Screenshots of Salvage Project from Scrivener

Scrivener outputs your manuscript, or parts thereof, in many different formats.  Here are screenshots of what the output looks like with comments and synopsis included, for one particular scene in Part 1 of Salvage.  Note I still need to learn to keep internal thought italicized, instead of changing to underlined.

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Writing Advice: 5 Best Writing Resources of 2019

Currently, my five top writing resources:

  1. Writing Excuses.  This podcast rocks.  Professional authors, relevant information, no fluff, just the meat of what good writing is.
  2. The Business of Being a Writer.  Jane Friedman’s Facebook group is invaluable to prepare me for professional publication, electronically or otherwise.
  3. Scrivener.  There’s no doubt this writing tool has organized my writing and increased my productivity.
  4. Absolute Write.  This website forum is massive with very active members.  It’s helped answer wide-ranging questions, given me a way to hone my critiquing skills, provided a mechanism for others’ input to my work, and much more.
  5. Google.  Yes, okay, it’s ubiquitous.  But, it’s still so very useful.  How do I use it?
    • Google Search: writer’s workshops, the difference between alpha and beta readers, whether or not making water from hydrogen and oxygen in space is better than collecting ice and melting it… and so much more.
    • Google Drive, principally to share writing excerpts for critique, or to critique others’ work
    • Google mail.  I have an account just for my writing, including newsletters that I subscribe to.

Writing a Novel and Writing Code Share…

…an astounding ambiguity with terminology.  You’d think, as long as writing has been around, those in the publishing industry would have agreed to standard definitions, a standard vocabulary.  Not so.

And, surprisingly, neither has the software industry.  Software being considered more of a science, one would expect practitioners to have agreed on common terms.  Yet, even what title you call one who codes, develops, and engineers software varies: software engineer, programmer, software developer, systems engineer, systems analyst, and many more.

So, with those who read a book in draft form one can have critiquers, alpha-readers, beta-readers, writing partners, mentors, development editors, line-by-line editors, and more.

One might argue that each of these titles connotes a different flavor of responsibility, but the lines are definitely blurred.

Salvage Premise and Synopsis

As a beginning writer, I’ve struggled with describing my story ideas.  After research, thought, and effort around the definitions of idea, concept, premise, synopsis, and theme in writing, I discovered a solid concept, premise, and synopsis can help me craft the story more robustly.

I came up with the following premise and synopsis for Salvage:
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From Jeff Goins’ article, “Trying to Be a Good Writer is a Complete Waste of Time“:

Don’t be good, be effective
Here’s the solution: Don’t be good. Be effective. Stop trying to be a good writer, and start trying to be effective.

Why? Because “good” is subjective. It’s meaningless. “Good” is an artifact from long ago when writers needed gatekeepers to determine the value of their work. In today’s creative landscape, the goal of writing is connection. Not lukewarm approval. “Effective,” on the other hand, defines a clear relationship between you and the reader. The goal is to be heard, to communicate a clear message to a particular audience.