Category Archives: Writer

Writer Tech Trouble

pcillustratorThe other day I had some issues with my computer. It’s not a huge problem for me because I know how to take them apart and fix them, or get into the DOS settings and troubleshoot. Since the computer is vital to writers, I felt I’d share some tips that might help you out if you have problems and don’t want to lose your work.

Set your word processor to save every few minutes.

MS Word- autosave tutorial

OpenOffice autosave tutorial

Back up your file to a cloud drive. I also recommend backing up to a USB periodically. I use my Dropbox folder as the My Documents folder on my computer. This way, if I get a crash and need to format or get a new computer, everything is already saved and synced through the Internet.

Dropbox (free) If you sign up via the link, I get more space. If you sign up, you can get more space by getting people to sign up too.

Icloud- (free) If you have an iPhone, you probably already have an icloud account.

OneDrive (try for free) If you use MS Office, you may already have an OneDrive account.

Be sure to have your antivirus software update regularly. This means not only to update ‘definitions’ but also the program itself. Make sure settings scan the computer regularly.

Avast antivirus (free)

AVG antivirus (free)

Install anti-malware. I recommend Malwarebytes or Spybot. You can also install these programs on a USB drive and run a scan from the drive.

Malwarebytes (free)

Spybot (free)

Corrupted files. Sometimes with word processors, the file you save gets corrupted.  

MS Word document recovery.

OpenOffice documents recovery.

Make boot discs for your computer. A boot disc helps with fixing problems with the computer with a simple restart of the system. How to do this will depend on the version of Windows you have, and sometimes even the make/model of the computer.

How to create repair discs for your computer.

How to make bootable USB, CD, or DVD to install Windows using a ISO file.

If you have any questions, please leave in comments or email me at frootbat31@yahoo.com.

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Myself as a character

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A few years ago I happened upon the writing tip of giving conflicts to your main character. Some authors suggest torturing them, to force them outside of their safe zones they’ve built in their life.

You don’t do this just out of some twisted cruelty…well, maybe some authors do that, but there is a good reason you add problems for the character-

TO MAKE THEM GROW.

You want them to learn and evolve through the story. You give them hardships like a blacksmith uses heat and a whetstone, to sharpen the edge.

This hit me hard in my real life. As much as I try to avoid problems and hardship, it just never occurred to me that if I were a character in a story, my story would be boring.

Heroes face the problem. They deal with it. They take on the problem and find a solutions.

When this concept worked its way into my own reality, I found catharsis to see myself as a character in my own story.  Life gives you conflict…that is quite literally what Life is about. Well, the ups and downs. But it is those downs that provide the strongest, life-changing lessons.

Instead of avoiding problems, I should focus on finding solutions to problems. That’s what heroes do, right?

Writing can teach us as much of ourselves as we’re trying to provide entertaining and education to our readers.

What lessons have you learned in your writing journey? Post in comments.

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Researching death

askamorticianSometimes doing research leads me down the rabbit hole of strange and interesting. I was curious on the decomposition of a body (for writing of course!) and came across Ask a Mortician. Caitlin Doughty is author, blogger, and YouTuber who promotes ‘death acceptance’. But what I find engaging is her videos on death.

She talks about the process of death, of how the body is prepared for burial, but she also covers topics like rituals in other cultures, or history of death. Videos include such helpful information in what you can do with your body after you die, but also the process.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/4NV-5BrC65c

She accept questions, so perhaps if you’re needing a fact to add to your story, you might want to ask her.

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*Affiliate links

Do you have fun stories on researching for your writing? Post in comments or better yet, blog about and leave a link for me in comments. I’d love to hear about it.

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My Writing Process

My process-

Ideas pop into my head, to which I must race to find pen/paper, my computer, my smart phone to quickly jot it down before it fades into oblivion.

Can’t find a pen. Wow, my office needs cleaned. It’ll take only a bit of time to sort it out, and I need a break anyway. Finds a pen. Finds more pens. Finds a neat metallic gel pen, doodles. Story tugs at my brain. Yep, back to writing.

Writes for a while, finding frustration my fingers type too fast and so many many mistakes I have to work through before the next sentence. Types slower. Writes for a bit longer.

Hands ache. Time for a break. I get something to eat, watch YouTube. Learn some neat hacks I want to do.  Saves the video rather than try hack because I don’t want to get distracted. Realizes I’m distracted. Gets a cup of coffee and goes back to writing.

Have doubts. Rewrite, consider perhaps this isn’t the start of the story anyway. Restart in another part of the story. Question my skills as a writer. Question my existence.

Tell myself to just write, and ignore that inner voice telling me I’m a loser. Write and consider deleting whatever I hate later. Write some more. That’s not too bad. Wait a second. Is that word spelled right. Um… is that the word I even want? I think that word is similar but not what I’m looking for. I better go look it up. Yep, not what I needed. Looks up words for a half hour or more.

What the hell-? Get back to writing. Rethink some fact I’m using. Look up said fact to see if I’m right in using it. (for instance, shooting underwater). Oh… that won’t work. But look at this- blood in seawater turns green. That’s a neat fact. Can I add that to my story or does it make me sound pretentious? Better not. Better just make a note somewhere. Oh wait, there’s an entire article on interesting things about scuba diving. Reads article. Sees link about dangerous fish in the ocean. Oh, I might need to know that too.

An hour (or more) later….

Well this just sounds stupid. Rewrites a scene, finishes the scene. Thinks I might switch to Rum instead of coffee.

My cat, Max, decides to come into office. Not just a polite way, but shoving the door open that startles me. He meows when I tell him he’s being rude. “You’re hungry?” Meows again, disgusted I don’t know that. “Fine, I’ll feed you.” Feeds the cat. Goes back into the office. Starts to write. Rethinks the plot.

Rereads what I wrote for the day. Ugh, what was I thinking? I can’t submit this for feedback. Opens another projects, writes on that for a while before self-doubt ends my writing session.

Sometimes, my inner editor is a real bitch.

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