Posts Tagged ‘writing’

It has begun! Yes, the month of November is the time for writers of any ilk to pick up a pen (or sit at a laptop) and try their best to scribble down the ideas that come tumbling out of their heads.

Our boss and Mightier Than the Sword UK Overlord, C.S. Woolley takes part each year and it is through NaNoWriMo that she met one of our other authors, Steven M. Caddy!

NaNoWriMo opens all kinds of doors to writers around the world and sets up competition between writing circles as well as gives the creative people who produce tall tales of wonder like minded people to talk to about their latest work.

This year, C.S. Woolley will be working on When Darkness Falls during NaNoWriMo and you’ll be able to keep up with the book as it is produced through Smashwords – by this we mean that the first chapter has already been written, proofed and uploaded for you to get your hands on and find out what is happening next in the realm of Celadmore.

When Darkness Falls is book #7 in the Chronicles of Celadmore series.

WDF Coming

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images (1)Writing through the ages has been one of the most important factors in the development of knowledge and recording history as well as being able to translate and understand ancient languages.

From the Rosetta Stone, to hieroglyphics, to text language writing, no matter what form it takes, it is an essential form of communication. Without it there would be no websites, no online blogs, no product descriptions, no textbooks, and possibly most important of all, no great literature and free print media.

However with the development of technology, the way different people write has changed. Snail mail has been replaced by email in some quarters, Facebook messaging, twitter, texting or even services like WhatsApp and BBM.

Using a typewriter to write a manuscript has been replaced by word processing, which has many advantages. These include being able to save a document and edit one version of the manuscript and spell and grammar check without having to start again.

We decided take a look at the different platforms that people use to write and why they have advantages over other forms.

Write on a Laptop

Using word processors became something of a revolution when they became available for the general public. It meant that spelling errors and grammatical errors could be greatly reduced when typing out documents at home or at work.

It also meant that quite a few people that had never typed before in their life suddenly had to learn how. The most interesting thing to note about most people who type is that they still only use two fingers to do so, one on each hand even now.

Documents can also be stored on computers in order to be proof read, edited or modified later without having to start from scratch, as you would with a page that contained errors that had been typed on a typewriter. These files can then be sent via email around the world without the need for expensive postage almost instantaneously.

However using word processors on desktops, laptops and netbooks in order to write whether that is novels, letters, reports, emails or blog posts has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people that suffer from RSI or Repetitive Strain Injury due to using the keyboard on these devices.

Those that suffer from RSI can use a variety of devices to relieve the symptoms, but suffer from intense pain and can even lose the ability to pinch.

Write on a Typewriter

Typewriters are almost a forgotten form now that word processing has taken their place in typing but there are still some people who own them and use them.

The sound a typewriter makes is somewhat comforting to sit and listen to and can’t help but bring to mind rooms full of women typing away that are seen on old world war film reels.

There is something that is now very nostalgic about using a typewriter. Though they have no spell checker function, no real way of deleting mistakes and if something goes wrong with the ribbon then it can take a long time to sort out.

There is also the problem of hitting the keys too quickly that leads to the letter arms getting stuck and needing to be separated by hand.

Creativity wise though, typewriters are preferred by many because they don’t feel as soulless as word processing does and re-typing the odd page to correct a mistake is seen as a small sacrifice in order to maintain a sense of integrity.

Not only this, but with the rise of the popularity of all things retro and steampunk, typewriters have become somewhat cool for all their faults.

Write By Hand

When you write by hand there is something very personal about it as your handwriting style is different from anyone else’s. What you write on a page is a reflection of your personality as much as the clothes you wear, the music you listen to and the gadgets that you buy.

Writing behind also lets you experiment with different styles from calligraphy to writing with a standard biro. Each different pen or pencil effects how you write and often takes much longer than typing does.

Yes there is the problem of spelling and grammar errors on the page, but by hand writing to someone instead of using a computer to write an email there is more of an inference that people care enough to have taken more time over it.

