Elle Carter Neal

Elle Carter Neal is the author of teen science-fantasy novel Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin. She has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, holding childhood slumber-party audiences entranced until the early hours of the morning. Elle decided to be an author the day she discovered that real people wrote books and that writing books was (sort of) a real job.

Mar 272011
 

I’ve not yet finished reading The Story Book, but wanted to post my thoughts before David’s stop here on Tuesday.

The Story Book is definitely one I’m pleased to add to my writer’s bookshelf and a book I’m sure I will refer to many times while I’m editing my books.

David begins with an explanation of what Story means to society and how humans may have come to use narrative to pass on information and instructions to each other and to the next generations.

In a story, the characters, through various conflicts, successes, and failures play out a situation and the means to accomplish a certain goal. When the reader identifies with the situations and outcomes experienced by the characters, the story resonates with the reader and s/he learns from it. Stories have historically provided “signposts” or instructions for navigating society’s hierarchy. When story after story over generations reaffirms the same messages, the stories “shape our minds”.
(Paraphrased from page 24 of The Story Book)

This exposition resonated with me because the project I’ll soon be launching involves reworking fairytales to offer an alternative to parents concerned about the patriarchal subtext of the traditional Grimm and Disney versions and how these stories have “shaped the minds” of children in the past.

Most writers think they must write subtext in order to deliver an underlying story. This is wrong… If the story is created using knowledge gaps, then the real story is received in subtext.”
David Baboulene, The Story Book, page 30.

Subtext, and how to generate it effectively within a story, forms the heart of The Story Book. Author David Baboulene is currently writing a Ph.D thesis, which includes the theory that the more subtext a story contains the more satisfying the reader/audience finds it. If you haven’t previously considered subtext as an important element of your storytelling, this book is a must-read.

David explains the nuts and bolts of various structural techniques very clearly. The movie Back to the Future is the main story example in this section and since this is a movie series I have seen numerous times I found it very easy to follow David’s reasoning so far.

The Story Book is a good companion to take on your writing journey. Beginner writers might benefit from waiting until they have completed at least a first draft before delving into this book as the level of detailed analysis and academic presentation could be overwhelming. More advanced writers may find The Story Book useful for the planning phase of a manuscript as well as for editing and revision.

David Baboulene’s website
The Story Book is published by DreamEngine Media Ltd., 2010, and is available from Amazon UK, and on Kindle from Amazon.com

My review copy was sent to me by the author.

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Mar 242011
 

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.”

D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

With all my discussion of my lack of focus, lack of time, and lack of self-discipline, I thought I should pause for a moment to qualify that I’m not really complaining about my lot in life. I am well aware of how outrageously priviledged I am to live the life I do and have the advantages that I have. My growing self-awareness has highlighted just how much I could potentially achieve if I could find some drive and focus. Or just access some drive and focus, because I don’t think I don’t have those qualities, or that I’ve somehow lost them.

And this is what I’m complaining about: that I have neglected myself. I have had many opportunities and many advantages and time and again I’ve failed to grab them and use what I have. These meandering posts of self-examination are my way of trying to drum this into my head and gain some momentum and energy so that I can grab these advantages and use them.

In addition to the reading I’ve been doing over the past year, and some amazing forums and blogs that deal with priviledge, I’ve watched three reality TV shows over the past few months that have really helped me to gain some perspective on just how lucky and priviledged I am. The shows are Blood, Sweat, and Take-Aways (a group of young Britons live and work in Indonesia’s fast food production industry for a few weeks), Blood, Sweat, and T-Shirts (another group living and working in India’s sweatshops), and Britain’s Missing Top Model (a group of variously disabled women competing for a chance to become an elite model). Although there are many moments in these shows that are cringeworthily offensive in the sheer presumption and superiority of the first two and exploitation of the subjects of the third, it is really this embarrassment factor that pushes the perspective shift and the acknowledgement of priviledge.

Something else these shows deal with is self-pity. Usually it is the most priviledged person who displays the most self-pity in the face of hardship, until circumstances and awareness of the worse plight of another person brings perspective. I think this route to self-awareness is a very powerful one. We learn this lesson best when it is brought to us through a little bit of embarrassment and guilt and a desire to try and make things a little better somehow.

I quite like the D.H. Lawrence quote at the start of this post, and I’ve tried to make it a motto in the past without real success. I now know why it doesn’t quite sit right with me. It’s only half the story. It’s what makes animals so strong, but what sets humans apart from them. Here’s my response to Lawrence:

A little bit of self pity provides context for empathy and compassion for others.


