You know it's been a while since I mentioned a writing conference and with registration coming February 9, 2016 at 12pm EST for the New England SCBWI 2016 The POWER of (RE) INVENTION conference, I thought, now's a good time to.
Conferences are a good way to hone your skills and network with fellow writers. At this particular conference, you even have the chance to sit down with editors and agents and get your work critiqued.
So don't delay. Check out the sessions now and don't forget to register Feb 9th.
Register here . . .
Thriving now for over 10 years, WriteWords is one of the largest and oldest writing communities on the web. We are renowned for our friendly and constructive atmosphere and our healthy mix of writers, from beginners through to published authors. We cater for a broad range of writers - novelists, poets, short story writers, flash poetry and fiction - and many more.
Every wonder if you are using a particular word or phrase frequently in your work. Well, WriteWords has a Word and Phrase Frequency Counters to help you out. Here's what they do:
Word Frequency Counter
Our word frequency counter allows you to count the frequency usage of each word in your text. Paste or type in your text, and click submit.
Phrase Frequency Counter
This page allows you to count the frequency usage of phrases in your work. Paste or type in your text, and click submit.
Go ahead, check them out. And while you're at it, take a look through the website to find some interesting information.
We're in the age of the smartphone and tablet. Everywhere you go, you see people tapping away at their screens and it's not going to stop anytime soon. I have one. In fact, I have one of each and one of the great features with both is the invention of the app stores, something that's great for the writer on the go. The problem is there are so many apps out there, it's hard to know where to start. Here are a list of my top 5 recommended apps that I have either personally used or researched. I do want to note that I am an android user, so I'm more familiar with that app store. However, I have broken the list into Android/Apple as not to leave anyone out. There are some apps that can be found on both, such as Evernote and Google Drive. These are just located in one or the other. Also, all these apps are free. If you're like me then you're a writer on a budget. Here we go.
Color Note is a simple notepad app. It gives you a quick and simple notepad editing experience when you write notes, memo, email, message, shopping list and to do list. Color Note makes taking a note easier than any other notepad and memo apps.
Notepad with Speech-to-Text, Password Protection, and Encryption. Take notes even when you don't feel like typing! Just speak your note, and it will be saved as text. This notepad app was designed to quickly jot down your ideas, with minimal hassle. And it makes it easy to keep those ideas organized.
Writer is a writing application without the fuss and distraction of a traditional word processor. It's perfect for everything from taking notes to writing a novel on your phone or tablet. Writer's philosophy is Keep It Simple. Writer tries to be as basic as possible, giving you somewhere to turn your thoughts into text, markdown support, and some statistics. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Diaro- Diary Writing
Diaro is an advanced password protected diary, journal, note writing app. It gives an easy way to take a note of your life moments, activities, experiences, thoughts, ideas.
Write is a word processor for handwriting. Write provides a unique set of tools which ease the editing of handwritten text by grouping strokes into lines, much like typed text in a word processor.
A Novel Idea
A Novel Idea is the premier tool for plotting your story and recording bursts of inspiration. Use its simple interface to create your characters, locations, scenes, and novels and then link them together to create your story's plot. Use the Idea feature to quickly jot down your creative sparks, snap pictures and link them to your story elements. Arrange your scenes by dragging and dropping them into place. Add scene goals and objectives for each character. Plus more!
DraftPad is a simple notepad which is like a single sheet of paper. You can use it to write a draft for emailing, blogging, Googling, Tweeting, or any writing tasks.
Free, Functional and Flexible, Notebook+ is your best choice for taking notes on your iPad. Notebook+ provides you with smooth and comfortable experience when you’re writing, texting, taking notes, or just doodling. Notebook+ is perfect for your everyday use, as simple as you’re writing on the actual notebook with your hand, with much more productivity and convenience.
Capturing and sharing your inner most creative genius has never been easier. Introducing the first multi-device collaboration tool from Universal Mind. From iPhone to iPad with just a flick of the finger, iBrainstorm has set the bar and has redefined the very nature of collaboration.
ColorNote is a simple yet effective notes and to-do app. It provides good basic functionality with an attractive and clutter-free design. Make great looking color-coded to-do lists to help keep track of tasks.
