Tag Archives: Writing

A man of few words – use facts to fix your fiction fatigue

I started a writing journal back in October to help me keep track of my productivity. Every time I sit down to write, I note the hour I start, the session’s duration, how many words I get down, the calculated new total, what chapter I’m on and any interesting notes therein.

This affords me a few boons: using the data, I’m able to figure out when I’m most productive, in order to concentrate on those sessions; but it also provides a neat motivational tool. Humans respond well to numerical targets and records, we’re interested in personal bests and incrementally pushing ourselves further and further, so being able to make a graph like this one can only be a good thing…

Word-count

Continue reading A man of few words – use facts to fix your fiction fatigue

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The Oxford Comma? – Actually, you’re all wrong

Picture this scene of animosity:

Thug: “You should always use the Oxford comma – you ambiguous fool!”

Oaf: “No, you should never use the Oxford comma – you stifling puritan!”

All right, lads, calm down. Don’t fall out over it, yeah?

You might have heard this kind of altercation on “the streets”, as crazed grammar bandits spit their heated comma quarrels at each other with impunity.

But that’s not fair, is it? We don’t have to stand by as their wrath wafts over us, like a fog of fury, do we? No!

But what do we need to confront this dogmatic dispute? An opinion?

Actually, no – everyone you ever spoke to who had an opinion on the Oxford comma has been wrong. Dead wrong – yeah, that’s right: everyone.

“But Tim, how can that be?” I hear you ask, inaudibly. “Surely someone out there must have figured it out, right?”

Yeah!

<points thumbs at chest>

This guy.

Continue reading The Oxford Comma? – Actually, you’re all wrong

Social media screamers & automated steamers

Oh ye gods! What has my Twitter feed become?! How have I created this monster? It dribbles vacant prattle down my screen like the spilled brains of a long-dead marketing executive. Vacuous screams that echo over and over…

BE INTERESTED IN ME;

BE INTERESTED IN ME;

BE INTERESTED IN ME…

Yes, it’s the Automated Twitter Author, saturating the internet with their soulless sales strategy.

Well, I’m not interested, frankly. You go ahead and try to accrue an audience with this zombie-marketing – but it’s not going to work, because you’re a dullard. You’re just a ticking automaton, one that I have the power to switch off and never be disturbed by again.

Here’s a round-up of why your social media presence is putting me off mankind.

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Followers, favourites & frantic defilement – weary writers on Twitter

I’ve been trying to build up my Twitter followers this week, in the hope that if I ever finish this book and get it out there, I’ll have a conveniently amassed audience to whom I can promote it.

That’s the idea, anyway.

I also just enjoy using Twitter. Interacting with fellow writers, sub-editors, journalists and professional piss-takers is a lot of fun. It’s all witty quips in brash brevity – a skill in itself.

Even on a purely psychological level, the favourites/retweets aspect is like gaining experience points in a weird social RPG. Each arbitrary milestone you reach for the number of followers you accrue feels like leveling up.

Continue reading Followers, favourites & frantic defilement – weary writers on Twitter