Archive | February 2012

Choosing the right Blogging Platform

Although I have started with WordPress.com as my blogging platform, I am still researching the pros & cons of which one may ultimately be the final choice?

One of the links listed below (from Debra) show a flow chart of possible choices.
From using a ‘free’ provider to going your own domain route.
Quite useful.
The sums involved are not large; the more important decision is whether your free choice of platforms will easily transfer all the info, should you switch at a later date.
All your current work may well be lost!
Perish the thought?

Reading some of the blog forums are not much help. There appears to be the Heinz theory; 57 flavours to choose from. each post saying their choice is the best.

The one thing that does stand out and quite frankly, is troubling me at this point in time, is whether I can customise my blog site with other goodies, such as affiliate banners and other links that could possibly end up helping me pay for the ‘final’ transition.

http://weblogbetter.com/2011/02/12/how-to-choose-the-right-blogging-platform/

http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/blogging-platform/how-to-choose-your-blogging-software/

http://hellboundbloggers.com/2012/01/29/which-blogging-platform-best-for-you/

http://www.beblogging.com/blogging/how-to-choose-the-right-blogging-platform/

Scripts or TV shows for channel ratings?

In a country where Political Correctness has often annoyed the average Joe Soap, the rhetoric offered up in Channel 4’s documentary, Proud and Prejudiced, could be seen as a perverted swing in the other direction?

Normally, I am not one to watch these types of documentaries as I feel they are more like a ‘Celebrity, get me out of here’ type show, with participants from some weird and wonderful walks of life.
I wonder if the majority of the good people from the Bradford/Luton area are really like this.

Do script writers (or producers and directors) have a certain obligation to honestly reflect the facts behind certain events, or do the ratings take precedent over all else?

Well, by the end of the program, I was left with the feeling that it was so similar to the TV shows I had seen about South Africa, during and after the Apartheid era. Sadly I wondered out loud whether the English rugby team was going to be sanctioned in some way or the other. I was left with a sad feeling.

And finally, while writers enjoy the freedom of free expression, it should be tempered with some responsibility. No one could possibly want any form of censorship, but putting out what appeared to be a slanted view, could do more harm than good. I must watch the complete series and then form an opinion.

Painting a word picture

Painting a word picture is defined as ‘a graphic or vivid verbal description’.
An example of how an author takes the reader by the hand and places them right there, where the author wants them to be, is Wilbur Smith.
His artwork of describing an African scene where the action takes place is beyond greatness. You can feel, smell and taste the environment!

The use of descriptive words will help a reader better understand the scene you are trying to set, the feelings you are trying to convey.

You must appeal to all the readers senses, inviting to become more emotionally involved in the story.

Perhaps it becomes more difficult to set the story in a place you have never been to. Could this be possible? How does one find enough details to make the description of the place, event or town more plausible?

More established authors have a bank balance that allows them to travel to the exotic places, or even have a bunch of researches at their disposal.

Us lesser mortals, starting out on the long dusty road of our writing careers, may stumble from the Internet to library, to even the local travel agency, to glean facts about the streets of New York or an Egyptian market place. Some even take notes of an event on the television, for later use.

Of course you, as a writer, will always receive criticism from yours readers such as “I would love to see him trying to catch a cab/taxi at that hour!” or “The corner of Hollywoodand Vine does not exist in Daytona!”
I often wonder about inaccuracies when writing a fictional story; it is, after all, fiction?

Not really. You are taking your reader to a mystical place that really exists in their mind or a place they have actually been to.

Try not to disappoint them?

Discipline in writing.

There appears to be many different roads to becoming disciplined.
The following are some directions to take.

Discipline should never interfere with creativity.

Perfectly correctly structured writing during the draft stage can turn the stomach. Some believe the discipline is in vocabulary; then your grammar and your punctuation and only then the excitement of the written word.

Getting organized is important to some writers; they hate flitting from one project to the next. Some are disciplined by starting and not stopping, all in one go. Ok, maybe writing 9 to 5 is your thing, five days a week with the weekend as a break.

Or maybe a regular routine is the approach to take. Doing it by numbers is the preferred method for some – writing every day, X number of hours a day or X number of pages a day. If you are not a loner, then the people in your life need to support your discipline.

The concept of complete discipline is the freedom within set boundaries.
Once you have set some book writing boundaries, make the decision to write daily, with the object of completing the story (or whatever) within a set period.
Once you have a set structure in place, you will have discipline.
With that taken care of, you will also have the freedom of creativity, letting the words flow.
After the first month, the writing habit will come naturally and you will be well on your way to the first draft.
You will have become addicted to your writing schedule and your discipline will be no longer a chore but a joy.

Resources for writers

When one starts down the road of writing, the need sometimes arises to research a particular topic and having access to resources.

In the early days, what you could call BC, or before computers and hence the internet, I guess most writers spent a lot of their research time in libraries. Now we Google things; how strange?

Now forgetting about those writers that hate computers, use typewriters or pen & paper to record their thoughts, one can spend a few minutes or hours and days on the net.

That action, in itself, can be a problem, but let’s leave it for another day and another post.

I have found quite a few sites that are interesting and some that are enjoyable, like ‘mywriterscircle.com’ – a forum that offers great tips and discussions of many facets of writing.

Then there are the dedicated sites dealing with specifics, like grammar, editors, publishing companies and so forth.

An important part of research or surfing the internet is discipline. Like writing that fiction novel, you must set a time and place to do it, otherwise you will be like me, lost in a world of distractions and nothing will get done!

At this point in time, I am still building a list of my favourite resources. Only time will tell how effective they become.

Writing for pleasure.

There are various forms of writing for pleasure. Some even earn money and as we all know, even writers need to go to the supermarket to buy food.

Personally, I enjoy fiction writing the most, slipping into the make believe world of good guys & bad guys, with the odd babe thrown in for good measure.
Then comes the blog writing, content for websites and sometimes the really fun stuff, like an email to a Secretary of State, telling him that his department is not ‘fit for purpose’
Are they fair game or not?

Finally, there is the freelance writing, supply articles to the monster that devours words by the millisecond. This is my main source of income; the one that should pay the utility bills. That is if you can get to aggree what your words are worth with the person wanting them.

Some say that the best freelance writers come from two ares in the industry. One, the proffessional route of university, journalism and a speciality field of endeavour. The other, from the school of hard knocks, learning their craft and refining it as they pay their dues.
There may well be a third group, the ones that just write for fun, their love of the written word coming from deep inside them, their skill being purely heartfelt.

Perhaps you have some thoughts on this?