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Posts tagged writing

If you haven’t enriched James Patterson enough yet, now you can pay him $90
May 14, 2015 | 4:25 pm

James PattersonIf you haven't already found enough ways to boost James Patterson into the Celebrity Net Worth top league and swell his $90 million p.a. income, here's another one. Rather than read his potboilers or watch his spinoff movies, why not pony up 90 bucks to learn to write like him? Because, lucky aspirants, now you can, with the online Masterclass "James Patterson teaches writing." "Set out to write a best-selling book," runs the blurb. "James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers, reveals his tricks of the trade for the very first time. In this...

Has your writing got rhythm? Find out with Typedrummer
May 14, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Writers: concerned about the rhythms and cadences in your sentences? Try plugging them into Typedrummer, an unique online wheeze that's basically a drum machine for text. Each letter is apparently keyed to a particular sound or beat, meaning that you can produce the most mind-destroying monotony by simply holding your finger on the same key. On the other hand, actual sentences yield more complex and actually attractive sounds. Created by Kyle Stetz, Typedrummer feels like one of the most insanely addictive ways to test your writing mettle. The resulting beat can be shared online from the site. And I can confirm...

Weekend Links: Time enough for reading? Inside the Kobo Glo HD
April 26, 2015 | 1:52 pm

kobo glo hdWhat's So Great About Young Writers? (NYT) I have an interest in the nurturing of “late blooming” writers. I have long grumbled about the conflation of the words “young” and “emerging,” and particularly about the many prizes set aside for writers in their early careers below whatever cutoff has been picked, usually 35 or 40. *** How Much Time is Enough for Reading? (Book Riot) The other day I was waiting for the bus and I found myself doing what I call “booktime math”: checking the transit schedule and quickly calculating do I have enough time to start reading? Or should I just goof...

New ALCS survey finds UK authors’ incomes have only gotten worse
April 22, 2015 | 10:25 am

ALCSFollowing its previous survey of the income and work prospects of UK professional authors, entitled "What Are Words Worth?", the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS), Britain’s central clearing house for authors’ rights and payments, has released a fresh study based on 2014 data for writers' earnings and contractual terms, rather than 2013 data. The survey, "The Business of Being an Author: A Survey of Author’s Earnings and Contracts," found, as the BBC highlighted, that UK author incomes are "at breaking point." The survey, conducted with Queen Mary College in the University of London, which as the ALCS correctly states, "is one of...

The Pen Cap Stylus – a step forward in pen-ile versatility
April 20, 2015 | 12:25 pm

In my endless quest for the perfect touchscreen stylus, I recently chanced upon a new product that broadened my range of choices at one stroke - the Kikkerland Pen Cap Stylus. This handy little accessory comes in packs of two, and in a range of colors, and can, according to the blurb, transform any pen or pencil of appropriate size into a perfectly capable touchscreen stylus. Naturally, I bought the thing to give it a whirl. Despite its resemblance to a certain popular item for intimate protection, I can testify that the Kikkerland Pen Cap Stylus does its job more than...

Morning Links: Laptops for students? Adults love coloring books too!
April 6, 2015 | 9:00 am

laptopsAre Laptop Requirements a Forgone Conclusion or a Burden on Students? (Media Shift) One 2014 survey found 90 percent of students own laptops and 86 percent own smartphones, while less than half of those surveyed own tablets. *** The Internet Doesn’t Make You Smarter; You Only Think it Does (Ars Technica) After using search engines, people overestimate their ability to explain ideas. *** Writer's Events Can Strengthen Your Craft, Build Your Career (GoodeReader) Authors who are interested in establishing themselves as both better writers and as serious career-minded artists can benefit greatly from attending writers’ conferences and workshops, but the cost of attending is often pretty prohibitive....

Stephen King takes a rod to the rich
March 28, 2015 | 3:23 pm

king-thumb.jpgStephen King is anything but my favorite horror writer - and after all, he can afford to ignore my snark. Literally. And that's precisely the point. But in that regard, he just substantially redeemed himself in my eyes - with a scathing and passionately profane article in The Daily Beast on just what he thinks the taxation policy towards his c.$400 million celebrity net worth ought to be. Just as a reminder, the context was a radio address by Paul R. LePage (R.), Governor of King's home state of Maine, claiming that the celebrated author had moved out of state because...

Clean Reader, the auto-censor of mealy-mouthed dreams
March 27, 2015 | 10:25 am

Clean Reader, the ereader app that "prevents swear words in books from being displayed on your screen," looks almost old news now, since it's already been hit by such a shitstorm of the profanity it professes to screen out that it's likely to find the going very difficult from here on. For one thing, Smashwords has come out publicly against the app, which comes only second to a boycott by Kindle in terms of stopping an ebook-linked product in its tracks. Smashwords' Mark Coker said: Books are works of art, and the art is manifested by the author's word choice. You...

Gen Con, other businesses displeased with new Indiana religious freedom law
March 26, 2015 | 2:36 pm

protestAs I’ve said before, Gen Con’s reputation as the largest gaming convention in North America eclipses its status as one of the largest writing conventions in North America, offering guidance on all aspects of writing and publishing. On Monday, March 23, Gen Con’s CEO sent a letter (PDF) to Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence, warning that a controversial religious freedom bill he was about to sign into law would affect Gen Con’s decision whether to stay in Indianapolis past the expiration of its contract in 2020. This morning, Governor Pence signed that bill. I covered the particulars in a post...

Morning Links: Beginner’s luck. Disney tells court about importance of public domain
March 20, 2015 | 9:00 am

public domainWhy I Came Back to Poetry (Book Riot) I’m not a very good reader of poetry yet. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about the craft of poetry, stanzas, or technique — but that’s what keeps drawing me back to it; the fact that there is so much more to learn. *** Business Musings: Beginner's Luck (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) One of the most astonishing moments I had as the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction occurred at the Hugo award ceremony. A writer won a Hugo with a short story I had rejected. He got in my face—literally inches away...

Boxes of writing ideas: The Storymatic and Rory’s Story Cubes
March 14, 2015 | 11:53 am

IMG_20150314_103250On the Internet, it can be a thin line between reading and writing, especially if you take part in one of the many shared writing universes that float around. But sometimes people who want to write need sources of inspiration. That’s where writing workshopping tools come in. I already reviewed a book discussing how to use tarot cards for workshopping writing ideas, and that’s a fine thing as far as it goes. But tarot cards’ greatest strength—their rich depth of symbolism—can also be a weakness for writers new to tarot, since they might well spend more time puzzling over...

Morning Links: The importance of routines, Twitter tackles revenge porn
March 13, 2015 | 9:00 am

twitterBusiness Musings: The Importance of Routines (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) For almost two years, Dean has blogged nightly about his writing routine, pointing out to writers around the world that a writing career isn’t about pushing. It’s about a regular routine, almost clockwork in its repetitiveness. *** Google Now Puts Press Releases in Top Spot in News Search Results (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Reuters was the first to notice the change, and they report that a Google spokesperson confirmed that the change had been made in September. *** Twitter Alters its Rules to Tackle Revenge Porn (Techdirt) Twitter's CEO admitted last month that his platform "sucks at dealing...