A reminder that David Baboulene, author of The Story Book, will be joining me on Tuesday, 29 March on a stop of his blog book tour. Don’t miss it.

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Mar 162011
 

This week I’m interrupting my story of my perspective shift to announce that David Baboulene will be joining me at HearWriteNow on the 29th March on a stop of his blog book tour for The Story Book: A Writer’s Guide to Story Development, Principles, Problem Solving, and Marketing.

If I had been writing blog posts more frequently, I would’ve reached the one about how I got caught up in writing about fiction instead of writing my fiction and why I have decided to stop writing for writers and start writing for readers. I might also have reached the post about synchronicity and how it has constantly tricked me into deviating from the path I really should be on. So, in a few weeks’ time you can say to me: “Huh? I thought you weren’t doing this anymore?” Well, I’ve made an exception for this book. (Though: is it really an exception if I haven’t yet begun cutting these distractions out of my time…?)

I think this book just might be something special. (It arrived yesterdary, so I’ve only just cracked it open.) But what convinced me to read this book and accept the invitation to host David on his book tour was learning that he is in the process of writing a Ph.D. thesis on subtext in story and how subtext resonates with the reader’s mind. Subtext is a writing element that is very important to me, and the new fiction project I’ve started thanks to my perspective shift actually revolves around a particular societal subtext (more about that when I’m ready to launch it). What was that about synchronicity? Oh dear.

Anyway, I’m going to read this book. I’ll let you know what I think of it. And mark the 29th (the evening of the 29th or early morning of the 30th if you’re in Australia, etc) in your diary and join us for a discussion of subtext. Come armed with lots of questions!

David Baboulene’s website
The Story Book is available from Amazon UK, and on Kindle from Amazon.com

My review copy was sent to me by the author.

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Feb 282011
 

On to Part 2 of the lightbulb moment caused by Eben Pagan’s video launch of his Self-Made Wealth course. In the second and third video Eben Pagan spoke about a man I’m sure you’ve heard of: Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett takes so much care with his wealth that he doesn’t look at the dollar price tag of major purchases, but at the lost investment amount or “opportunity cost” of that purchase. In other words, money he spends on something like a car could’ve been invested in X at Y% interest, so in 20 years time he would have lost Z amount of wealth all due to buying this item*.

So, what does this have to do with writing? Well, think back to the concept of your imagination and your writing skill as the asset with which you are to create your wealth. Now think of some of the things you do in terms of “opportunity cost”. Surfing the Internet? Watching something on TV you’re not even interested in just because it’s on? Playing FarmVille / Farm Town / FrontierVille / Social City / Restaurant City… on FaceBook (those are the first few of 47 new game requests that have popped up since I deleted the last requests a fortnight ago). How about spending several hours on social networking tasks to promote your affiliate marketing sites? Or making new sites, selecting products, writing code, making everything look nice? An extra hour in bed when instead you could be producing a quarter of a short story or a tenth of a chapter? What about reviewing books for the whopping 4% commission on Amazon? I’m thinking out loud now: this is my list. Spending several days carefully crafting each Word 4 Writers module at – wait for it – 80c per module per student. Thousands of hours spent on Squidoo at less than a dollar an hour. That’s just the ice-cube in my night-cap; I’m nowhere near the iceberg yet.

“Don’t sell your time for less than it’s worth.” – Eben Pagan

That’s not to say that we should henceforth cut off all non-productive pursuits and become writing robots. But it is worth asking, “Is this particular activity worth not only my time now, but also my time lost?” For unpublished writers it is hard to put a dollar value on one’s time. That opportunity cost formula that comes so easily to Warren Buffett, who knows exactly what he wants to do with every dollar, is nearly impossible for someone like me to calculate.

But the term “opportunity cost” has another connotation for writers. Occasionally an opportunity may arise to transmute an asset, such as a manuscript, into wealth, such as a traditionally published book complete with advance and royalties. As writers our investment is having these assets ready and available for such an opportunity. Doing anything else but writing cuts into this investment. Wasting time costs you interest. A few years ago I came across the website of a publishing company requesting children’s fantasy manuscripts: mine wasn’t ready. Still isn’t. You know that feeling you get when you freefall, and your stomach seems to end up in a different place to the rest of you? That’s how I felt when what Eben was saying clicked for me.

A couple of weeks ago I read two blog posts about two self-publishing authors that really made me think:
L.J. Sellers and Alisa Valdes.