Problems of ink running, paper tearing and not being able to read what you have written are things that do put people of writing by hand as well as the length of time it takes to write by hand compared with typing.

Write on Tablet

Tablets for writing blog posts, sending emails or other messages are far more portable and easy to use than netbooks, laptops and desktop computers and come with the same advantages.

However tablets don’t have the same capacity to save lots of documents as laptops do and though there is a shift towards digital storage, many people feel more comfortable having a local copy stored, one on a backup external hard drive as well as a cloud copy.

This is due to many clouds having several problems that have included files being deleted from the cloud without any instruction being given and the cloud wiping the locally stored copies as well.

Some tablets can be used to write directly onto the screens so that you can easily take notes and store information in the short term instead of having to type on the touch screen or use clip on keyboards.

Well it’s Sunday and sad to say that most of us here at Mightier Than the Sword UK haven’t had much time off at all this weekend and already Monday is looming.

There was a leak on Friday and a problem with the electrics so it’s been so we’ve had to spend ours moving things out of harms way and waiting for tradespeople to appear to help us in our time of need. Not all the problems are fixed, but we are getting there.

We’ve also lost Goldie, one of the tropical fish in the office, a golden gourami (yes we were highly imaginative in naming her) who died after what appeared to be a fit that sent her crashing around the fish tank.

So really we haven’t had the best weekend.

But we do have some good news. We’ve got a new book review up on the site Social Wealth: How to Build Extraordinary Relationships By Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Lead and Network by Jason Treu one of the non-fiction books we’ve been asked to review. If you haven’t seen the other books we’ve had the pleasure of reading then you should check out our book reviews section which has a full list of the title.

We’re also going to be launching our very own goodreads page in the not too distant future so please feel free to connect with us there. We’ll post a link when we are happy with the profile and have got it all up and running.

Those who are still doing NaNoWriMo are cross as they have lost valuable writing time with all the drama of the weekend as well as losing valuable working time on Friday. We’re hoping that next week is going to be a quiet one but who knows what tomorrow will bring – except for probably rain.

Well 19 grueling days of writing and I’ve reached 50,000 words! Yes that looming monstrous word count has fallen before my pen (seems very apt given the name of this company). I was even naughty enough to go through and edit as I went, mainly because it helps to keep me inspired to write and also it means that I don’t get too bogged down in the story so when it comes to the end, I’m not so sick of the story that I leave revisions for two months.

Getting to 50,000 words of any book is something to be celebrated for sure, but even starting to write and getting through the first chapter is often a huge mountain to climb – after all there is nothing so daunting as a blank piece of paper.

So for the last two days have been spent writing tiny amounts, so there has been some progress past the 50,000 word count but not as much as I would like, but what it has done is inspired me to plan further, not so much the End of Days story line since I did that already, but the wider plot arcs and other books I have on the horizon.

I do have my trusty Gollum wire mascot grimacing at me to keep me focused on working towards finishing End of Days, though it may be at a slightly slower rate than I originally thought when I was hyped up on NaNo juice.

 

The halfway mark has just passed for all those who are beavering away at the NaNoWriMo challenge and it amazes me each year how many new people take up the challenge.

The thing is, NaNoWriMo doesn’t just have to be a month long event – it reaches far beyond that. For those who live in the Nottingham area at least, the meets are all year round so you can have support in your writing and make some lifelong friends who share a knowledge of something that so many people really don’t understand. That is just how hard it is to write.

For those who have chosen writing as a career it also gives you a very helpful sounding board and creative influence that really is invaluable.

As Mightier Than the Sword UK’s bloggers have reported, my NaNo writing has taken a sudden productive turn. 16 days in and I have just passed the 45,000 word mark and don’t show any signs of slowing down. I was originally writing the ballad of Grendel’s Mother, an experiment in writing an old epic poem and using my degree in English and Dead Languages but found that inspiration wasn’t in it. I have the first fifty lines but it’s definitely something I will have to come back to after I have refreshed myself on Beowulf.

