2 – Writing Tools – a walk in the woods
Today our focus is on you, the writer, the author. This is where we offer tips and tricks on goal setting, time management, and accountability. Along with the occasional author-help interview.
If you haven’t been here before, and even if you have, WELCOME! My name is Cynthia Carver. Our podcasts on how to write it, edit it, and publish it. Then market it. And that’s your book we’re talking about. If you like this type of video or podcasts, do give a thumbs up, poke subscribe and the bell. Now, let’s get to it . . .
Welcome to Stop! Just Write … where writers meet inspiration.
Let’s talk about tools today. The only thing you need to begin with is your imagination, a pencil or pen, and a notebook. Most of us have laptops either PC or Mac, iPads or a tablet Phone. Each comes with a basic word processor. On my iPad I have downloaded google doc’s and it’s free, connected to my gmail account. That means I have the ability to pick up where I left off on a different machine. My Galaxy Note also has google docs and Samsung Notes. Google allows me to switch between devices and Samsung Notes I had to transfer as in retype it into a document. There are open source word processors that are free and you don’t have to pay for with a large one time sum or the monthly payments of other processors. MacBook has Pages and a PC can download Open Office can save files into a .docx if you need to send a WORD file to your editor if need be. Microsoft Word is a subscription fee or a yearly fee and can only be used online if you are an Apple user.
Writing off line is often less distracting. Google allows you to save to G-Drive. My favorite is using a stenographer’s pad. I write on one side of the pages until I get to the end of the book, flip it over and continue writing. This allows me to set it up like a tent and transcribe from it. This is an easy format for me, as I was taught over half a decade ago to transcribe this way.
Formatting. You’ll need one inch margins on the left and right hand side, one inch from the top and one and one-half from the bottom. Set your margins before you begin your document. You’ll thank yourself later. The next step is to choose 1.5 or double line spacing. This allows for your editor to read it easily.
When you begin to think about grammar, I suggest ProWritingAid or Grammarly. Don’t use both together. You might think it would be a better option to use both of them together, that is a strong nope. They contradict each other. Is that wrong? No. They are both correct in their own consistent manner.They will really confuse you if you decide you want to use both of them, especially as a new writer not secure in their grammar. Just choose one or the other. My choice was ProWritingAid with the paid lifetime and I used the discount at the end of November when they offered NaNoWriMo winners a substantial discount.
Next thing to work on is getting all of your social media under one name. This is whether you plan on becoming an Indy Author, Traditional Author, or a Vanity Press author. You will need all the ways to contact you under one name that is not the name of your book. For example, when you look for me on Instagram you will find me there under Cynthia Carver, and on twitter my username is Cynthia underscore Carver. When you look for your name, if it is already taken, consider adding author or books behind your name or Books by your name. But with the consistency of your name, like my name with the underscore and author added to it, you can find me by searching for my name. Plus use the same profile picture across the internet. This will allow your readers to find you by the correct name because they will see the same photo they associate with you. Also, consider purchasing your URL. That’s your address dot com. Purchasing only the URL and nothing else will keep your costs down, secure your name choice, and you can redirect it without additional cost to your social media platform of choice. The last but not least important is setting up your free LINKTR.EE account and putting all your social media links and URL in one spot. Again, I used CynthiaCarver and it’s there for easy searching results. Then I have all my links; youtube, social media, Amazon Author page, right there in one spot. You may not need it yet, but get it and secure your author name of choice.
Did you watch yesterday’s video? How many words can you type in twenty minutes? Oh, you don’t like to type or it takes so long with the hunt and peak system, well guess what? Google doc’s has a voice typing option under tools and a word count meter under tools. The voice option takes a while to train your computer to get your word pronunciations consistently. It took me about six weeks to train mine and it gets better the more I use it.
I know that I can type between 80 and 100 words a minute. Typing while thinking of the story, sometimes I have to stop and think about what the character will say, do, respond, and during those times my typing slows down while my mind configures those scenes. I went to school a half century ago when typing was taught on manual typewriters, and I was very slow. I remember then learning on an electric typewriter and felt as if my fingers were flying across the keys at 60 words per minute. When the computer came along, I pounded the keyboard. I had to retrain myself for a lighter, faster touch.
We’ve gone over word processors, you’re gonna need one. If you don’t have a word processor, get a notebook system that works for you. Mine is the stenographer pad so that I can set them up tent style and transcribe from them. Second was your author name on the URL and all your social media. Place them all under one name. Make it easy for your readers to find you. Third, ProWritingAid or Grammarly. It doesn’t matter which you choose. And if now is too soon, put that on your Writer’s Wish List for purchase later on or wait for November and aim at completing NaNoWriMo to get the discount there. Set up your NaNoWriMo.org account, again under your author name.
A side note. My first novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo, didn’t make sense. It was missing chapters, my last chapter first, and it had the 50,000 words. That’s 1, 667 words a day. And if you missed a day, it had to be made up the next day or in chunks.
Thank you so much for your time. It’s very much appreciated. If you liked what I had to say, share the video. Don’t forget to subscribe, click the bell and poke the thumbs up. Follow us. Our links are in the description below. Stay creative and keep writing.
Cynthia Carver, writes magickal realism paranormal, starring a psychic investigator. NaNoWriMo, Preptober, and Edit-ary we cover it all, and sometimes in order.
Aliya DalRae, writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, featuring shifters and vampires. This channel is based on fiction, paranormal, and creative writing.
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