L.J. Sellers told interviewer Helen Ginger: “…one of the main factors that led me to leave my publisher was the waiting time. I had books completed and scheduled to be released in the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013. I started thinking about how much money I could make on my own in the meantime if I published the e-books immediately. I decided not to wait.”

Alisa Valdes had a similar lightbulb moment. But she also had the experience of her original publisher not understanding that what Alisa’s readers wanted to buy was not what the publisher wanted to sell them. Alisa did understand, and so she gave her readers what they wanted; publisher be damned.

I told you this was a series of small thoughts adding to a major perspective shift. Reading L.J.’s words above seemed to echo something I’d been pondering for a year or longer. Except in my case it was the realisation that I had a market expressing interest in what I had to offer with a definite sense that I wouldn’t be able to get a publisher interested in time to capture this market. So, if this has been on my mind for a year, why am I only now starting to get it off the ground? Well, there’s that focus thing again. Along came an opportunity to relaunch Word 4 Writers at the same time and I saw it as a sign. I do a lot of that, too, and just for kicks I’ll give you some examples in another post.

And another reason is fear. Word 4 Writers was just sharing information; sharing my stories means sharing a part of my soul. And that’s a deep pool to plunge into.

* If this brief introduction has piqued your own interest in doing some maths of your own, here is a handy online compound interest calculator put out by the Australian government.

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Feb 202011
 

In my last post I spoke about how Sonia Simone’s perspective on focus highlighted my multiple thumbs-in-pies malady. I didn’t always lack focus; in fact my training novel and second novel were completed with a great deal of self-discipline, including, as I’ve mentioned previously, giving up reading fiction for a year. I’ll come back to the topic of how I lost my focus in an upcoming post. First I want to fast-forward to January this year and talk about the series of videos that electrified me and have helped to launch me onto the trajectory I thought I should have been on but couldn’t justify until now.

Those videos were made by an internet marketer called Eben Pagan to launch his course called Self-Made Wealth. That (two grand!) course is now closed, but as of this writing the pre-launch videos are still up and well worth watching.

The first thing that stuck in my mind from one of Eben’s videos was the concept of Fiat Money. I’d heard this concept before, but Eben put it really simply: basically, cash money is worthless; it only has value because we (or governments really) say it does. Extremely wealthy people do not hold their wealth in cash; they invest in assets that appreciate in value. Simple.

Then he added to that thought with some examples about investing and included an anecdote about someone with a thriving business, and the perspective that this person would be best off investing any profits back into his business and not into other shares or investments. (Now, I don’t completely agree with this because I’m of the eggs-and-baskets mind-set. Nevertheless…)

The idea that really hit me upside the head, though, was almost a throw-away line or two (because this course is about getting out of a debt mindset, not how to launch a business, so it wasn’t the core idea of the videos). Eben said that the way to create wealth is to create something of value that people want to buy. Create something out of nothing, in other words.

Create something of value that people want to buy.

Again, not a new idea. But it was the way all these ideas (and more that I’ll share later) came together in my mind.

It was the word “create” that got me. Eben was talking about creating info-products. The internet marketer’s golden goose. But “create” means something totally different to me, and, if you’re an artist or writer or in another creative field, you’ll understand this mental leap immediately.

My next thought went to people like JK Rowling and Stephen King. Create something out of nothing: well they certainly did that, and, yes, they re-invested and diversified what they created and it generated wealth for them. Ha! Understatement.

Eben Pagan also mentioned the famous Star Trek James Kirk/Kobayashi Maru anecdote, making the point that sometimes you don’t have to put up with the program that someone else has written for your life. If you think outside the box, you can write your own program. Writers, in particular, are often trapped in the no-win mindset that attempting to go the route of self-publishing could sabotage your chance for traditional publication, while waiting for your traditional publication lottery numbers to come up might mean a long wait that costs you readers and income.

Finally, I got a real emotional lift. Due to societal training that teaches us to buy into this fiat money illusion, I’ve long thought of myself as inferior because I don’t earn an income. It’s like being part of a business but not being a shareholder: your vote doesn’t count. I’m a stay-at-home mum dabbling in website content and affiliate marketing while trying to find some time and energy to write down the fiction threatening to leak out of my brain. I thought that’s what I should do; it’s a rare writer who doesn’t supplement her fiction income using other writing avenues, if not an actual day job. But what is wealth, really? Well, it’s not money. It’s not income, or “working for The Man”. Wealth is reflected in assets and in the creation of something that others want to buy or trade for.

