How to Manage Location of Resources

FeaturedHow to Manage Location of Resources

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look atHow to Manage Location of Resources.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

LOCATION OF RESOURCES

As mentioned before, I like my cabinets and shelves to be close by the desk where I can easily reach them. Being basically lazy it works for me! This enables me to access the information with greater efficiency. Meanwhile Teresa has her resources spread out, but that seems to work for her.

The important thing is that it be helpful to your overall work.

Tip: Keep your resources where you can easily access them.

The RESOURCES

This covers:

  • books on writing
  • Bible commentaries
  • books on marketing
  • financial records
  • publishing information
  • Research material
  • and more

Your resources will differ from ours, (for example I need Bible commentaries) but you will have a need for good resources and you will need to keep them somewhere safe and easily accessible.

But that is not all. You need to also consider such factors as lighting, storage (paper, ink, incoming/outgoing, and more). In other words, you need resources that will reflect not only personal preferences but will aid you in writing the kind of books that you are committed to write.

Tip: Take time to make sure your workspace meets your needs.

Example

It’s not uncommon for me to need to do research for a book. By having resources close by I’m able to make use of several resources, including my library and my computer. Having a comfortable and efficient place to work has been a blessing throughout my career.

As mentioned before I use a task chair as it’s comfortable and work friendly. Artists, including musicians as well as writers, need to keep a proper posture. Not doing so can cause a painful back and other more serious ailments. And correct posture helps you keep focus!

As mentioned before bad posture can lead to sleepiness and an inefficient approach to your work. I learned this fact the hard way and still have to fight a tendency to slouch. But having a comfortable task chair has helped me immensely.

By using that chair plus a computer table I’m able to sit for long periods of time and accomplish whatever work needs done. There’s the added benefit of being easily moved to a different location if I desire.

When I first started out writing I had the blessing of a separate room to be used as my office, but when we moved down to Florida to take care of my mother-in-law my office was located in her lanai. After she went to glory we moved to a condo and I enclosed a portion of the living room into an office. Now in our present home I’ve staked out a place in one of our rooms for my office.

All of these worked for me because I used comfortable, practical furniture arranged in a fashion that was economical, comfortable, and efficient for me to use. Unless you have complete confidence in someone else’s abilities I would advise this be a DIY project. You know what is comfortable and works for you.

Application

When planning your workspace, you need to take the time to analyze what your needs are now and in the future. It may require the investment of money as well as time. Remember that you need to know what your needs are because an uncomfortable or inefficient work space will make it very difficult for you to be an effective writer. It may seem a small thing but it can be a big thing.

When Teresa and I moved to Clarkston, Michigan we took time to measure and plan the layout of every room before we moved in. We repeated this when we moved down here to her mom’s house. Although the lanai was good sized, we had to leave room for mom’s stuff as well. In fact, every time we have moved, we took the same approach which enabled us to move without being inconvenienced.

The above excerpt

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Writing Good Grammar

FeaturedWriting Good Grammar

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Good Grammar.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Your grammar must be perfect!

Right?

Actually that depends on who you talk to and the specifics involved. Here is my take:

Generally speaking you want your grammar usage as correct as possible, but there are exceptions. For example, let’s say one of your characters only has a ninth grade education.

You would not want that character talking like a professor. For that matter, you really don’t want any of your characters to talk that way unless they actually are professors.

Now I don’t recommend that you try to imitate slang and accents, but just be cautious. Maybe allow a character to have a favorite saying. In Perished: The World That Was I had Methuselah with a favorite saying, “So God has said, so shall it be.”

Which brings up a related principle: Be consistent. If I later had someone else using that same phrase it could have been a jolt. Be consistent.

So here’s the principle: When you are dealing with conversation (or even thoughts) you can and should be less than perfect but consistent. Everything else should be perfect.

Aside from speaking, there is the matter of punctuation and spelling. With the tools available this should never be a problem, but it does occur. It is therefore necessary to check your spelling and punctuation as often as possible.

Tip: Be consistent. If Bob is talking like a country boy on page 2 and a professor on page 132, you better have shown a transformation. Your reader will spot inconsistencies!

Example

The boys is clothed alike. [This is poor grammar.]

The boys are clothed alike. [Much better.]

“You guys look the same.” [OK.]

“The boys is clothed alike,” Martha said. [Ok, if this is consistent with Martha’s education and you’re emphasizing it.]

Tip #1: A rule of thumb is that grammar rules don’t have to be followed rigidly when verbal conversation is taking place or when someone is thinking.

While there are some purists who’d disagree with that tip it is true. Don’t believe me. Listen to people as they talk to one another. They simply don’t talk like some cutaway from your most recent English language book. Nor do they think that way. In fact their speech often denotes who they are.

Some authors go all out and embed a character’s speech with all sorts of idioms. That is fine but to carry it throughout the book might prove to be a heavy task. I suggest a more practical way.

