Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Worst Nightmare for a Writer

This happened to during #CampNaNoWriMo; I was happily working on my novel when the little hated window of "register software" made it's unwanted appearance. Turns out a virus corrupted Office and somehow removed the serial key. That was my worst nightmare.
Although the more common bad experiences with PC's are files bring deleted, either accidentally or by virus. So to prevent your worst nightmare from ruining your progress here's what you can do:

-back up your WIP. Email your work to yourself. Don't trust memory sticks, I learned the hard way that they too can fail! Or use Dropbbox or Google Drive to back up your work  It's safe and private and accessible from your smart phone even.

-Have back up software. If you got a backup of MS Office then great! But if you can't afford to fork out the cash  then rather use Open Office. It's got all the functionality of Word and it's FREE. No worries about licences that suddenly expire.

-if it was accidental deletion you can always try recovery programs with some success.

-print a hardcopy. This sounds nuts, being in the digital age and all. Trust me on this, a hardcopy will save you when all of the above failed. And it makes editing easier too.

Well hope this helps. And may you never have to learn the hard way how important it is to back up your work. PC's fail. We tend to forget that.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Proper Manuscript Format

Unless you are a famous author like J.K Rowling or Stephen King chances are you have to abide by proper manuscript formatting, unless you want your work thrown onto the reject pile. Even the famous authors need to stick to manuscript formatting.
Proper formatting allows the editor to quickly spot mistakes and using the proper format creates a professional impression.
It is always important to follow your publisher's guidelines for submissions.

Here's the link to William Shunn's guide to proper manuscript formatting click here.

I will place the link under the right hand tab as well, under Interesting Links.


Saturday, 11 April 2015

When Life Hits

For some reason people have the impression that  authors have glamorous lives. Going on adventures and doing crazy things all in the name of their current work in progress. Sadly this is not true for most authors. Most of us are regular people with regular jobs and lives. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing. Things like moving, changing jobs, joblessness and other life stressors impact writing negatively and can lead to writer's block. 
I've been there numerous times. That awful place when life and problems just gets the better of me, causing my writing to stop completely. This is where support comes in handy. I've blogged before about author groups. They really do lend the support one needs when life sucks your creativity. Also I've blogged before about alleviating writer's block. One of the important steps being that you should identify the stressor.
What I failed to mention was the importance of gaol setting. Setting a daily and attainable goal will help with the writing. Don't sat a goal of a 1000 words a day if you know you will only manage to write 500. Anything you write above this goal is a bonus and deserves a pat on the back.

The most important thing, however, is to have faith in yourself. If you believe you can achieve your gaol then you will. And remember, life does not stay sucky. It improves. Sometimes it just takes a little time and effort.