What greater asset than one’s mind when that mind can create works of fiction that people want to read?

What greater wealth than imagination?

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Feb 112011
 

Last week I mentioned an accumulation of ideas that has brought about a massive shift in my perspective. I’ll start with the idea that I came across two years ago that really put all this into motion.

I found that idea in a blog post by Sonia Simone of Remarkable Communication and CopyBlogger. That post was called Beatrix Kiddo’s Guide to Making It Happen. Now, I loathed both volumes of Kill Bill and anything remotely to do with QT, but I somehow I managed to have seen these movies and Sonia’s analogy made a lot of sense to me. Sonia talks about focus and how Beatrix Kiddo (The Bride) was the epitome of focus, particularly when she slowly and methodically punched her way out of a buried coffin. Millions and millions of little punches, again, and again, and again. Sound a bit like writing a novel?

If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s focused. I am the queen of multi-tasking. I’m usually reading three or four books at once (fiction and non), and reviewing them, writing two different fiction books and compiling material for some e-book or course or the like, plus “maintaining” or contributing to several blogs, websites (this one and two BellaOnline sites in the past), over 100 lenses and hubs, affiliate marketing ventures… not to mention parenting my toddler who has made it his goal to pull his mummy away from the computer* whenever she “just needs to check something”. Hell, scrap “queen”: I’m the joker, juggling a few dozen balls and hardly noticing all those I’ve dropped along the way.

I read Sonia’s post when I was pregnant and realised I would need to find some of that focus once my child was born because my time would be much more limited. So I cut back on a layer of stuff that I no longer absolutely loved doing (goodbye BellaOnline). What I didn’t realise, though, was the definition of “much more limited time” due to a baby is more accurately “zero time”. A baby is a vortex. It was actually a good chance to shed even more of that stuff that sucked up my now very precious time at the computer; anything else that I hadn’t missed when I was “offline” could go as well.

When my child finally began sleeping during the day, I found myself with real, genuine, super-concentrated, cold-pressed, 100% pure, Time. I used it well to begin with. Anything that could be done when my son was awake could wait until he was awake. (Thus I now have a toddler who helps me unpack the dishwasher, fold the laundry, and push the vaccuum cleaner around.) Nap times were reserved for writing, painting, or sleeping. I became quite strict with myself, knowing that I only had an hour or two at the most. I made myself a schedule split into “Priority” tasks involving my family, my health, housework, and my fiction writing, and “Venture” tasks, which included chasing opportunities to make some pocket money online. Priority tasks got assigned first, venture tasks happened if and when there was extra time left over.

I thought it was a pretty good system. I certainly felt more focused for a while. But I still had a lot of balls in the air. So many interests, so few hours in the day.

But like all things, as soon as I came to rely on having “that free hour when my child has a nap” I began to find ways to waste it. I have a weakness for online conversation. I hadn’t realised how opinionated I was until I started tracking how much advice I was dispensing on various forums. I knew I had to stop when I caught myself digging through my browser history and hopping from one site to the next and back again to check if anyone had responded to my comments. The next thing I knew my baby was waking up and I’d spent an hour going in circles.

As Miss Snark once put it: “Discipline, grasshopper. Discipline.”

*And who can blame him: I hate being ignored in favour of a screen too.

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Feb 042011
 

Sorry I’ve been quiet for so long. The last half of last year was whisked away with the Charter Class of my Word 4 Writers Course. Since I was writing the modules (for both version 2007 and version 2010) at the same pace that my students were taking the class, it was an incredibly intensive workload that I had to cram into the couple of hours when my toddler slept and a few hours at night after everyone else had gone to bed. I pulled several midnight+ sessions.

But the outcome of that is that I finished two versions of Word 4 Writers and I’m very pleased with the result. This is far better than the original Word 4 Writers, and I would never have kept on schedule if I hadn’t had students to whom I had to deliver each week. So a big thank you to my charter students for hanging in there with me.

The bad news, however, is that my laptop’s hard drive died a few weeks ago. Murphy’s Law: it happened right after I wrote and posted an article on Blood-Red Pencil about backing up! Thankfully our computers are networked and synchronised, so I haven’t lost any actual work. But I’m not sure whether I somehow managed to back up my emails. I suspect not, and, if that is indeed the case, I will have lost all 48 training emails I sent out for Word 4 Writers. (If any of my charter students are prepared to forward those back to me, I would be extremely grateful; in fact I’ll refund your course costs for the first student to do so.) If I have lost those emails, it is not worth my time to rewrite them, and that means the Word 4 Writers Course will be in jeopardy. I’m moving on to something different this year and I don’t want to redo work I’ve already done. But I am thinking of offering Word 4 Writers as a printed book instead… stayed tuned.