In my novel Perished: The World That Was I peppered Methuselah’s conversations with ‘So God has said, so shall it be’. That was a major departure from anyone else. For the most part his speech was pretty common, easily understood. But phrases like that and the manner in which he talked spoke of his wealth and authority. In other words I let the character’s personality dominate and come through his speech.

As for thinking, I suggest that you italicize the words. This immediately tells the reader that this is different than verbalizing. It should also reduce the need to add ‘she thought’ or ‘he thought’.

Tip#2: Don’t use slang or social media in your language. Slang is both geographical and time restricted. You use a slang word in New York and it may mean something altogether different in Michigan or Florida. Of course, if your character is a New Yorker you might be able to get away with it. But then you have another problem. Slang is not constant. So what you knew as slang ten, twenty years ago may no longer be in use. Your use, therefore, of old slang in a modern setting can confuse your reader.

Best to stay away from slang altogether.

Application

Both my wife and I try to watch our grammar usage. One of the tools we use is Microsoft Word’s grammar checker. It’s not perfect, but it helps. Also, we use the spell check, but it is not always up-to-date. So we make use of the ‘Add to Dictionary’ tool.

Other resources are grammar books (especially older versions that really emphasized good grammar), and the internet (not the way people talk on the internet like FaceBook, but information about grammar).

Make use of as many resources as needed. And pay attention to grammar and punctuation when editing.

To learn more about grammar and other aspects of writing TR Writing Services is currently giving away – that’s right, it’s FREE! – our TR Guide to Writing. Simply contact us and request a copy (PDF) and we’ll send it to you. While at it why not request the TR Writing Service booklet? This booklet will tell you about our different plans and prices. (The current plan discounts expire June 30th.)

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Authors Resource Part 2

Authors Resource Part 2

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Author’s Resources.
This is part 2 of the series. Next Thursday and possibly others will cover this topic in greater degree.
Last Week I Asked Why Use Resources?
There was a time when an author only had his own imagination, his experience, and, if so blessed, a dictionary as resources. But the world has changed since those olden days. Back then few resources were available, but today there is a whole world of information available at the touch of a key. A computer key, that is.
Generally speaking, there are writing resources, publishing resources, and marketing resources. We will take a look at each, thus requiring several days of study. So let’s get busy.
Basic Resources that you need:
Dictionary
“I don’t need a dictionary!”
Think again. A good dictionary is vital to every writer. Your word processing program’s built in dictionary is good, but not perfect. You need a real dictionary; preferably one that contains thousands of words. In fact, a dictionary with a thesaurus would be a major plus.
Why? Because you want to avoid, if possible, the repetitious use of a word.  Somewhere during your editing you will discover a word keeps reappearing. A thesaurus would help you find another word, maybe a better word, to convey the same meaning. This helps keep your story fresh.
Dictionary, Bible
If you are writing a story that is based on the Bible you need a good Bible dictionary. Even better, a pictorial Bible dictionary.
When I use a pictorial Bible dictionary it not only tells me about a certain item, say a tool, but provides an image as well. This is an aid in visualizing the tool and its uses.
Grammar
Again, don’t depend on your word processor. They are not always accurate. You need a good resource such as a grammar book or a reliable online resource (in which case you bookmark it).
I often use the Internet to look up word usage and proper grammar. It helps reduce the confusion and makes the whole writing experience easier.
Newsletter
There are newsletter available on the Internet that deal with writing. Chances are there’s one that fits your needs. Check it out.
Thesaurus
You don’t want to be guilty of using the same word over and over. You need a resource for synonyms and antonyms. You need a Thesaurus. I commented above on the value of a dictionary with a thesaurus. If you can’t get both the dictionary and thesaurus in a single book, then invest the money in a thesaurus.
Actually, while I favor a two in one approach a standalone thesaurus may be bigger, with more words and uses.
Computer
These days a computer is virtually a must! That’s true even if you only use it as a word processor. Here are some uses of the computer:

  • Research
    • Basic research may include looking up words, facts regarding people and events, and places. Deeper research can take you as deep as you want.
  • Social Media
    • A Social presence can be gained through a variety of Social Media outlets.
    • Some popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads
    • New ones seem to be appearing on an increasing basis. Check them out.
  • Purchasing
    • Self-Help books. You can find books on almost any subject. They can be immensely helpful for a writer.
    • Subject books. By that I mean books written about subjects you are interested in. Perhaps your story is taking place in Australia. You can find books about Australia.
    • Tools. New tools are constantly being invented. Some may not be worth your time let alone your dime, but you might just discover a gold mine.

