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Category: Productivity

Scrivener for Pitching

Scrivener for Pitching

Many of you will know that I’m a Scrivener fan. I understand that Scrivener isn’t for everyone, in the same way that Word isn’t for me. But for those of you who are using the software, have you ever thought of using it for keeping track of your writing projects, in addition to creating your writing projects with it? Let me explain …

Spacebar Trampolining

Spacebar Trampolining

A couple of days ago I shared a post on facebook that said: “Dear friends older than 37: You don’t have to put two spaces after the period anymore. That was for the typewriter era. You’re free.” It resulted in a raft of comments ranging from: – “I never do.” – “Why not?” – “But I use at least three.” The post was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying to those writers who were taught to type on a typewriter (including…

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Adapt & Change

Adapt & Change

It’s been a busy week in the writing world on two different fronts: one which fiction writers may already be aware of, and another that probably won’t have registered with writers using Windows computers. The first event concerned Woman’s Weekly magazine, whose staff issued an email, out of the blue, last week to advise that following a restructure at Time Inc (owners of the Woman’s Weekly brand), the entire fiction team was moving on.

Bigger Windows

Bigger Windows

Bigger windows? No. I’m not talking about a new Microsoft Operating System. Instead, I’m talking about broadening your window of topicality. Topicality is important. Write something well in advance, with a topical hook aimed squarely at a publication’s readership and, if the editor likes it, it could be used in that topical-dated issue.

Dear Journal …

Dear Journal …

 We’ve slipped into June and already people are thinking Where’s the year going? Time seems to be flying by and I haven’t done achieved anything yet! It’s not helped by the fact that, here in the northern hemisphere, in a couple of weeks, the nights start drawing in. (The countdown to Christmas has begun!) I, though, can simply flick back through the pages of my journal for this year to remind myself of what I’ve been doing with my time….

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A Writer’s Repair Cafe

A Writer’s Repair Cafe

Last weekend I was in Bewdley, Worcestershire, finding out about the Repair Cafe they have there (for an article). Repair Cafes are a worldwide scheme, originating from one location in Holland in 2008 and exploding into over 1200 locations worldwide today. The idea is simple: instead of throwing something away when it is broken and buying a brand new replacement, see if you can get it repaired. Their success rate is high. When Bewdley’s Repair Cafe first opened its door…

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Run Out Of Things To Say?

Run Out Of Things To Say?

I’m in the process of judging a couple of competitions at the moment, and there’s one observation that’s really standing out to me: Entries way under the maximum word count. All competitions set a maximum word count. Entries that exceed this are disqualified. I’ve seen a few competitions that also have a minimum word count: but not many. I don’t feel comfortable setting a minimum word count, because if you’ve got something to say, and you can say it successfully…

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Contacts

Contacts

It’s all change at The People’s Friend today when they move in their new offices in Albert Square (which just so happen to be their old offices too). Make sure you update your contact address book with the relevant details.

Titivating Too Far

Titivating Too Far

Perfection. Whenever we create something, we want it to be good. No. We want it to be great. Well, let’s face it, if other people are going to read our creative words, we really want them to be perfect! And quite right too. But don’t let perfection hold you back. A story that is often raised in writers’ groups is that of the perfection of editing, when a writer once reportedly said:

Experience: Ninety Years On

Experience: Ninety Years On

  Ninety years ago, in April 1927, a new publication hit the newsstands: The Countryman. Buy a copy of the April 2017 issue (out now) and you’ll find it comes with a facsimile copy of that first 1927 issue. Inside this, there’s a request from the editor, which says:

Do You … Evernote?

Do You … Evernote?

As writers, we’re constantly collecting ideas, undertaking research, and filing useful website addresses for future use. What we need is a big bucket. However, no matter how big your bucket is, we need to be able to get stuff out again for it to be of any use. My bucket is Evernote (https://evernote.com), which I’ve been using for more than a year now. It allows users to create notebooks, and put as many sheets, or notes, inside each of those…

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Crystal Clear

Crystal Clear

Making A Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation, by David Crystal Crystal clear: thats what the rules of punctuation are not. But David Crystal’s journey through the history of punctuation is, and this guide not only clarifies when is the right time to use a specific punctuation mark but it also explains the history of how these marks came into existence. It also clarifies why confusion reigns about usage. Do you remember being taught that you used a comma…

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Creative Equilibrium

Creative Equilibrium

I’ve just come back from a week’s break in the Lake District, and now I’m raring to go (which is good, because I’ve lots to do). But it reminded me of a comment I heard in a podcast by author Joanna Penn, who spoke about Creative Equilibrium. The idea behind it is a simple one: balance.

The Geology of Writing

The Geology of Writing

What’s writing got to do with geology? Well, it’s all to do with prioritisation and focus. I did this as an exercise, last week, at one of the writers’ groups I go to, and it’s a great way of showing how important it is having your writing projects correctly prioritised. First you have time, represented by this jar: