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                    W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World

                  http://www.writing-world.com

Issue 15:10           13,371 subscribers             May 21, 2015
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK, by Moira Allen
     So Many Words, So Little Time
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, by Victoria Grossack     
     Counting the Words
FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS, by Aline Lechaye
     Collaboration Tools, Part I
PLUS: NEWS FOR WRITERS; OPPORTUNITIES; THE WRITE SITES
                           
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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK - by Moira Allen
=================================================================

So Many Words, So Little Time
-----------------------------
This issue, I really planned to slack off.  I was going to tell you
about the changes to Writing-World.com, call it an editorial, and
call it a day.  However, Victoria's column on word counts tallied
so closely with a topic I'd been thinking about lately that I
simply couldn't pass up the opportunity.  (I'll tell you about the
site changes at the END of this editorial!)

Recently, I came across a collection of Louis L'Amour westerns at
my favorite book source (Goodwill).  My mother was a huge Western
fan, so I grew up with shelves stocked with Louis L'Amour, Ernest
Haycox, Luke Short, Max Brand, and even Zane Grey.  So I thought
I'd take a trip down memory lane, and brought the stack home.

It wasn't long before I'd read them all.  Some were good, some were
so-so, but what struck me the most was that all were SHORT.  That
stack of 15 or so novels from the 1960's took up no more space on
the shelf than four or five modern novels.  Not one was more than
200 pages, and most were less.  Looking at my collection of
fiction, I realized the same was true in other genres.  My beloved
Agatha Christies, for example, rarely top 200 pages, whereas a
modern mystery novel may run to 300 or more.

A glance at the word-counts of the list of books at the end of
Victoria's column (as well as the more extensive list on
CommonplaceBook.com) shows that I'm not imagining things.  Books
are getting longer.  MUCH longer.  Oh, sure, "War and Peace" comes
in at nearly 600K words, while "Gone with the Wind" is over 400K --
but remember when those were the exceptions?  Once upon a time, the
Lord of the Rings trilogy took up WAY more shelf space than its
contemporaries; today, it's practically flash fiction compared to
some series.  

A few decades ago, publishers felt they were taking a huge risk
with a huge book.  A book had to be on a par with "Gone with the
Wind" to be considered "publishable" at such a length.  A look at
the list of word counts on CommonplaceBook shows that most old
favorites came in under 100,000 words, with 70K being a typical
length.  Today, a typical novel is at least two or three times as
long as one of those vintage L'Amours.  

Now, it's certainly possible that reading tastes have simply
changed over the years, and that today's readers want longer books.
 Except... at the same time, we're being told that adult reading is
steadily declining.  A 2014 study by the Pew Research Center showed
that over 25% of adult Americans hadn't read a single book in the
preceding year -- not in print, not electronically, nada. The
number of non-readers has increased three-fold since 1978.  (In
1978, 42% of adults read 11 or more books in a year; today, only
28% read that many.)

And what else has increased two-fold to three-fold in the same
time-frame?  The length of the average novel!  Do a random search
on science fiction/fantasy novels on Amazon by date, and you'll
find that in the 1960's and 1970's, a novel exceeding 200 pages was
extremely rare.  Do a search on sf/fantasy novels published in
2013, and EVERY SINGLE NOVEL that comes up is at least 300 pages,
with the majority exceeding 500 and some topping 600.  

Books are getting longer, and adults are reading less.  Hmmm.
Coincidence?  Or correlation? (Correlation, by the way, simply
means that two pieces of data may be related; it does not imply a
cause and effect.) 
 
Now, I can't imagine reading only 11 books a year; my average is
closer to 250!  But I have to admit that the stack of slim L'Amour
novels by my chair was much more inviting than the stack of
thicker, newer volumes.  Correlation: I read all the L'Amour
novels; the newer volumes are STILL sitting there.  (Simple math:
If books are, on average, twice as long today as they were in the
1970's, even an avid reader will read half as many books today,
because our reading speed hasn't changed -- and one book now takes
as long to read as two books did in the past.)

Quite simply, a novel that is less than 200 pages represents are
far smaller investment of time than a book of 500 pages (or worse,
a 500-page novel that is simply #4 in a never-ending series).  It's
less of a commitment.  If you're the sort of person who can put
down a book that isn't holding your attention, that's great -- but
a lot of readers can't, or won't.  That makes it even more daunting
to pick UP a book that is going to require a significant investment
of one's time and emotional energy.

Today, perhaps more than ever before, time is at a premium for
everyone.  Everyone I know (including me) is trying to cram more
and more tasks into the same amount of time.  Companies are asking
employees to take on workloads that were once allocated to two or
three people.  Time-saving devices have simply resulted in the
ability to do more things in the same amount of time -- with the
result that we're now often REQUIRED to do more.  Nowhere do I hear
people complaining, "Gee, I have so much spare time on my hands, I
just don't know what to do with it all!"

Correlation: We are also surrounded by quick, easy forms of
entertainment.  Entertainment options have become like fast food:
Easy to obtain, quick to absorb, perhaps not terribly good for you,
but enjoyable in the moment.  We have access to hundreds of
quick-to-play games on every electronic device imaginable.  We can
download movies and shows to our phones.  We can watch an infinite
array of snippets and short videos on YouTube and other platforms,
or simply scroll through endless collections of cute cat photos. 
Our social lives revolve around Facebook and Twitter.

The form of entertainment that requires the greatest investment of
time -- the greatest commitment of a scarce resource -- is reading.
 And yet, the more we are surrounded by QUICK sources of
entertainment, the more authors and publishers seem committed to
putting out ever-longer books.  Today, an opus of 500 or even 1000
pages is more the rule than the exception.  Publishers argue that
readers don't feel they are "getting their money's worth" from
shorter books.  And yet, if the statistics are telling the truth,
more and more adults simply aren't reading at all.  Worse, the
statistics are suggesting that adults who USED to read aren't doing
so any longer.

We're always hearing that one of the "reasons" people aren't
reading so much is the "competition."  Books, we're reminded, are
competing with all those other sources of entertainment out there
-- the games, the videos, the movies, the cute cat photos.  So --
let's assume for a moment that this is actually true.  If books ARE
competing against videos and games and cat photos, how can we make
books better ABLE to compete?  The answer doesn't lie in trying to
turn books into something other than books (i.e., to turn them into
multimedia experiences that attempt to mimic games and videos). 
But it does, perhaps, mean recognizing that time is our scarcest
commodity these days -- and the more readers perceive that a book
is going to take "too much time" to read, the more likely that
reader is to pass it by.

A final point to ponder: Many of the world's best-loved books come
in at less than 100,000 words -- and those books are still being
read today.  It's also worth noting that many longer books, like
"Great Expectations," were originally serialized, so readers were
confronted with a chapter or two every week rather than a single,
massive tome.  

Publishers are notoriously slow to change -- but we authors are
constantly claiming, today, that we don't NEED publishers, really. 
So as authors, if we truly have all the control we keep saying we
have, then one thing we can certainly control is how many words we
put out there.  If would-be readers are shaking their heads and
saying, "So many words, so little time" and turning to the next
funny cat video, perhaps shorter books -- short, GOOD books -- may
be one key to winning them back.  

-- Moira Allen, Editor

Copyright 2015 Moira Allen

This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained. (For an author bio and complete
details on reprint terms, please visit 
http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/reprints.shtml)

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee96.shtml

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WE'VE MADE SOME IMPROVEMENTS TO WRITING-WORLD.COM!
--------------------------------------------------

1) New look: We've given the site a cleaner, crisper look with ads
on only one side of the page instead of both (a bit less
distracting that way!).

2) Improved navigation: We've created a new, more detailed
navigation menu in the left column that makes it much easier to
find what you're looking for, or just explore what the site has to
offer.

3) More focused internal menus: For example, instead of one very
LONG menu for "general fiction," we've broken out subtopics like
"dialogue," "setting and description," and "characterization" to
help you zoom in on what you're looking for.

4) A handy search box that lets you instantly search the entire
site -- you'll find it at the bottom of the navigation menu.

5) Dedicated "printer-friendly" versions of EVERY article on the
site.  Just click the "printer-friendly" link at the top of each
article to access an ads-free page that's easy to read or print. 
(These are not generated by an external program; that didn't work
too well.  We've set up an actual printable version of every
article on the site.)

6) Easy Facebook "like/share" buttons at the top of each page that
make it easy for you to share your favorite articles and tips with
friends and fellow-writers.

7) Expanded cross-linking of related articles, to help you follow
up a topic of interest without having to keep returning to the
menus.

Writing-World.com offers nearly 1000 articles and columns to help
YOU build a successful writing career.  Stop by today and take a
look!  http://www.writing-world.com

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
================================================================= 

Ebook Sales Down
----------------
Ebook sales were down 10.2% in January 2015, compared to January
2014, according the Association of American Publishers.  The
largest area of decline was in children's and young adult e-books,
leading to an overall drop despite increases in paperback (10.9%)
and board book (34.1%) sales.  Which might be partly because...

Parents Prefer Print
--------------------
A study by the Pew Research Center shows that the majority of
parents (9 out of 10) prefer that their children (to age 18) read
print books.  Parents felt that print books provide a greater
sensory experience, and also believe that reading print books
themselves helps model reading behavior for their children.  One
parent pointed out that a child can't tell what one is doing on
one's tablet - reading, playing a game, updating a Facebook page -
whereas reading print books reinforces the positive habit of
reading.  For more on this story, visit 
http://blog.firstbook.org/2015/04/22/parents-value-printed-books/

Conversely, Obama Initiatives Bolster E-Books...
------------------------------------------------
In April, President Obama announced two new efforts to "strengthen
student learning by improving access to digital content and to
public libraries."  The Open eBooks initiative and the ConnectED
Library Challenge "leverage the extensive resources of the nation's
16,500 public libraries to help kids develop a love of reading and
discovery by making e-books and library services broadly
available."  The Open eBooks initiative  makes over $250 million in
popular ebooks from major publishers available to low-income
children free via an app.  The ConnectED Library Challenge is an
effort by over 30 communities to provide every student with a
library card as soon as they enter school.  For more on this story,
visit http://tinyurl.com/nglabp4

Jane Austen to Grace the 10 Note
---------------------------------
Jane Austen has been selected as the next face for Britain's 10. 
She will begin appearing on British currency in 2017, when the
Charles Darwin note is retired.  Earlier this year, it was
announced that Sir Winston Churchill would replace Elizabeth Fry on
the 5, leaving the Queen as the only woman featured on British
currency.  This prompted an online campaign to "keep a woman on the
English banknotes," which drew over 35,000 signatures.  "Jane
Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historic
figures to appear on our banknotes," said Mark Carney, new Governor
of the Bank of England.  For more, visit http://tinyurl.com/lxrrwod

Cache of Lost Mark Twain Stories Discovered
-------------------------------------------
U.C. Berkeley's Mark Twain project has recently discovered a cache
of articles, stories and letters written by Mark Twain while he was
a newspaperman in San Francisco.  The stories and articles were
located by combing digitized archives of newspapers and scrapbooks.
 Twain, then 29, was responsible for writing a 2,000-word dispatch
each day for the San Francisco Chronicle - then the San Francisco
Dramatic Chronicle.  Archivists describe the cache "like opening up
a big box of candy."  For more information, visit 
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/04/mark-twain-cache-uncovered-berkeley

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CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Counting the Words
by Victoria Grossack
=================================================================
In this column we'll examine word counts, including what they are,
how they can matter to your writing and how I wish they mattered to
readers.

What Are Word Counts?  
---------------------
The word count represents the total number of words in a document. 
In my MS Word program it's the tally at the bottom of the page.
Even though it appears to be precise number, there is room to
wiggle and wriggle.  Consider the following sentence:

"The seven-year-old girl fell off her new bicycle."

If several words are hyphenated together, are they one or many?  My
software has decided that "seven-year-old" is a single word, but
not everyone may agree.  What about contractions?  Is it fair to
count "it's" as one word when it represents "it is," which are two?

Also, which part of a document belongs to a word count?  Do you
count the byline or not?  What about the title?  What about the
table of contents?  What about the index, the note from the author,
or the author biography?  What about the first chapter from your
next book that you include at the end of the current volume?

There is no single correct answer to these questions.  Generally I
just go with what my software tells me, which has decided on an
algorithm.  If you have a reason to answer differently, clarify the
question and then give your answer(s).  For example, you might want
to give different counts for the text, the author's note, and the
chapter of the next novel.

Why Word Counts Matter
----------------------
Even though word counts may not be as precise a measurement as we
would like, they have always mattered to publishers and editors,
and hence, to the writers trying to sell them their stories.  Word
counts help publishers estimate the number of pages a manuscript
will have after it becomes a book.  Word counts are even more
important to editors of print newspapers and magazines, who are
preoccupied by layout.

Moreover, the word count helps give a sense of how deep a work is. 
Even the guidelines to Writing-World warn that it is challenging to
write an acceptable article with fewer than 800 words. 

Writing to a Specific Word Count  
--------------------------------
You may think that your story should determine the length of your
manuscript, and this attitude has merit.  Writing to meet a
specific word count can have an artificial and arbitrary feel.  Yet
oddly, parameters and goals can do wonders for your creativity. 
There is no problem, of course, if your story fits the required
word count from the get-go, but often you will find you are running
either under or over.

WHEN YOU WANT FEWER WORDS

I recently wrote a flash fiction story with an upper limit of 1000
words, where I was forced to cut and tighten with more discipline
than usual.  Here are some ways to do it:

Start the story at once
Write only about what matters to the story
Keep names simple
Choose one adjective 
Use contractions in speech 
Avoid passive sentences
Delete words that are often unnecessary, such as rather, just,
somewhat, and very

Come to think of it, these suggestions are useful even when you're
not bumping against a low barrier.  
 
WHEN YOU NEED MORE WORDS

I have encountered this situation as well.  I rarely have trouble
reaching a respectable word count for the articles that I submit
for the Crafting Fabulous Fiction column on Writing-World.com, but
I have done many articles that required a certain word count in
order to be accepted by the client.  Perhaps my article is running
at 600 words and it needs to have at least 800.  

How you approach this problem depends how serious your shortfall
is.  If it is just a little, you may be able to pad your story with
a joke or a moment of confusion or miscommunication.  You can
reverse some of the techniques mentioned above.  Instead of using
contractions, such as "it's" you can write out "it is."

However, you don't want filler to be too obvious.  Some examples of
filler include: repetition that does not go anywhere; interactions
with characters who do not matter; description that is pointless. 
If you can cut it and no one will miss it, then it is probably
filler.

The best approach, if you can manage it, is to include another
idea.  This is why novels often contain plot twists and multiple
storylines.  

SIMILAR PROBLEMS IN OTHER MEDIA

Note that these problems can be more significant in other media. 
For example, if you are writing for a TV show, then you will have a
certain number of minutes to fill: no more and no less.  Sometimes
fight scenes and love scenes go on longer than necessary because
the writers lacked inspiration.

Word Counts While Writing -- Daily Tallies
------------------------------------------

INSPIRATION

First drafts can be frustrating.  Sometimes the muse shows up and
then words pour out, but on other occasions, creating something out
of nothing is a real chore.  Furthermore, at the beginning of a
project, I am acutely aware of how far I still have to go. 
Watching that tally grow, one word at a time, gives me a sense of
accomplishment even when I don't have the thrill of inspired
creativity.  It helps me continue.

PRODUCTIVITY 

Productivity is important for anyone who wants a serious career as
a writer.  Even if you don't have the desire or the wherewithal to
dedicate yourself to writing full-time, you may need to be even
more productive during the fewer hours you have for writing if you
hope to finish anything.  A daily goal of somewhere between 500 to
2000 words can be useful in this case.  You should modify the goal
to reflect how much time you have to write on a particular day.  It
helps to combine realism and ambition.  Also, less experienced
writers may want to start with a lower goal and raise it later.

Most readers of this column are probably familiar with NaNoWriMo,
which stands for "National Novel Writing Month" (a misnomer as the
program is international).  NaNoWriMo gives participants the goal
of writing a novel, or at least 50,000 words of a novel, during the
month of November.  This comes out to 1,667 words on average per
day (50,000 words  30 days = 1,666.7 words per day).  Remember, if
you take off Thanksgiving to spend it with family, you will have to
write more on the other days.  Many people can't maintain this pace
all the time, but it can be a good exercise.

Unfortunately, many words that you type during productivity pushes
will need to be revised or even deleted, but usually SOME will be
good enough to keep, and others, even if they are wrong may lead
your story in promising directions.  

Remember, too, that when you are in a different stage of your
project you should no longer measure your progress in new words
written but with some other metric, such as editing a scene or a
chapter.

A RANT ABOUT WORD COUNTS AND READERS

If you ask readers (not writers) how long a particular book is,
chances are that they will answer by giving the number of pages.  

The number of pages has been a reasonable answer to the question
for many years.  Everything else being equal, a book with more
pages is longer than a book with fewer pages.  However, there are
many times when things are not equal.  The font used to print Leo
Tolstoy's War & Peace is generally a lot smaller than the font used
for printing C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. 
Furthermore, these days, when more and more people are enjoying
books on e-readers, pages are becoming passe.  I have believed for
many years that supplying word counts is a far more reliable method
for determining the true length of a work than the number of pages. 

Yet when I discuss this with readers, I can encounter as much
resistance as when I try to persuade some of my fellow Americans
use the metric system (the United States and only two other
countries -- Liberia and Myanmar -- are the only nonmetric
hold-outs).  I suggested word counts on a couple of discussion
threads and most people were totally against it. People wrote that
they did not know how to measure a book in words; that they had no
sense for it.  Even when I suggested that there be a transition
phase during which pages and word counts are both given, few
thought this was a good idea.

Here are some famous books and their word counts.  These have not
been personally counted by me so I don't trust them 100%, but they
will still give you a sense of how word counts translate into
stories.

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis: 36,363 
"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury: 46,118 
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald: 47,094 
"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding: 59,900 
"The Color Purple" by Alice Walker: 66,556 
"Ironweed" by William Kennedy: 67,606 
"The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway: 67,707 
"The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman: 112,815 
"The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver: 177,679
"Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens: 183,349 
"Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix" by J.K. Rowling: 257,154
"Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry: 365,712 
"Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell: 418,053 
"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand: 561,996 
"War & Peace" by Leo Tolstoy: 587,287 (New American Library
Version; translations will vary)

Some sellers do include word counts in the information that they
provide to potential buyers; I hope others will do so as well.  I
understand that including a new field is a programming nuisance,
and there are all the decisions that need to be made with respect
to how to count words, but these problems are hardly
insurmountable.  The word count is not a perfect measure of the
length of a story, but it is more accurate than using pages.  My
belief is that many readers, if they are given the word counts,
will soon comprehend what those numbers mean for their reading
experience.

Conclusion
----------
Counting your words can be useful in writing, but it is even more
important to make each word count.

References
----------
Word Count for Famous Novels
http://commonplacebook.com/culture/literature/books/word-count-for-famous-novels/

EDITOR'S NOTE: For the record, when guidelines request an article
of, say, no more than 2000 words, that generally refers to the text
of the article only.  It does not include the title, byline, or
bio.  Hence, you do not need to "make allowances" for those items
in your final word-count.  Be aware as well, however, that if
you're being paid by the word, editors again do not generally count
the title, byline or bio.  When someone submits a piece to me, I
usually cut out those items to determine the word count of the
piece itself.  (Subheads DO count as part of the text.) -- Moira
Allen