In upcoming posts I want to share some amazing insight I’ve had this month. It has been an accumulation of ideas and perspectives that have all slotted in together brilliantly, and I’m feeling very excited and positive about the rest of this year.

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Aug 242010
 

I was recently lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Lynette Chandler of Blog Energizer as part of a contest she’s running to promote her site. Blog Energizer scours the Internet for ideas for bloggers to write about, but Lynette is also involved in the technical side of blogging with plugins and membership site integration.

Please pop over to Lynette’s blog and vote for me! Thanks. (Link opens in a new window.)

Elle: What is your best advice for fiction writers who are thinking of using a blog to build a platform, particularly if they don’t yet have a tangible book to promote?

Lynette: Now’s a good time to start. A blog can be used to generate interest, stir up curiosity and anticipation for the upcoming book. If you can talk about the book, it’s a good place to give people an idea what it’s about, who you are, where the book is at this point in time. It can help you gather a following and pre-sell to them before hand so when the book is published, you don’t have to work so hard or scramble because you already have a base of eager and interested buyers. Just take a look at movie trailers or movie sites. Many of the bigger movies have sites that are launched way ahead of its release to get people excited.

Also, it can be a sort of accountability partner. If you put it out there, you build people’s interest up, there’s no turning back. You must deliver and finish that book.

Elle: What is the easiest way for a writer who is not tech-savvy to promote her/himself online?

Lynette: I think before you actively promote you should at least have a site. You can get people to build one based on blogging system like WordPress that way you can manage everything and add a blog super easy. It’s probably better to save up and have someone do the initial setup to eliminate the more technical part but once that is done and the site is ready then you can start promoting.

Write a guest article/post for someone else’s site or blog. Try to target it too where the people who read your article/post are the ones you really want to get in front of. These are the people who are likely to buy your book or writing services.

Accept interviews – no technical knowledge involved. Be a guest on podcasts, Internet Radio Shows, Internet Video Shows and blogs.

If possible, give chapter samples or create a PDF of the first couple of chapters of the book that people can freely pass on without strings attached.

Joint venture with a blogger or a group of bloggers (hint: like BlogEnergizer) where you offer digital versions of the book for free download for say 24 hours. The more exclusive it is the better. In other words, pick a group or one blog and work with them. People are more likely to promote on your behalf it is exclusive.

Elle: What do you think of the idea of publishing fiction on a blog?

Lynette: I personally love it and have seen a lot of writers do it. It is always intriguing to me especially when chapters are released one by one on a schedule I’d definitely return to the blog to read and it keeps me hooked, in deep anticipation for the next chapter. Also, the ability to comment and discuss the chapters and perhaps shape the book if it is still in progress is very appealing.

Elle: What other platforms, media, outlets, or concepts do you think are underutilized by writers?

Lynette: It is unfortunate for me I don’t get to mingle too much with fiction writers. As a result, I may not necessarily be as clear on what authors are or aren’t doing as well as someone like you does. However, I can tell you at BlogEnergizer what we are always looking out for but don’t seem to get much of.

That is for authors to create joint promotions like what was mentioned before and make themselves available for interviews to bloggers. Big traditional media I am sure is the big prize for many authors but new media can work just as well. And so often the traditional media gets their contacts from new media as well.

It also doesn’t have to be a big time suck or something that you have to work your schedule around. Especially when you do written interviews like this, or a recorded Internet radio show.

Elle: What is the biggest mistake you’ve seen an author make online – and how do we avoid it?

Lynette: Again, since we have limited interaction with authors themselves and not knowing how the traditional publishing industry works. It is hard for me to say. One thing though, and this probably stems from my ignorance of the traditional publishing industry. I’m always seeking authors who would like to work with us BlogEnergizer to create a promotion for our members, work with our members individually or both. But to contact an author is like trying to enter the Forbidden City, the information flowing through the publisher first. I’d really like to work as directly as possible.

If you are self published then surely none of that applies so do seek us out or seek out bloggers who have a good readership base and demographic that would match the readers of your work. Brainstorm some exclusive promotional ideas and work with them.

