Tag Archives: ProWritingAid

Cutting cutting cutting


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It seems to me a lot of my life is spent cutting – physically, as I clip threads and cloth, virtually as I edit my writing and try to help others with theirs. I like to to throw a bunch of material on a table, pull off a long stretch of fibre, toss as many words around as possible.

Trimming at first seems easier, once the ideas are in place. But that’s deceptive. It’s easy to end up with too much to handle, to have threads and yarns and stories get tangled in knots as you try to work with them. Teasing out sense from the resulting mess can take longer than choosing words, threads, fabric properly the first time. Hard to do when you are just learning, difficult habits to break even as you gain experience. Thank heavens for editing, and the chance to rework.

Just ran across an excellent article by Jason Hamilton with the Kindlepreneur folks, listing the words you can and should minimize if you want to be read (writing for yourself is always a good idea, but some of us don’t feel validated until our reading is read by others and cheered or booed), and it threw a bit of salt on my writing wounds. I just know I simply use too many of these words all the time, repeatedly, inappropriately, and when I sit down at my computer I can hear them trying to escape into my writing. (as they just have, by way of an example).

“Just” is a pernicious weed in my writing. I pluck it out, it creeps back in. I overuse “felt”. Looking over my recent creation my ever helpful ProWritingAid told me I had my poor heroine say, “She couldn’t help herself” do something many many times, surely not the approach I wanted for a strong female character!

I have trained myself to flinch at adverbs, but I kindof like playing with run-on sentences. They are dangerous friends, though, easily transforming themselves into sets of wrongly linked clauses. Unplanned hilarity can result. And while I am all for unplanned hilarity, it is hardly appropriate in a death scene. Well, most of the time.

And so, and so, like the boy in Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, I must grab my Vorpal sword, gird my loins, and get cutting.

One, two! One, two! And through and through 

      The vorpal blade went (goes) snicker-snack! 

It’s going to take me awhile, and golly I do wish I hadn’t sent my inelegant MS out to be looked over already. I have hopes, though, that one day, like the aforesaid boy, I’ll be able to cheer “Oh frabjous day! Callow! Callay!” and chortle in my joy.

And maybe, just maybe (she says, violating already her hard fought principles) someone else will chortle with me.

(On a side note, I highly recommend ProWritingAid. It catches the most amazing things, like when I start every sentence in a paragraph with the same thing, or when I babble on vaguely. It’s worth the investment, IMHO. Of course nothing helps more than a good editor, an outside set of eyes, particularly an understanding set. If you’re looking for one, check out Somewhat Grumpy Press, where I work with another great editor to help others avoid these problems and others.)

Happy writing!

Technology burns, or why I am taking so long getting to editing my novella…


Slo Mo Grey Laptop Computer Overheating And Smoke Coming Out Of It ...I know, I’ve been pushing it. I’ve been alternating between a 2013 MacAir, a 2010 MacMini, and an Iphone 6s for my social media and other time-wasting.  They are definitely showing the strain. So today, as I finally got my mind together to edit, there were so many steps needed to get things organized I am only now settling in at 6 PM.

First, I had to find my carelessly stored document, piled as it was in a variety of formats – Scrivener(only on Mac), Pro-Writing Aid(my editing program), and Pages – I wanted to migrate everything over to my slightly newer Chromebook (it has a (battery) life. And a bigger screen.)

Of course, none of my current writing programs are compatible with the Chromebook. So I save things as text files onto usb keys and physically carry them over to Moby (My ugly white Chromebook is much bigger than all aforesaid tools), to try to open things.

Before I can do that, everything I own tells me they need updates, all requiring time and fiddling and being pluggedin. I update everything.

27 Most Funny Computer PicturesI eat and watch the latest doom updates as I wait. I listen to a webcast over Zoom about editing to get me in the mood. Various pings tell me all is happy land in my various devices, so it’s time to move on.

But changing from Pages to a rtf changes the document to an unreasonable format when opening in googledocs.  Apple really does not play well with others. I suspect Google is equally grumpy. So I have to get a MSWord subscription (sign up, give card), plus of course have an offer for the Scrivener-like Dabble program for a free month (sign up, give card) I decide I could use that to help organize the editing. Scrivener doesn’t yet play with Google.

I spend some time trying to figure out Dabble, then try to import my document. And here I am. HOURS later. Not one word written.

Why Does My iPhone Battery Die So Fast? Here's The Real Fix!Meanwhile, my phone battery is holding its little hand over its chest and telling me its battery is ‘seriously degraded’, something I suspected for some time since I spend my day switching various things through chargers.

(I know, I’m fortunate to have all these things to play with, first world problems, etc., but they are all dying in rapid order and I can’t afford to replace them! ) Not only that, but to buy anything, anything, requires hours and hours of research online.

I recently took a full day to evaluate vacuum cleaners, for example. Reading miles of comments, chewing through descriptions. Ended up with three in my ‘for later’ Amazon bin. Can’t commit. Reviews on each are mixed.

My brain hurts.

Imágenes, fotos de stock y vectores sobre Many Piles | Shutterstock

Searching for a phone for only a few minutes tells me immediately why everyone just buys the latest model. Too much choice, too many details, and not enough cheapie options. A slightly newer Iphone means I have to evaluate the 7 and the 8, see which would be better. What’s with the reconditioned ones? Are they safe? Should I instead go with Samsung or Google? How many programs would I have to re-buy and re-install if I did? 

DO I HAVE THE NECESSARY SANITY TO MAKE THE CHANGE?

Frankly, no.

Nor do I have the necessary change to increase my sanity with a phone that wasn’t gasping constantly.

WHY do I have to compare so many options? WHY do I need to get a degree in electronics and IT just to understand what I need to use? Why does everything cost $500 or more?

Remember when you could get a wee phone that plugged into the wall for $19?

I give up. Back to try to edit on the new computer system with a version of my story I hope I’ve saved properly on my various clouds/document files/USBs.

One day, when I recover from all the sturm und drang, I’ll get organized. For that, though, I’d have to remember all the passwords to the programs.

<SCREAMING>

😱 Face Screaming in Fear Emoji on Google Android 10.0