     

Next week we’ll look at websites.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), or Death Ship to the Stars (Book One), and Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Author’s Resources

Author’s Resources

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Author’s Resources.
This is going to be more than one blog. So next Thursday and possibly others will cover this topic in greater degree.
Why Use Resources?
There was a time when an author only had his own imagination, his experience, and, if so blessed, a dictionary as resources. But the world has changed since those olden days. Back then few resources were available, but today there is a whole world of information available at the touch of a key. A computer key, that is.
Generally speaking, there are writing resources, publishing resources, and marketing resources. We will take a look at each, thus requiring several days of study. So let’s get busy.
The Internet as a Resource
I start with this because it is huge. If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you know that I write books based on the Bible and other books based on Space. Both require a great deal of research. Thus, I use the Internet a lot!
Here is a brief list of what is available on the Internet:

  • books on writing
  • books on the Bible (necessary if writing Biblical books)
  • books on space, such as space travel, history of space exploration, and more
  • Biblical Research material
  • Space Research material
  • And research on any other topic I am interested in writing about

Tip #1 – There is no excuse for not having information that you need. We live in the age of the internet. You can search for just about anything on it. But be careful. The internet is rife with false and misleading information. While it can be a rich source of material, you have to be careful.
I have found it helpful to stick with proven sources. Sometimes I venture out to new sources but I also check their content against the proven sources and against my own knowledge.
Tip #2 – Bookmark your favorite resources. Chances are you will need them in the future. This is a small feature on the Internet, but bookmarks or favorites are extremely valuable for someone who does a lot of research, especially if on multiple subjects.
Example
For my Bible related stories I make use of books on the customs and manners of the people, historical references, and names of men and women in the Bible. In addition, I make use of commentaries of the related person or event, word studies, and more.
But I don’t restrict myself to books. We live in the age of the internet. So I make use of it, searching for all manner of information. This requires a discerning spirit as there is false as well as true information on the internet.
Another example is researching for my speculative series Christland. There is a plethora of information out there. Since I’m writing in an existing fiction field, I research such things as Star Trek to get ideas about what a ship looks like and more.
But I also used other resources. For example, I researched the luxury liner Queen Elizabeth 2. From there I got ideas about dining facilities, medical facilities, etc. on a ship. Why’d I use a sea going vessel? Because in many ways traveling space is akin to traveling the oceans. So I drew from naval research.
I used a wide ranging research because I wanted my stories to be state of the art science plus be solidly grounded upon either established fictional “facts” about space travel and established modern scientific facts about space travel.
Use of Internet Search
Warning, Warning! Use of Internet Search may become habit forming.
I am jesting, but the truth is that I spend a lot of time on the internet searching for information. Time flies by!
I will stop at different sites and evaluate their content. Sometimes I know enough about the subject to see how accurate the site is, but sometimes the information is entirely new. One trick I have developed is to copy and paste the material to a Word document. Or other times I simply bookmark the information in an appropriate folder. And sometimes I do both.
Build your library with books, ebooks, and well bookmarked resources.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), or Death Ship to the Stars (Book One), and Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Author’s Workplace

Author’s Workplace

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Author’s Workplace.
 If you have already been writing for awhile you know how important your workspace needs to be for optimal results. This includes the table/desk, the chair, location of resources, and more. So let’s take a look.
The Room
The location and size of the room will vary from author to author. My wife prefers an open room, while I have a small, well-define room. Both of us have our desks in front of a window. Teresa’s files are in different cabinets not necessarily adjoining each other, while I used a combination of cabinets and bookshelves in close proximity to me.
Both of us like our setups and are able to function well. This is important. Whatever setup you choose, it needs to be conducive to your being able to think, research, and write. My suggestion is for you to design it your way even if others may criticize. You are the one who will be spending a lot of time there!
One other note, sometimes Teresa likes to move into the living room and sit at the table. This gives her a break from the norm while still enabling her to perform her tasks.
The Table/Desk
Once again personal preferences are dominate. Teresa uses a computer desk while I use a computer table. She tends to spread paperwork out, I like things a little tighter.
But once again our own wants and needs strongly influence how it is done. As for how the table/desk is set up, both of us use laptops on the surface. I have a phone beside me, she doesn’t (except when in the living room).
Never place your laptop on your lap. This is because you may be blocking air vents. Buy yourself a lap desk (there are several).
The Chair
Both of us prefer task chairs, but I have seen others who use Executive Chairs. The key here is that you want a chair that is comfortable, but also helps you maintain good posture. This last is important because slouching in your chair cuts off oxygen and causes you to get sleepy. It is very hard to write with your eyes closed!
Another note regarding sitting with a laptop on your lap even with a lap desk. There are issues with back strain, eye strain, etc. that are affected by sitting with a laptop.
Location of Resources
As mentioned before I use my cabinets and bookshelves as the “walls” of my office. This keeps everything close by, easy to reach. Teresa has her resources spread out, but that seems to work for her.
The important thing is that it be helpful to your overall work.
The Resources
What do I mean by resources? Well, this covers:

  • books on writing
  • books on the Bible (if writing Biblical books)
  • books on marketing
  • financial records
  • publishing information
  • Research material
  • and more

Your resources will differ from ours, but you will have a need for them and you will need to keep them somewhere safe and easily accessible.
You need to also consider such factors as lighting, storage (paper, ink, incoming/outgoing, and more).
 
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), or Death Ship to the Stars (Book One), and Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.