D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Writer Wednesday: The Internet Is Your Friend

I know I haven't written many Writer Wednesday posts lately. I feel like I've covered pretty well everything there is to cover and without repeating myself, there's not much left for content. I'm sad to say, my first WW post in awhile is going to be *le gasp* a bit of a semi-rant.

I am going to look like a monster, I know, but I have an important lesson that all aspiring authors should learn. Listen carefully. The Internet is Your Friend. Did I make that clear enough?

Now, let me break this down:

* There is no excuse when you sub to a publishing house and don't follow their guidelines. Every publisher I have ever looked up has a "submissions" page that explains, sometimes in great detail, exactly how they want the subs sent to them. Many publishers will auto-reject your file if you so much as name it wrong. You would think that if you were absolutely serious about being published, you would check, double check, and recheck every single aspect of your manuscript, query, and synopsis against their guidelines.

* If your manuscript is rejected, and the publishing house is kind enough to send a response with the exact reasons why you didn't make the cut, don't be an idiot. If there is a term there you don't understand, for the love of all the technological gods, perform an internet search for that shit. Bing, Google, Yahoo-- I don't care who you like. It's not that hard to type, "What is Showing versus Telling" or "What is a POV departure?" in the box. Freaking put forth the effort. Don't email the publisher back asking them to define. Feel fortunate that they gave you a bloody stepping stone in the right direction to fixing your manuscript instead of sending you a scripted rejection.

* Research, research, research. Before I ever received my first contract, I knew what showing versus telling was. Guess what? The second time I submitted a story in my life, I received an acceptance. *Dodges things thrown from raging authors*  Wait! You know why I believe I achieved that dream so quickly? Because I spent a year getting my hands on every book, article, and website I could learning about the art of writing fiction and terminology. I joined critique groups and instead of arguing over every change they suggested, I looked at it as a learning experience. If you don't take your book or the desire to write seriously, the rest of the world won't either.

In this digital age, with information readily available at the stroke of a key, there's no excuse for "I don't know." There are articles for everything under the moon, websites that cost nothing but can explain everything, and unlimited possibilities. Bloody well quit expecting others to do all the work for you and take the initiative to do it yourself!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monday Review: Kindle Notebooks Versus My Binder Apps

Today, I'm replacing Must Read Monday with a review. I have a Kindle Fire, and over the weekend I became curios as to whether there was any app that would allow me to write a story. I knew what I was hoping to find, and with some set rules in mind, I quickly did a search. My criteria was as follows:

*Must be free (not free limited either, freaking FREE)
*Must be able to allow more than one "book" or "file" so I can work on several stories or ideas
* Must allow me the ability to email my work to myself so I can convert it to Word when I'm ready to sub
* Must not have a limit to amount of words I can write
* Must allow pages instead of an un-ending downward column of writing

There were countless apps that fell under the simple search of "Free writing app" on my Kindle. I quickly vetoed looking at any that had a less than four star rating (see folks, reviews do matter!) I ended up coming up with two that I downloaded to my Kindle and spent the weekend testing.

Let me start by saying both of these programs stood out as working quite well and both had great reviews. The few things I saw that people griped about have since had updates that solved the issues. I do prefer one over the other...

First up is My Binder by ThinkZZO. It's a very easy to use program without a ton of bells and whistles. You can created unlimited individual books, and these notebooks have tabs within them that you can even name. Each tabbed section allows more pages to be added to it. You can change the color of the notebook within a limited amount of based colors (Blue, yellow, green, etc) 

Product Description:
Great for school notes, work notes, to-do notes, as a journal, to write stories, or just as a notepad. Create unlimited notebooks, each with 5 colored coded tabs with the ability to add unlimited pages per tab, to help you organize your notes.
Export/Import your data for backups and/or transfer to other devices.
To help organize, change Notebook color to Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Orange, White, or Black.
In addition to notebook colors, enhance organization by sorting your notebooks by Create Date (newest to oldest), Notebook Name (alphabetical), Last Opened(most recently opened to oldest), or group the notebooks by their color.
Long Press notebook for quick access to edit labels, notebook color, or to deleted the selected notebook. Touch notebook, add notes, touch color coded tab to change notebook tab. Click on the left and right arrows to navigate/add new pages to the tab. Tabs are color coded and allow you to add text to label them. Notes save automatically. Option to email or text notebook contents also. Ability to select individual tabs to email/text.
Click on Highlighter to toggle highlighting of text on and off.
Long Press on Notebook Tabs for more options to edit tab default settings, and Delete current page.
Ability to change default page font. Choose between 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22 font size. Save default font size for each notebook tab.
Ability to change default page and tab label font style. Choose between the Default Android text and Segoe Script. Save defaults for each tab.
Ability to move app from phone to SD card from device settings.
Great app to satisfy your notepad and notebook needs. This note organizer is a simple and effective way to keep track of your notes.
 The other program is called Notebooks by Droidveda LLP This is also a very-easy to use program, but to is way more visually appealing to me. The notebook covers are customizable with many patterns and colors available. It's in a shelf format, and allows as many as you desire. You have the ability to customize page count, and title. One thing it doesn't mention in the product description is that this program has the ability to read back to you via audio what you have written. I may or may not have spent several hours playing with that feature alone. >.>

Product Description:
***Now backup/restore to Google Drive or Dropbox***
Take notes and even attach your free hand drawing, everything in style and completely without papers!
Create multiple notebooks for every subject and avoid messing up your notes.

Notebooks is the only application you will ever need for all your note making needs.
Designed with flexibility and ease of use in mind, taking notes is now at it simplest with our application. With multiple colors and custom title for each notebook cover, you will enjoy creating a notebook for every subject you want.

Notebooks is a must have application for students, business men and for anyone using their phones and tablets for taking notes.
*The permission GET_ACCOUNTS is to communicate with the Google Drive to backup the data. We do not store your account details in the app.
1. Create multiple notebooks.
2. Customizable cover, title, number of pages and page style for every notebook.
3. Password protected.
4. Set a title for every page.
5. Instant search within each notebook.
6. Attach image files.
7. Bookmark a page.
8. Create your own free hand drawing.
9. Easily find your entries.
10. Custom fonts for each notebooks.
11. Set theme for each notebook.
12. Convert the entire Notebook to PDF with attachments. (Currently supports English only)
13. Apply text styles such as Bold, Italics and Colored-Highlights
14. Backup/Restore. (option available in the menu of the Notebooks screen)
15. Backup to Google Drive (Works on devices with OS higher than version 2.2)
 Both of these apps have performed and lived up to their star ratings, but truth be told, I'm far more drawn to Notebooks than Binder. The shelf set-up and covers are just prettier, though I will admit the pages in Binder look a little more aesthetically pleasing. I can't place my finger on why, exactly. Thus far, what I've decided to do is write stories via Notebooks, while I plan to use Binder for virtual character bibles or blog posts I'm writing on the fly while I'm bored at a docs office. I'll be testing the back up and email features, and may end up amending this post as to what I discover. I'd been avoiding linking my email to my Kindle, but in the name of research, I'll bite the bullet.

I hope those of you who had Kindles found this review helpful! ~ D. F. Krieger