=================================================================

Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
such publications as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
She is the author of Crafting Fabulous Fiction, a step-by-step
guide to developing and polishing novels and short stories that
includes many of her beloved columns. With Alice Underwood, she
co-authors the Tapestry of Bronze series (including Jocasta,
Mother-Wife of Oedipus; The Children of Tantalus; and Antigone &
Creon), based on Greek myths and set in the late Bronze Age. Her
independent novels include The Highbury Murders, in which she does
her best to channel the spirits and styles of Jane Austen and
Agatha Christie, and Academic Assassination (A Zofia Martin
Mystery). Victoria is married with kids, and (though American)
spends much of her time in Europe. Her hobbies include gardening,
hiking, bird-watching and tutoring mathematics. Visit her website
at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com, or contact her at tapestry (at)
tapestryofbronze (dot) com. 

=================================================================

Copyright 2015 Victoria Grossack 

This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Link to this article here: 
http://www.writing-world.com/victoria/crafting61.shtml

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Get one-on-one
guidance with Victoria Grossack's personal writing class; visit
http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/VictoriasWritingClasses.html.

*****************************************************************
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OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS
=================================================================

Amazon Offers Two Opportunities for Indie Writers
-------------------------------------------------

KINDLESCOUT

Authors can submit an English-language book to Kindle Scout and be
considered for a Kindle publishing contract in 45 days or less. 
Submissions are accepted in romance, mystery and thriller,
sf/fantasy, literature and fiction.  Books are chosen via a reader
review and voting system. If accepted, the author will receive an
advance of $1500 and 50% ebook royalties.

Amazon/Kindle acquires worldwide publishing rights for eBook and
audio formats in all languages.  Authors retain all other rights,
including print rights.  The contract is for five years, renewable.
 If a book does not earn $25,000 in royalties in five years, or in
any five-year renewal period, the author can choose to cease
publication with Kindle. In addition, any rights that remain
unused, or all rights for a book that earns less than $500 in the
preceding 12 months, will revert to the author on request. 

For details, visit https://kindlescout.amazon.com/submit

AMAZON PRIZE FOR SPANISH-LANGUAGE AUTHORS

Amazon has announced its second annual Indie Literary Prize Contest
for Spanish-language authors.  Indie writers can submit previously
unpublished works to the KDP platform between July 1 and August 31.
 The winner will receive $2500 and have the book published in print
by La Esfera de los Libros.  Amazon Crossing, Amazon's imprint for
world literature in translation, will translate the book into
English and distribute it worldwide in print, digital and audio
formats.  For details (in Spanish), visit http://tinyurl.com/kb5cdvz

*****************************************************************

FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: Collaboration Tools, Part I
By Aline Lechaye
=================================================================

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Oftentimes, it can
take a village to help a writer finish a book, whether it's the
friend who patiently points out the flaws in your wild plot
tangents at 2am, or the fellow writer who explains the concept of
character development and other mysteries of the craft.
Collaborative tools come in useful at such times because you can
quickly and easily visualize the ideas in your head, and your
collaborators can do the same. If you happen to be working on a
writing project with multiple writers, you will find the following
collaborative tools invaluable, as they help keep everyone on the
same page.

By the way, keep in mind that these tools don't have to be used
only for collaborative projects. All of them have great features
that can come in useful for book plotting. 

A Web Whiteboard (https://awwapp.com/) provides a simple and
user-friendly virtual whiteboard that can be used on any computer,
tablet, or smartphone. The features are similar to the Paint
program in Windows in that you can draw on the whiteboard with
different-size pens in different colors, erase mistakes, and add
text and images. One major difference is that you can share your
whiteboard with friends and chat with them in real time, making
this a great real-time brainstorming tool. Whiteboards can be saved
in PNG format to your computer, or shared directly to Facebook or
Twitter. You do not have to register or log in to use the site. You
can also add A Web Whiteboard as a widget on your WordPress page
(instructions at: https://awwapp.com/plugin/doc/quickstart/). 

