Monday, April 2, 2012

Where To Look For Writing Help

In my quest to become a better writer, I constantly utilize the wealth of free information on the internet. To that end, I have Google as my Home Page (the first page that opens when I go online).
As a computer instructor, I’m compelled to offer a quick lesson here in changing your Home Page. Go online, find the page you want to use as a Home Page. Then go up to your menus, click on Tools, and then Options. At the top of that dialog box, you will see tabs or icons. Click on the one that says “General”. You will see Home Page. If your favorite page is open, simply click the “Use Current Page” button.
Now that you have a page in place, search for exactly what you want. I find Google gets me the best results, but use whatever you like. For instance, if you want to find out about character development, type in, “Character Development”. A long page of information about that topic appears. If you don’t see what you like on that page, scroll to the bottom and you’ll see that there are many, many more pages. Some are stories, some instructions, some tips, and some have actual worksheets to use. Try a few different sites to get the feel of the author’s information. Is it for you? Once you find a page that you love, save it in your favorites or bookmark it.  

One more note. Favorites and Bookmarks appear in the menus at the top. (If you don’t see those menus, place your mouse in the space at the top and right click. Click on Menus.)
 I just saved a blog I like about formatting my manuscript:
Sometimes, you have questions whose answers may not be easy to find. For instance, it might be something particular about your novel. I wanted to have my protagonist work in her field in a position that, although common in the South, wasn't available in the Northeast. For that kind of answer, I went to my writer’s group. Some online writer’s groups are free, but I found that didn’t work for me. I joined Sisters in Crime and a subgroup called Guppies that has a daily list with questions and information from the members who are writers and published authors. I sent in my question and received a great answer. I was told that, in fiction, you can say something like, “my job is the only one of its kind in the area”. Readers will accept what comes next. Writers are always looking for help from other writers. These groups are not only a great resource, but a nice way to interact with others who love writing.
One other note: If you're anything like me, remember to take time out from your computer to stretch, eat, and interact with family and friends. I have to do that right now. Ta.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips Margo. You're one of the most generous of the generous!