Life of a #Writer: Finding the Perfect Synonym to Replace Bland #Words

When I’m writing, sometimes I’m at a loss to find the right word.  A word that not only describes what a character is doing or feeling.  One that makes the character interesting, yet giving life to the story.  When the time arises, I reach for the almighty thesaurus…or resort to great lists like these found on Pinterest.

Advertisements

The Future of #Writing: Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Humans in Deciding the Fate of Manuscript Submissions?

Redux

Melanie V. Logan

This quote from Georgina Cromarty’s post about writing and artificial intelligence practically blew my mind.

“Some writers will see AI manuscript evaluations as a blessing since it takes the subjective human out the loop.

…And some may see it as a threat.”

Yes, I’ve worked in the IT field for 20+ years.  Yes, I understand what the ones and zeros are all about, and the inner workings of software and hardware.  Yes, I know technology brings about modern convenience, and can spout an answer to the hardest equations with speed and ease.  But with all of that, do I trust it wholly?  No!  Here’s why.

Mankind believes computers are smart.  The reality is that technology is only as great as the humans that make it.  And of course we know that humans are bound to mistakes.  So, technology is too.  Nothing is perfect.

So when I think about artificial intelligence…

View original post 179 more words

#Journaling for Peace of Mind and #Writing Success

redux

Melanie V. Logan

There are moments in my life when I have so much clutter in my brain that it’s hard to think straight. Then there are other times a recent event reminds me of a fond memory, and I want to capture it. That’s when the mighty paper and pen come in handy.

Journaling has a variety of benefits:

  • Helps clear the mind
  • Serves as a visual reminder of things accomplished/lessons learned
  • Strengthens the brain
  • Keepsake for family members after we’re long gone

In Ruth Folit’s article Why Good Writers Keep Journals, journaling helps writers find their voice.  It opens a world through introspection and insight to people and things around them.  This peek into life can be beneficial for creating realistic characters and storylines.

The piece below from Writer’s Relief expounds on the above concepts in more detail, and provides a guide for effective journaling.

#

Many of us keep…

View original post 537 more words

#Journaling for Peace of Mind and #Writing Success

There are moments in my life when I have so much clutter in my brain that it’s hard to think straight. Then there are other times a recent event reminds me of a fond memory, and I want to capture it. That’s when the mighty paper and pen come in handy.

Journaling has a variety of benefits:

  • Helps clear the mind
  • Serves as a visual reminder of things accomplished/lessons learned
  • Strengthens the brain
  • Keepsake for family members after we’re long gone

In Ruth Folit’s article Why Good Writers Keep Journals, journaling helps writers find their voice.  It opens a world through introspection and insight to people and things around them.  This peek into life can be beneficial for creating realistic characters and storylines.

The piece below from Writer’s Relief expounds on the above concepts in more detail, and provides a guide for effective journaling.

#

Many of us keep journals to reduce stress or to record life’s events for posterity, and writers especially should make use of this creative outlet. Journaling can be a great tool for writers—the journal becomes a repository for fresh ideas and a safe place to write. Whether it’s a spiral notebook or a leather-bound book with a beautiful cover, a writer’s journal should be a source of inspiration.

There is an endless variety of journals to choose from. Select something that inspires you, that makes you eager to crack your journal open and turn to a fresh page. A beautiful diary with fun pockets or an elegant cover will make writing a pleasure. Invest in a fun or really fancy pen to use just for your journaling. Then, you are always ready to write!

Keep your journal handy for jotting down those whimsical ideas or brilliant first sentences that pop into your head at the oddest moments. If your journal is large or bulky, keep a spiral-bound pocket-sized notebook around. You can then transfer your ideas to the larger journal.

Write regularly and on a schedule. Get into the habit of writing each day, and you’ll be perfecting your craft at the same time.

A journal is meant for no one’s eyes but your own, so let those ideas flow unfettered. A little stream of consciousness is good for the soul, and no one will be looking over your shoulder, judging you on punctuation issues or your choice of simile. Sometimes when we let ourselves go and just write, we gain priceless personal insights—and these insights can help us to be better writers.

Later on, you can use your journal entries to write a memoir of your life before you became a famous writer!

If the ideas aren’t flowing, try some writing prompts and power your way through writer’s block. Sometimes the very act of writing will clear the path for new ideas and recharge your sagging muse. A Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux includes writing prompts applicable to either prose or poetry at the end of many chapters.

Some writers add newspaper clippings, sketches, or magazine articles to their journals—anything that inspires them. Others keep pictures or make lists. That’s the beauty of a journal—there are no rules, and this freedom is the catalyst that can unleash your creativity.

We can also go paper-free and buy journaling software, keeping a record of our thoughts and ideas on our personal computers. These programs have the standard word-processing capabilities, and most allow the user to add graphics, sound bites, and charts. If you’re thinking of buying, try the 30-day free trial period available with most of the software. If a trial period is not available, make the most of user-review sites like www.epinions.com. A few to check out:

Alpha Journal (www.alpharealms.com/journal/index.htm)

Digital Diary (www.ajebe.com)

The Journal (www.davidrm.com)

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.</span?

The Benefits of #Handwriting vs. #Typing: Why the Pen May Be Mightier Than the Keyboard

For awhile now, I’ve been using a combination of keyboard and handwriting.  Most recently, I purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro to make it more convenient when I want to switch back and forth between the two.

When I’m ready to handwrite, I use apps like OneNote or Myscript Nebo.  The beauty of both is the ability to convert the handwriting to text.  The former is the primary one I use because of how well I can organize my thoughts and writings into notebooks, sections, and pages.  I can also share the pages via email or the entire notebook via invitation.

Another perk of OneNote is the clipping tool (downloaded separately and installed as a browser extension).  If I find something on the web I want to save, all I have to do is click the icon in the browser bar and viola!  It’s saved to the location I choose.

Myscript Nebo is a great tool as well.  However, the sharing option is limited, and I can’t clip and save like OneNote.  A positive for this app is the bar that shows your writing as text and auto-corrects.  So even when my handwriting isn’t the most legible, Myscript figures it out.

Which do you prefer, handwriting or typing?  What devices and tools do you use?

Melanie V. Logan

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I LOVE infographics.  They offer a quick snippet of information in a visually pleasant manner.  So imagine my awe and delight when I ran across the one below.

Personally, I have noticed more fluidity of ideas when using my tablet and stylus to write compared to my laptop.

View original post 14 more words

Resources for #Writers…And Other Helpful Stuff

One of the things I love about the writing community is info sharing.  No matter where a writer may be in the journal, there are resources for everyone from beginner to advanced.

Below are a few of my previous posts about writing resources, and Nancy J’s helpful tip for Authors Publish Magazine.

AuthorToolboxBlogHub – monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors
5 Online Resources Every Writer Should Consider – think-outside-of-the-box list of resources to help the writing juices kick in
Vocabulary and Readability – vocabulary lists, emotion definitions, and readability checkers to assist in writing process

Life Time Writer

Nancy, youtube, memoir, announcement (3)

One of my favorite resources. Simply subscribe with your email address. I always do a quick scan of the resources I receive. It is a valuable tool for finding connections to submit your writing.

Writing Resource for Writers

View original post

My Worst #Writing Bad Habits: Using Find/Replace to Scrub the First #Draft – Tips from K.M. Pohlkamp

Some of the most overused words in my writing are was, have been, or trying to find a better way to say smile or grin. A thesaurus is helpful in some aspects. But it only replaces the word with another. What I like about the example given, is it prompts a mental picture for the reader and evokes feeling and a connection.

K.M. Pohlkamp - Author Website

The first draft is finished. Great! Um… now what?

I am often asked about my “writing process” and the more I write the more procedural it becomes – it is the engineer in me.

Getting the first draft on paper/electrons is a monumental task. And if nanowrimo and write sprints have taught me anything, it’s that snails could crawl over the keyboard faster than I write. So when the words are flowing, the last thing I want to do is disrupt my train of thought by editing.  But when the words flow, my bad writing habits tend to sneak in. That’s OK, a first draft is just getting the story down so it can be molded.

But it needs molding.

So after completing a first draft, the next step in my personal writing process is a systematic scrub for my worst writing habits. I have a list of my issues and…

View original post 526 more words