Instead it is the Chronicles of Celadmore that I have fallen back in love with, and yes I am perfectly willing to admit that I love the books I write and the characters I create. If I didn’t then I am not sure that I would still be writing them after all this time. So it is End of Days that I am working on and it seems to be going really well. I’ve written the beginning and the end so now it’s just filling in everything that comes in between. For once this book isn’t just a journey of discovery, I have all the plot points that need to be resolved by the end of this book all planned out and the new characters that are being introduced have all got back stories in place. It is possibly the most organised I have ever been when it comes to writing a book.

Some of the guys in the office thought it would be quite a nice idea for me (C.S. Woolley) to write a NaNoWriMo blog journal for the site updating it every few days so that those who are interested in getting involved can get a rough idea about what is involved before taking on what is a mammoth project or those who don’t feel up to the task can support those who are taking part.

The first thing to understand is why do NaNoWriMo at all. To take on the huge task of writing 50,000 words in a single month is not something most people can do for their own vanity. The Office of Letters and Light is a charity that raises money to help people to write around the world and most importantly children. Each person who takes part in NaNoWriMo can donate their own money and set up a fundraising page so people can support what they are doing.

The second thing to know is that you can’t do it alone. Writing is something that gets pushed out by other aspects of life and thought 1,667 words a day may not seem like a lot – between work, looking after the home, food shopping and all the small things that eat away at your motivation you can go weeks without putting a single word on the page. That’s where the regional meets and forum pages come in very handy. The regional meets let you get together with others and write. Well most of them do, if you happen to come to the Nottingham meet we tend to not get much writing done at the meets. But the forum and chatrooms are great for those who can’t make the meets to be encouraged.

The third thing is that because you can choose what you work on it can be difficult to feel happy with what you are writing, but as long as you write and keep writing despite your mood, you can always go back and edit later!

Happy NaNoWriMo!

We know we’ve been rather quiet on the site updates and blog front for the last few days. Having so few of us in the office means it has been all hands on deck in terms of getting things done, but this week sees everyone returning from their travels and those who have disappeared into the world of Alien: Isolation seem to have all finsihed the game just in time for a few weeks work before we lose them to Dragon Age: Inquistion.

We’re really happy to announce we’ve got a new book review going up – City of Magi by Michael McDuffee. The review was done by C.S. Woolley but based on what she has said about it, those of us who stayed behind here hi-jacked her kindle so we could see what all the fuss was about (on a side note – never come between an author and her kindle).

Now that halloween is over it seems that everywhere has gone Christmas crazy but we’re trying to keep that kind of chatter off the radar until after Bonfire Night at the very least. So in honour of the foiling of the gunpowder plot we’ve got a great night planned for 5th November. V for Vendetta is on the cards with hotpot for dinner followed by sparklers outside at the local bonfire display organised by the Lions – oh yes we know how to live it up!

A seasonal warning though to all those who are celebrating Bonfire Night – sparklers and fireworks are dangerous so never use them inside and make sure you stand well back from any fireworks. If you can always go to an organised display instead of one in someone’s backgarden. Wrap up warm when going to any organised display and make sure you are wearing gloves if you are going to be playing with sparklers.

Now we’ve got the serious stuff out of the way – we’re three days into NaNoWriMo! For those who don’t know what that it is, the Office of Letters and Light organises an international event every year that takes place in November and its full title is National Novel Writing Month. The aim is to write a novel in just a month, at least 50,000 words, which means writing at least 1,667 words a day to reach that goal. C.S. Woolley is currently taking part and meets up with the Nottingham NaNoWriMo group. It isn’t just for published authors, it’s for anyone who loves to write and is up for a challenge and wants to raise some money for a great cause. For more information take a look at their website.