Sunday, December 30, 2012

Schrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez

I've been using yWriter to write my work-in-progress Bon Secour over the past two and one-half years.  I have been very pleased with how it helps me be better organized and how it simplifies the writing process as compared to my previous attempts to write using Word.

I decided earlier this month to write a short story that told Bob Lee's backstory regarding the deaths of his aunt and uncle who were also his foster parents.  The idea being that I'm getting nowhere fast with the novel and maybe actually finishing a story would help motivate me to plant my butt and write everyday.

I've also wondered if the writing software package, Schrivener, might be a better tool.

I've read the reviews on-line comparing yWriter and Schrivener and they were mixed.  Each reviewer had something they liked about each program and similarly something they didn't like about each.

yWriter is shareware and if you don't choose to contribute to the author, it's free.  Scrivener sells for $45.  There is nothing I like better than free, but at $45 Shrivener is a steal.  Scrivener offers a 30 day free trial.  I downloaded the trial and opened the software.  Boy did I feel like a dummy.  Nothing was intuitive.  I couldn't figure out how to do anything.  I confess that I have the same sort of problem with every Mac I've tried to use.  Scrivener for Windows is based on the original Scrivener for the Mac.  And being Mac impaired may be the core to my problems. Anyway, I ordered Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez from Amazon and today I finished reading it.

It is a good book in the Dummies series of how-to books.  I also read the Scrivener user manual and followed the Help Menu's tutorial.  Between the three sources I think I've got the basics figured out.  Especially the part about how to use it to write a novel.  The part on how it can compile a novel in an e-book format will require study when that time comes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Success by K. M. Weiland

Today I finished reading Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Success by K. M. Weiland.

I follow Ms. Weiland's blog Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors.  And I have found her writing advice to be very sound.  So when she published Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Success, I bought and read a copy.

I'm a planner so the idea of planning a novel via an outline is my natural course.  I'm a big fan of Larry Brooks' how-to-write books and his Story Fix blog.  I found Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Success gave me many practical ideas on how to implement an outline.  And while she may have plowed the ground before in her blog, this presentation is fresh.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Becoming an Authorpreneur : Navigating a 21st-Century Career in Publishing by Kris Tualla

Today I finished reading Becoming an Authorpreneur : Navigating a 21st-Century Career in Publishing by Kris Tualla.

It is a short how-to book on building your brand and self-publishing your e-book.  A very interesting read with tons of good advice.  One I plan to re-read.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Innocent by Harlan Coben

Today I finished reading The Innocent by Harlan Coben.

If you like a twisty plot, I can't recommend anyone better than Coben.

I've been studying story structure and plotting for three years now.  I'm getting pretty good a guessing where the author of a thriller is going next with his story.  But, not with Coben.  He fools me several times every book.  And this story is one of his twistiest.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ford County Stories by John Grisham

Today I finished reading Ford County Stories by John Grisham.

I read Ford County Stories to learn more about how short stories are written.  I like reading Grisham novels and I thought this would be fun.  Not.  Ford County Stories is a collection of short stories set in Ford County, Mississippi, the setting for my favorite Grisham novel, A Time to Kill.

I enjoyed two of the stories.  The rest were okay.  Except one, it was awful.

I've been writing a short story that deals with a sliver of my antagonist's, Bob Lee, back story.  Most of the blog posts I've been reading on how to write a short story say that it is actually harder to write a good short story than to write a good novel.  After reading Ford County Stories by John Grisham I believe them.  Grisham can write a great novel.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Today I finished reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

You know a story series was good when you are disappointed that there isn't another book in the series waiting for you to read.

Mockingjay continues the high level of storytelling Collins began in The Hunger Games and continued in Catching Fire.

A great read.  Thank you Ms. Collins!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Today I finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

This was a fun read.  Collins caught me napping with most of her plot twists.  She's really good ya'll.

Read it.  You won't be disappointed.