Elle: Thank you Lynette. I really appreciate the time you’ve spent on this interview.


Remember the contest I mentioned? If you enjoyed this interview please vote for me at Lynette’s Blog. Voting opens on 25 August 2010. Thanks!

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Aug 132010
 

Selma is conducting a poll of writers: Do you read? How often and how much? What are you reading right now? Do you read while you’re writing?

Selma says: I had a conversation with a friend of mine who teaches a creative writing course at the local university about writers and reading. She says that most of her students don’t read. They are adults who are paying fifteen thousand dollars to do a degree and they don’t read. They are too busy learning how to be writers. They are too busy writing, to read.

Something is definitely wrong with that scenario. The way I look at it is, how can you become a writer – a good writer – if you don’t read?

Here’s my response:

I used to read about 100 books a year, almost entirely fiction. The year I concentrated on writing my first real novel (i.e., second novel if you count the “training novel”) I decided that I would not read while I was writing after I found myself taking on Dickens’s style of writing while re-reading Oliver Twist. It was a very obvious example otherwise I might not have noticed. I decided that I needed to develop my own voice first before I could again combine my two joys of writing and reading. I lasted almost a year without reading fiction and it was really hard. It took a lot of discipline to not reach for a book, and I’m afraid I really don’t understand people who can exist without needing to read. And I don’t think you can be a good writer if you don’t need to read; if you’re not addicted to stories. Nowadays I can read and write at the same time without it affecting my style, but I have become lazy I think. Or perhaps just demotivated. It feels easier to pick up a book and read than it does to write these days.

Right now I’m re-reading Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. This is the first book in a trilogy that itself is part of an eleven-book series. Now that I’ve read all eleven I wanted to start again to pick up the foreshadowing and nuances that a first time read precludes. My husband thinks I’m nuts. What about you? 😉

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Jul 242010
 

Word 4 WritersThe past few months I’ve been flat out getting Word 4 Writers ready for re-launch and updated to Word version 2010. I’m really pleased that it is all coming together again. Ironically, it was Word itself that almost made me give up on Word 4 Writers.

Word does not do graphics well. Including more than a few graphics blows the file size out to huge proportions. On top of that, screenshots are memory-hungry files too. So back in 2005 when I wrote the first Word 4 Writers E-Guide I had to shut down every non-essential program on my computer in order to work on my mammoth 200MB document. Opening this document took ten minutes while each page loaded and touching anything while it was doing so would result in the blue screen of death. I think I only just managed to print the final document to .pdf in time before Word decided that file had erred fatally and deserved termination. All my attempts to update Word 4 Writers since have been suffocated by frustration.

Until the teaching bug bit again this year when I bought a much-needed new laptop. My old one’s equals and delete keys died: the loss of the first is a nightmare when you need to write html, the second when you want to write anything at all. And I started feeling my way around Word 2007. I learn something and I turn around and teach it; that was the first “ping”.

The second “ping” was opening the old .pdf file of Word 4 Writers (I still can’t open the .doc file) and finally seeing the bigger picture. This was Word for Writers, not Word for business. I have to admit that the first Word 4 Writers was still ingrained in the mindset of business letters and annual reports. After all, I’d been using Word for just that up until a few months before I sat down to create a course for writers. So, now, I grabbed a good dose of mental thunder and lightning and reorganised the material around exactly what it is that writers do when they click that Word icon. Or should be doing.

The third “ping” occurred while I was surfing the Internet and put a couple of ideas together that I’d found, most notably on CopyBlogger, one of my current favourite resources (thanks Sonia 😉 ). If I offered Word 4 Writers as a course delivered weekly I could start teaching as soon as the first few modules are ready. One of my biggest problems is motivation, and my best motivation comes from someone else relying on me for something. So now I have my charter students and the motivation to deliver one bite-size module per week. And I really can do this.

This post has gone on rather longer than I’d planned and the point of it was supposed to be to list the current Word and Computer-related articles on HearWriteNow:

Keyboard Shortcuts

How to Create Your Own Bookplates

Word Processing Shortcuts for Character Names

Editing with Track Changes and Comments

Shorten Your Synopsis Using Word

Viewing Your Notes and Manuscript Together

Removing Unwanted Formatting From Your Manuscript

Do You Need Writing Software?

I’d love to hear what else you need to know about Word. I want to create a library of tips, so fire away with your questions.

This is the final week that Charter Membership of Word 4 Writers is open. The price per month will go up on the 1st August.

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