for keeping track of your story’s timeline, scenes, your characters, and the relationships between your characters. You’ll find it really helpful especially if you’re very visually oriented.

Tool Time Tuesday: OneTab

Tool Time Tuesday: Aeon Timeline 2 

April

Duotrope had April all to itself, due to my travel schedule. Duotrope is a subscription site which houses a database of markets, particularly (but not exclusively) for short stories. You can get information on the submission call, deadlines, guidelines, and if enough people have entered their information, how long it generally takes to get a response, how acceptance-friendly they are (or how exclusive, depending on your viewpoint), as well a lot of other information.

Tool Time Tuesday: Duotrope

May

We had another single-TTT month in May. And it was Writing Inspiration Month here. I posted about Ancient Origins, a website that tends to fire my imagination, even if its headlines are a little click-baity. There are a lot of interesting bits about archaeology, history, sociology. And it can fire your imagination to ask, “What if…?”

Tool Time Tuesday: Ancient Origins

Did you utilize any of the TTT tools this year? Got any writing-related tools or websites that you just can’t do without? Drop a comment below and let me know!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jamie Raintree.

Tool Time Tuesday – Writing Inspiration Version: Ancient Origins

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: Ancient Origins

Platform: browser

Cost: $0

What it does:

I love websites that kick start my creativity, that inspire my muse, and spawn ideas. Writing inspiration is a big thing for me!

I ran across this website because someone retweeted an interesting article. And then I got lost down the rabbit hole!

Now, I don’t take everything on this site as gospel. The titles are a bit click-baity and the writing is definitely sensationalist in nature. However, the stories are interesting. I use it as a jumping-off point. I find cool history to delve into, fascinating stories of people and events, fun posts about weird tools and implements.
This isn’t just for historical writing though. If you’re writing fantasy, you can definitely get ideas for how to create your governing system, or events that you can model for your own civilizations. There are some nice articles about unexplained phenomena — these can be the basis of horror stories, fantasies, or mysteries. You can take an old mystery and either modernize it or set a detective story in that era. You could even have that mystery come to haunt us in modern times.

You can definitely find some great writing inspiration here 🙂

Check out some sample headlines from Ancient Origins:

She Met the Devil, Escaped a Dragon, and Survived Several Attempts on Her Life: The Remarkable Story of St. Margaret of Antioch
Tibet’s Valley of the Kings: What Hidden Treasures Lie Within This Imperial Tibetan Graveyard?
The Ancient Kingdom of Colchis: A Legendary Land of Plenty, Conflict, and the Golden Fleece
The Brutality and Delicacy of Samurai Armor: Superior Protection with a God-like Aesthetic

Can you find writing inspiration in those? I can see it without even having read the articles! (But I do want to read the articles 😉 )

Where to get it: Click the linky

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Ancient Origins.

Feeling Like a Writing Failure? 5 Tips to Overcome That Mindset

Writing

So much about having a writing career, whether it’s your main career or a supplemental career, can seem as if it’s about failure. Not finishing stories, rejection, years of writing without finding commercial success. It can be difficult to remain committed, enthusiastic.

Yes, a career in writing can be difficult. But so much of it is about mindset. It’s about how you frame the things that happen.

Last week, we talked about achieving goals. But what happens when you don’t achieve the goal? How do you manage when the story idea you thought was awesome turns out not to work as well as you’d expected? Or how do you keep writing when that short story has been rejected for the 28th time?

In an industry that is marked by hard work — yes, writing is hard — and rejection, how do we take those “failures” and keep going?

Framing, Reframing, and Mindset

The first thing I try to do is reframe my “failure.” You might notice I keep putting that word in quotes. It’s because I’ve discovered that failure isn’t concrete. It isn’t universal. I get to decide what is a success and what is a failure. If I decide that something isn’t a failure, then guess what? It isn’t.

My favorite thing to de-failure is rejections.

Wait, what?

I know, that sounds weird, right? How can a rejection not be a failure? I could tell you that it’s because not all rejection is about the work. Sometimes agents or editors will reject because they just contracted a similar piece. Or because they have enough of that genre. Or maybe just because they’re feeling overloaded and don’t want to take anything new on unless it *really* grabs them. None of that is an indictment on the work.

