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Posts tagged writing

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...

Morning Links: Lessons learned while writing. Publishers left behind on mobile
March 11, 2015 | 9:00 am

writing10 Things I Learned While Writing my Last Book (Austin Kleon) My third book Show Your Work! came out a year ago. I kept a diary while writing the book, but it’s too painful and embarrassing to share in full. So here’s a list of lessons I learned while writing it, adapted from a series of tweets… *** Publishers Getting Left Behind on Mobile (Digital Book World) The change I’m talking took place just a few weeks ago, on February 26, when Google announced that on April 21 it will be rolling out a new version of its search algorithm, which determines what shows...

Morning Links: Free things for writers. Whose digital content is it anyway?
February 23, 2015 | 9:00 am

digital contentBrooklyn Bookstore Launches Kickstarter to Save Vintage Sci-Fi (Apartment Therapy) Brooklyn bookstore and publisher Singularity & Co. has launched a Kickstarter to save sci-fi. *** 8 Free Things for Writers (Media Shift) Everyone loves free stuff. Food samples, household products through the post –- even winning the odd competition –- things taste better when they are free. *** Questions to Ask for the Ideal Client-Freelancer 'Marriage' (An American Editor) The right questions asked at the right time can make the difference in a smooth, rewarding experience for both client and freelancer, whether the project is a writing, editing, proofreading, graphics, desktop publishing, or other assignment of some...

Styling your stylus? Wild & Wolf thinks you should be
February 19, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Spotted on shelves in branches of Waterstones but also found in many other locations and outlets across the UK, Wild & Wolf's new range of highly styled styluses might well be looking to inspire some on-the-hoof highly mobile travel writing - or ticket bookings - if the designs are anything to go by. Wild & Wolf is "a British, design-led gift company specialising in a range of licensed and in-house designed gift collections," and each stylus has a separate destination theme - from Venice and Paris to London and New York. "Whether you like to jot in a notebook or whip...

The six degrees of plot formulation
February 9, 2015 | 10:25 am

Stereotyping in plot construction can be the bane of the writer, but what if there were only six basic formats for all plots, and those types could be plotted? That's the contention of Matthew Jockers as part of his ongoing research into "the relationship between sentiment and plot shape in fiction," via "an R package titled 'syuzhet' ... designed to extract sentiment and plot information from prose." Inspired partly by some remarks by Kurt Vonnegut, Jockers "set out to develop a systematic way of extracting plot arcs from fiction. I felt this might help me to better understand and visualize how narrative...

SFWA announces membership qualifications for self-published and small press writers
February 3, 2015 | 9:10 pm

The Science Fiction Writers of America, or SFWA, has finally come through with its long-promised support for self-published and small press authors. A SFWA press release declares that complete details will be posted to the SFWA’s membership requirements page by March 1, 2015. (I have been informed that SFWA’s members refer to it as SFWA, sometimes pronounced “siff-wah,” rather than the SFWA, so I shall do so within this article.) The press release states that the requirements for Active Membership are having earned at least $3,000 via novel (it’s unclear whether that’s from one or several such novels over...

Searching for the perfect tablet writing app
January 29, 2015 | 2:32 pm

productivityYou'll note the title says "searching." There's a reason for that. I've found an option that works, after a fashion, and I've found another app I intend to try, but I'm open to suggestions. Let me lay out the situation. I do my best fiction writing in coffee shops, so I've been on a hunt for an iPad app which does the following: 1. Syncs with little to no effort to my desktop 2. Has a clean interface with few distractions 3. Has a word count feature (semi-optional, but preferred) 4. Doesn't add formatting I have to remove when I transfer the text to Word. Word...