WRITING ON THE ETHER EXCLUSIVE: ‘Rogue’ Authors on a New Route, by Jane Friedman

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Interesting new publishing option: WRITING ON THE ETHER EXCLUSIVE: ‘Rogue’ Authors on a New Route, by Jane Friedman.

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Why Do I Write?

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Photo courtesty of Stock.xchng. Credit goes to user, krappweis.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing lately, but I haven’t done much honest-to-goodness writing. It’s high time I changed that. In fact, I have the basic idea for a new story in mind as I write this, and when I sit down and actually think about it, it excites me. So why do I keep putting it off?

I think part of it is because I’m a procrastinator by nature. I feel like I need to get all these other things done first. Problem is, when I finally finish doing all these other things, I’m too exhausted, too unfocused, to work on it. But doing those other things are just another way of procrastinating. Yes, they’re important, but they’re getting in the way of my writing. What I need to do is face my fear, the fear that maybe this story will fall flat on it’s face. Or worse, maybe it will be the perfect story and become my first published novel, and then I’ll have all kinds of expectations to live up to.

My hubby and I were talking yesterday about how scary it is to follow other writers on Twitter, to interact with them, and how sometimes I just want to go crawl under a rock or do something “safer.” But you know what? If they don’t like me, who cares? I’m not writing to be liked, and I’m not on Twitter to make people like me. I like me, and that’s what counts. I’m going to write and improve on my skills, and I’m going to keep trying to turn out great stories because that’s what I want to do. I love creating new characters and getting to know them, exploring their worlds, having a hand in their adventures (even if it’s only to write down what they tell me to). I have to stay true to myself first and foremost, because I’m the one who has to look at myself in the mirror every morning.

So, first up, I’ll be working on two stories. One is for a friend, and it’s part of the roleplay we do. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun, and I believe it’s helping me to write more realistic characters.

Second is my time travel story. As I said above, I only have the basic idea. I also have my “character models.” It seems like I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me regarding these two stories, but it’s fun work. In my book, that’s not really work. It’s play. I take my play time seriously.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that our first Theme Pack is up for sale over on YourStoryStarters.com. It’s a Horror & Thriller Theme Pack, and it will normally run for $27, but for a limited time, you can get it for $17. It’s a pack of 52 thought provoking story starters in the genres of Horror & Thriller. Each starter comes complete with some guiding questions and tips to help get you writing when you’re not sure where to begin. We’re rather proud of it, and we feel that this can help give a lot of struggling writers and would-be writers the boost they need to start putting words on the page.

And, well, I said I was going to write, so I’d better get my butt in gear and get started!

Lois

Savvy Authors – The logline—Who needs it? How do I write one? by Kelly Whitley

Excellent article on how to figure out your logline, thus summarizing your story in one sentence: Savvy Authors – The logline—Who needs it? How do I write one? by Kelly Whitley.

Live It, Love It, Learn It… Write It – Script Tips… In Action

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I love The Script Lab, mainly because of articles like this: Live It, Love It, Learn It… Write It – Script Tips… In Action.

Some Tips on Backing Up Your Work

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Image from Stock.xchng

I’ve learned a few things since I began writing several years ago. Some of these things I learned through other people’s suggestions. Some I learned through trial and error. I thought I’d jot down some notes here with the hope that you might find them useful:

1. E-mail your work to yourself. This is pretty simple. You can either copy and paste the text into an e-mail, or you can attach it.

2. Get a free Dropbox account. Once you set up the account, a folder will be created on your desktop. Anything you put into that folder will automatically be backed up to your online account. It’s simple, effective, and accessible from any computer and from a good many cell phones and tablets.

3. Box.net is another good site for backing up your files. Once you sign up, you can upload your files onto the site and access them from any computer. As with Dropbox, you can make folders for your files so you can keep everything well organized.

4. Create a blog. This is something I’ve never tried until recently, but it seems like a no brainer for someone who character journals a lot. I like WordPress for a lot of different reasons, but there are many free blogging sites out there. You can create pages for different aspects of your story. You can also create categories and tags to keep everything well organized.

5. Copy your files to a CD/DVD. This used to be my preferred method before I discovered the solutions above. It’s a simple method to use, but one thing I would caution against is overwriting one file with another. I lost a completed novella by overwriting it with an incomplete one, losing a lot of my material in the process. I still haven’t gone back to re-write it.

6. Flash memory cards and USB flash drives. I still use these from time to time. They’re portable, and great for when you want to quickly switch from one computer to another if you don’t have a secure network. You need to beware of the same problem I mentioned above: overwriting files. Use extreme caution. If you can do that, this is a good way to keep your files backed up.

These are just a few things that I’ve tried. They’ve helped me keep everything organized, and I don’t have to be afraid that I’ll lose my work if something happens that’s out of my control. Back up your work, and back it up frequently, because you never know when technology will fail you, or when something else will happen to cause you to lose all of your hard work.

One last note: I would highly recommend using two or more methods here (or others of your choosing). It might seem like an awful lot of effort, but isn’t your work worth it?