I could tell you those things. But really, it’s because when I finally started sending my work out, I decided that there are a certain number of rejections between me and the acceptance. And every time I get one, that’s another one out of the way. I get to mark it off the list. So, in this case, rejection is actually success.

I’m very good at mind games on myself! 🙂

And why not? So much of writing is perseverance. If I have a chance to choose whether something is positive or negative, how does it serve me to choose the negative, the thing that hurts my feelings and makes me sad or upset? I suppose if I responded to negative with renewed vigor in that “I’ll show you!” sort of way, choosing the negative would serve me. And for some people, that’s an awesome way to do things! For me, though, the negative is truly that. It can freeze me in my tracks. So why should I choose to do that to myself?

Instead, I choose the positive and use that to create momentum for my life. There are so many instances where we can choose the positive spin rather than the negative spin, but we tend to default to the negative. I don’t know whether that’s because we’re human or because of the way we’re socialized. Regardless, we don’t have to do that in our writing!

Mindset isn’t just about playing these mind games with yourself, though. What happens when you don’t reach a goal, like a daily word count? Say you’ve decided that you’re writing 500 words per day. And then you miss a day. Not for a valid reason, but just because you decided not to write that day.

Are you the type of person who then decides not to write the next day too, because you’re already behind and so what’s the point? Are you the type that will beat yourself up for missing so much that you make yourself too miserable to write the next day? Do you make legitimate-sounding excuses for why you didn’t write (which, in turn, makes it easier to make excuses in the future for not writing)?

As you might imagine, none of those are particularly productive. What can you do instead?

5 Tips for Overcoming Failure

Forgive yourself

Getting rejected or struggling with a story — or any other thing that you feel didn’t happen the way you felt it should have — is not a reflection of your worth. Forgive yourself. It’s very important not to spend a lot of time reprimanding yourself or feeling bad for missing your goal. All you do is make yourself miserable and then how much good work will you get done? Not much, more likely.
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Why be defeated twice, once by our mistakes and again by our attitude toward them?
~~ Lowell L. Bennion

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Assess why you didn’t make your goal

One of the first steps to fixing a problem is to figure out what went wrong. So what went wrong? Did you not have enough time to write? Or did you not manage your day well enough to get your writing done? Were you just being lazy? Were you too stressed out to write? Be really honest with yourself here. If you were just being lazy, then admit that. No one else is going to judge you and you’ve already forgiven yourself. So be honest with yourself about the real reason, because knowing that is the only way you’re going to be able to address it.

Brainstorm ways to avoid whatever problem caused you not to make your goal

This can be something as simple as putting aside fifteen minutes at a set time each day to write. Or something more complex, such as creating a punishment if you don’t do your writing. Perhaps every time you don’t write, you must donate $5 to a charity, cause, or organization you would never support. If you’re not writing because you’re stuck, consider working on a different project. Or creating a big brain dump of all the things you *could* do in your stuck story.

Make a list of all the things you’ve brainstormed here. They’re all tools in your writers’ toolbox.

Hang out with writers

Writing is solitary. Even when we collaborate, the actual writing is solitary. If you’re in a rut, go find your tribe. Let the enthusiasm and excitement of other writers rub off on you! You might go to a writers conference, a Meetup group in your area, or even just find a Facebook group for writers. Let your tribe invigorate you!

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BICHOK – Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard

Sit your butt down and start writing. Even if you’re writing, “I hate writing” over and over again. Even if you’re writing about how you’re having trouble writing. It doesn’t matter. Just get back on that damn bike and pedal!

What are ways that you come back from failure? Share with me below!

Tool Time Tuesday: Duotrope.com

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

This week’s TTT is more about a resource than a tool.

Today’s Tool: Duotrope.com

Platform: web browser

Cost: $5/month or $50/year + 7 day free trial

 

What it does: Duotrope has been around for a long time as a database of short story markets. You can find magazines, e-zines, and anthologies that are looking for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and even art.

Duotrope has a great search function that allows you to search by genre, market type (magazine, antho, etc), payment/royalties level, and a lot of other options.

If you’ve already got some stories written, or if you’re looking for inspiration, you can go to the Theme & Deadline Calendar. This gives you a listing of the publications with chronological deadline dates (upcoming) and the theme of the stories their looking for. I’ve used this for inspiration more than once!