I started a writing group at work. We've had three meetings and so far it's going well. We don't critique each others work just yet. We're starting slow, just going through writing exercise to help us feel motivated and inspired. It's a good group, we're starting to get comfortable enough to read our work and laugh about what we've come up with. Last month, we worked on being descriptive and this month we're going to work on characters. It's like a writing group and class all rolled into one. I am excited about it. I hope to one day have it grow to be the critique group all writers should be apart of.
What's great, is that we make the time to write. It's hard to do so sometimes, especially when you're starting off. I found forming the group at work just another way to get some writing in. A group doesn't always have to be just about critiquing, it can be about writing together and sharing your projects and stories and laughing and having a good time.
I have been doing a great deal of teaching at work lately. My company has something called a Lunch and Learn, where employees can teach their fellow employees anything they want during the 1 hour lunch break. Last year, I taught a class on Children's Books and this year I am going to teach a class on Creative Writing. What I've been finding is that a lot of research goes into teaching a class and in the process I am learning some valuable industry knowledge that I can share with others.
I already do a lot of research. You kind of have to to keep up with the market. However, teaching a class allows you to take that research and organize it in a manner that others might be able to learn from it and in turn, allow you to learn from it. So I task you with this one request, teach a class. If you want to learn more about a particular writing topic, why not volunteer to teach on it. You can take the knowledge you already know and combine it with the knowledge you learn while preparing for the class. It's a win/win on both sides.
They say those who can't do, teach. I say those who can do, should teach anyway.
With so much information on the internet, it's sometimes hard to keep track of it all. You can find yourself roaming for hours hitting your favorite writing blogs or websites that most of your day is gone and there's not much time left for writing. With iGoogle, you can cut that time in half and spend more time actually getting words down in paper (or typed on the computer).
iGoogle is a personal Google home page you can customize to add and display the information you search for on a regular basis. By using the RRS feeds that are present on most blogs and some websites, you can add the feed to your iGoogle allowing you to go to one central location for your writing needs. It even allows you to create tabs and pages to organize the information in away that works for you. Maybe a single tab for your favorite blogs, a tab for the industry websites and more. You can even use other Google features such as Google Documents, Google Calendars, etc. It won't eliminate all the time you spend on the internet, but it will decrease it some for you. Click here to start your iGoogle page today.
When I attended the New England SCBWI conference, I grabbed about a dozen publishing houses' book catalogs from Random House to Simon & Schuster. Over the past few week I've been going through them, tagging all books I might be interested in whether to read personally, for my book club or suggest to others. Most importantly, it allows me to see what kind of books these houses publish and if their style matches my writing style. One catalog I grabbed was all about non-fiction, a genre I don't write for. I now know not to send queries to this house. I would automatically be rejected.
It's one of the first tips editors and published author would tell you. Study the houses, find out what they like and are publishing. Taking a look at their catalogs is one way of doing so. You can see first hand what's being published through them. Many houses are now posting them online, staying green by not printing out physical copies. For example, Random House: http://www.randomhouse.biz/booksellers/childrens/catalogs/. This, of course, makes it easier for us to obtain these catalogs.
And for crazed, obsessed, book loves like myself, these catalogs are a two for one. Information on what kind of books the houses are publishing as well as first hand knowledge on what books I want to add to my Amazon shopping list. You can't beat that.
Workshops aren't as bad as some might think. For those of us who pursued a writing degree, we came to respect and almost enjoy workshop classes. True, it was tough at first, having people criticize something you pour your heart and soul into, but in the end we learned to value their feedback. After all, how were we going to grow as writers if we didn't know what people were looking for or how to improve our stories.
For those of you out there who are writers, but never had the chance to take a formal workshop class, I say dive into one as soon as possible. You can try the online workshops like Writers Online Workshops.com or The Writer's Studio. You'll be able to get the feedback you may be looking for. However, I say at least once, try a classroom workshop class. You'd be surprised the difference it makes to have fellow writers in the same room as you. You can tell a lot about someone's feedback by how they say it and what their expressions look like.
Check out your local adult education programs or perhaps the YMCA. You may even want to consider starting one of your own. If you happen to know a group of writers whether at work or in your personal life, suggest a writer's group. You might be surprised at how many people are interested. Sometimes writer's just need motivation to write and a workshop can do just that.
Welcome to the archived section "For Writers". Here you will find a collection of all previous posts written. So, if you're afraid you missed something, no worries. It's listed here for you anytime.