Cacoo (https://cacoo.com/) is another useful tool for collaboration
that comes with fantastic diagram templates. The flowchart and
mindmap templates can be customized for plotting purposes, and the
office layout templates can be used to make floor plans for
blocking scenes (can't afford to buy your characters a new house?
Draw them a virtual one instead!). The free account allows you to
share each diagram with 15 users and each shared folder with 3
users. You can invite friends to your diagram by email or by giving
them the relevant URL. Cacoo's diagrams also come with a chat
function so you can discuss changes with your collaborators in real
time. Completed diagrams can be exported as various formats
including PNG, PDF, and PPT. You have to register for an account to
use Cacoo, as do the collaborators you invite. 

Trello (https://trello.com) is like a project-based version of
Pinterest for collaborators. You can add checklists, due date
reminders, attachments up to 10MB (from your computer, from cloud
storage sites, or from a URL), and colored labels to project
"boards". You can make as many boards as you want on a free Trello
account and add as many collaborators as you like. Currently, you
can upgrade your account to Gold by inviting friends to join Trello
(you get one free month on the Gold plan for every friend you
invite). The Gold account comes with customized board backgrounds,
stickers, and emoji; you can also upload attachments of up to 250MB
in size. Trello is available as a web-based app, or you can
download their iOS app, Android app, Kindle app, or Windows 8
tablet app to use on your mobile device (download instructions can
be found at: https://trello.com/platforms). 

=================================================================

Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye at gmail.com

=================================================================

Copyright 2015 Aline Lechaye 

This article may not be reprinted without the written permission 
of the author. 

*****************************************************************
EVERY WRITER NEEDS A HOLIDAY!  "The Writer's Guide to Holidays, 
Observances and Awareness Dates" offers 1800 events worldwide --
Instant inspiration for those days when you can't think of anything
to write about!  Holiday topics are a favorite of editors, so fuel
your inspiration and jumpstart your articles today!  Available in 
print and Kindle editions; for more information visit
http://www.writing-world.com/store/year/holidays.shtml
*****************************************************************

THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================

Start Blogging Online, by Mike Wallagher
----------------------------------------
The name says it all, but doesn't say enough.  This site is packed,
from the step-by-step tutorial to the loads of useful tips in the
"Blog Tips" and "Useful Stuff" sections.  Whether you're just
thinking of starting a blog or want to make the one you have more
effective, this is a great resource.
http://startbloggingonline.com/

Cookfiction.com
---------------
Here's one that's simply fun: a site that offers "real recipes for
imaginary foods."  From Harry Potter's butterbeer to Nanny Ogg's
Scumble, you'll find recipes for literary entrees, desserts,
beverages and more.  
http://cookfiction.com

A Complete Guide to Publishing Your Own Book
--------------------------------------------
This is exactly what it claims to be: A complete, and very useful,
five-chapter guide to the various aspects of book publishing.  It's
a UK site so many of the info links are UK-focused (e.g., UK tax
information), but don't let that stop you.  Because it's a
selection of links as well as a "book," it covers a lot of ground
that isn't always addressed in other manuals on this topic.
https://www.stinkyinkshop.co.uk/book-publishing-guide/

The Guerrilla Screenwriter
---------------------------
Excellent blog covering a wide range of screenwriting issues. 
http://guerrillascreenwriter.com/

Do you know of a great website or blog for writers?  Share it with
our readers!  Send a note with the name of the site AND THE LINK to
"editors@writing-world.com" and we'll consider it for inclusion.

*****************************************************************

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on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
product, service or book title, visit
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READ MOIRA ALLEN'S MONTHLY E-MAGAZINE: VICTORIAN TIMES!
Just in time for June... our May issue (yes, May) is now online!
This issue looks at May Queens and May-Day customs; historic cases
of mistaken identity; E. Nesbit's encounter with the mummies of
Bordeaux; Victorian crewel embroidery patterns; postmen of the
Victorian world; floral table decorations; the lives of
professional women in their own words; and, of course, lots of
recipes, pet stories and more.  Download it free or access the
print edition at
http://www.VictorianVoices.net/VT/issues/VT-1505.shtml
=================================================================

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Copyright 2015 Moira Allen



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