Probably one of the most useful features beyond the search function is the ability to see how long a market takes to respond and what their acceptance rates are. Now, this isn’t reported by the market itself, but by Duotrope users (which means it’s only as accurate as people’s participation).

When you get a response from a market, you go to their Duotrope page and click the Submission/Response link on the right. It will take you to a form where you can enter all the relevant info: the piece of work you submitted (which you have to enter on a separate form, but which is kept, so once you enter it, if you submit to multiple markets, you can just choose that work), when you submitted it, when you got a response and what that response was. Then Duotrope compiles that information along with other people who’ve entered the stats (provided there is enough input data) and displays the totals on the market’s page.

For example, you can see stats for Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine below as of this writing:

 

 

What I’ve noted above are just the highlights. You can also find editor interviews, stats that show you the fastest responding markets, as well as what users favorited the most. There’s also a stats page that breaks things down into market types and whether they charge fees to read. So tons of great info!

 

Where to get it: At any browser near you! Duotrope.com

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of me!

Tool Time Tuesday: Aeon Timeline 2

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: Aeon Timeline 2

Platform: Mac & Windows

Cost: $50 and comes with a 20 day free trial

What it does:

Lets you map the timeline of your story, along with all your characters and where they fit within that timeline. You can also manage the relationships among characters, all with a great visual display.

This is a really cool tool, especially if you’re writing a larger, complex story. You can create characters, include pivotal moments on their personal timelines, and track their appearances in your story.

Looks! Pictures! 🙂

Like to see what your characters look like? You can also include pics (and links) in your entries.

You can do the same with settings — create an entry for them and then associate scenes with that setting. You’ll never lose track of where an event happened in your story ever again!

Create characters, settings, and events.

As implied above, you also create events or scenes along your timeline, and you can see your entire story as it looks in time. Another cool feature of Aeon Timeline is the ability to nest events, so you can see exactly what contributes to each scene. This also is a great help in making sure you’ve closed all your subplots and don’t have plot holes.

When you create events or characters, you can give them a “birth date” and so you can track the age of the character or events through the entire story. And you’re not limited to our own time or our way of tracking time. If you’re working with a spec fic story, you can create your own calendar with your own dating system, as needed.

Aeon Timeline 2 & Scrivener! Two great tastes that taste great together 🙂

One of the coolest aspects of Aeon Timeline 2 (and what eventually led me to get it) is that it integrates with Scrivener, so you can have your entire timeline right there, as you write.

That was a huge factor in its overall use. I don’t really like having to open multiple files to handle a project. I like everything to be in a single place. And this integration allows that to happen for my timeline. Great, great perk of this software! 🙂

Where to get it: The Aeon Timeline website – A note: One cool aspect is that when you purchase the program through the website, it covers both Windows and Mac licenses, so you get copies of both. So while Aeon Timeline 2 is available in the Apple AppStore, if you download it from there, rather than the program’s website, you won’t be able to get a complimentary copy in Windows format. So just keep that in mind as you’re buying 🙂

What do you think about Aeon Timeline 2? Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Aeon Timeline.

2 Amazing Books Teach You How to Self-Edit Your Story

Craft of Writing

What I’m Listening To: “That’s Amore!” by Dean Martin — I’m feeling old school today 😉

Something Cool: I just signed up for TSA Pre-Check. I’ll let you know how it goes when I travel on it for the first time! Pre-publication edit: I was approved for this in 3 days! I’m not sure what that says for my dangerousness. o.O

~~

I hate doing revisions.

That might seem a pretty bold statement for someone who edits for a living.

When I was in my MFA program at Seton Hill University, the thing I always dreaded was doing my own revisions. I loved helping my fellow students improve their work. But my own stuff? Hated it.

Because I dislike it so much, I spent a lot of time reading different ways to approach self-editing. Now, a thing I’ve learned about myself recently is that, for myself, I can work the hell out of a system. Seriously, I can take a system (a self-editing system or really any other) and make it work for whatever situation I need it for. I just can’t make one up from scratch. So I took bits and pieces from a bunch of different places and worked them together, which ended up with me Frankensteining my own system.

And I think that’s the way most writers need to do it. Figure out the bits that work for you and work the hell out of them.

There have been two books, among many, that have stood out as the most helpful for me.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King

I first discovered this one during my grad program. It was one of the recommended books listed in the Writing Popular Fiction handbook. It’s also the one that I consistently encourage the authors who work with me to get. It is an invaluable resource.

Pros

  • It explains, in detail, why things work or don’t work and why they’re the gold standard (or not).
  • It’s been around for a very long time and both the authors know their stuff.
  • It’s easy to find information between the Table of Contents and the detailed Index.

Cons

  • It’s a little bit dry by today’s standards.

Even with the dryness, this is still my #1 go-to for self-editing help.

This book was really the one that explained so much to me about why good writing is good writing. It has dedicated chapters on voice, internal monologue, show and tell (because that’s something we’re all familiar with!), dialogue mechanics and lots of other stuff. There’s so much good info packed between these covers!

Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell

This is a book in the Write Great Fiction series put out by Writer’s Digest Books. This one is an easier read, because it’s broken up into smaller bits with sidebars and other visual breaks that make it feel easier on the eye. And the information here is just as valuable as SEFW. There’s a bit of overlap between the two books, of course, but this also covers its own ground as well.

Pros

  • It’s an easy read with a lot of visually interesting asides.
  • It’s written in the first person, in a very conversational style, so it’s as if the author is speaking directly to you.
  • It’s a great book to read even before you get to self-editing, like while you’re working on your first draft.

Cons

  • None really.

One of the cool things about this book is that it covers a lot of general writing topics that writers struggle with, such as middles (you know, that part of the book where you want to throw your manuscript into the fire?), point of view, exposition, as well as the standards like show and tell.

I found that the first third or so of the book is very useful before you even write your first draft. There are sections on characters, theme, descriptions, dialogue, etc. This part of the book covers most aspects of what you need to know to get things pretty clean on that initial draft, which, of course, makes the revisions easier!

Both books summarize their chapters and provide exercises to practice what you’ve learned. And both books should be on your shelf! 🙂

Do you own Self Editing for Fiction Writers or Revision & Self-Editing? What do you think of them?


 

 

 

Unless attributed otherwise, all images are CC0 licensed.

Tool Time Tuesday! OneTab

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different writing and organizational tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: OneTab

Platform: This is a browser extension and is available for Chrome and Firefox. (Sorry, IE users!)

Cost: Free!

This one isn’t strictly writing related, but it’s a great organizational tool for your research or for when you have all those tabs open and are feeling really overwhelmed.

What it does:

OneTab gives you the ability to take all your open tabs and shrink them into a single, easily used webpage with links to each of your previous tabs. Here’s how it works:

To send all your open tabs to OneTab, simply click the funnel icon that shows up in your browser’s toolbar. This creates a Onetab with all of those sites in one grouping.

Photo courtesy of OneTab

To send a single tab to OneTab, right-click on the site and choose OneTab -> Send only this tab to OneTab. You also have the option to send all tabs except that one to OneTab, or all tabs to the right or left of that tab to OneTab.

Once your tabs are in OneTab, you can drag and drop to reorder them, including moving them to other groupings. The only way to create separate groupings, though, is to send more than one tab to OneTab. But once you’ve created the new grouping, moving the links is simple.

I really find this grouping feature to be the most useful, and I think it’s especially helpful for writers as an organizational tool. You can group all of your research tabs by subject; you can group together conferences and conventions; you can have an ongoing list of blogs you like to read. This makes OneTab pretty powerful for keeping all that information organized and easily accessible.

 

OneTab is defaulted to deleting the link once you click on it to open a tab, but you can disable this in the Options. What doing that means is you can have a grouping of commonly used links and keep it, without having to re-send it to OneTab every time you use it. If you choose to leave the default of deleting the link once it’s opened, you can always override that on an individual basis by right-clicking and opening the link in a new tab. This will keep a single link in OneTab without deleting it.

Want to share your OneTab? That’s super-easy. You can click on “Share all as web page” in the upper right hand corner. It will create a web page with all of your OneTab groupings/links on it. You can share by copy/pasting the URL or, if you want to share via your phone or tablet, you can scan a QR code to get the URL. Handy way to share your new organizational tool, huh?

Where to get it: You can get it for the Chrome browser or the Firefox browser.

Do you have a writing or organizational tool that you absolutely can’t live without?

Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Stay awesome!