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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Your Tools

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week I am looking at Your Tools.

Last week we looked at your workplace, today let’s consider some of the tools you’ll need to write. So let’s take a look.

Your Computer

Some people prefer tablets, etc. over a desktop, but I use a desktop. Whatever you use you need a computer that is relatively new and should be running Windows 10. This will enable you to access the Internet and do research. Not only research, but to publish and market your book. And then there is having an email account.

So your computer is a very important tool. You don’t need all the bells and whistles, but you do need a computer that will handle your needs. So, investigate before buying. There are various software tools that you might consider (see below).

I’m not going to get into the various computers and their characteristics. Every person has their own preferences. So my advice is for you to look for a computing device that best fits your lifestyle and your needs as a writer.

When buying a computer I always recommend a middle of the road (price) computer. Why? Because today’s top of the line computer will be tomorrow’s middle of the road computer. Computers age rapidly.

Buy a computer that meets your needs and doesn’t break your budget. For example, some people buy computers for gaming purposes. But as a writer you don’t need gaming tools, you want a computer that enables you to be a proficient writer.

Your Software

Some of the software tools you need are:

  • Wordprocessor (I use Word)
  • PDF program (I use Adobe Acrobat DC)
  • eBook Converter (I use Kindle Create)
  • Picture editor (I use Paint 3d or Photos)

There are other tools that you may need, or you may prefer Word Perfect over Word or you might like Open Office. I’m not pointing you to a brand, but to an overall need. In other words, you need to take the time to do your own research and find out what you want.

Your Printer

I used an HP printer. There are a variety of them plus there are others on the market. But you want a printer that enables you to communicate with your printer so you can scan documents, etc. into the computer. You will also need a computer to print out documents, etc. from your computer.

If that isn’t enough, you may need fax ability.

When buying a printer, I suggest getting one that has most, if not all, the features you need. I’ve already mentioned scanning and faxing. But these are practically standard. Pay attention to what features they have available.

And remember that while salespeople are helpful, they are often directed to push a certain product. Don’t let them talk you into something you don’t need. And that advice is good for both the computer and the printer.

Your Dictionary

The dictionary is very important to the writer. Depending on the genre you write in you might have a modern dictionary and an older one. For example, if you are writing a novel that takes place in the 19th century, it might be helpful having a 19th century dictionary or at least a dictionary with older terms in it.

I use the dictionary when I’m writing and when I’m editing. You don’t want misspelled words or words that have the wrong meaning.

Your Thesaurus

The Thesaurus is often very helpful. It helps you in looking up similar words to the ones you are currently using. It is often a good idea not to repeat the same words constantly. If you can find words that mean the same thing it gives your text a little more vibrancy.

Your Library

I believe in research. Having your own personal library often provides you with needed material that helps you better understand a subject for your book. Maybe a critical weapon, a graving tool, or some other item that fits into your story. How about a How To book that covers something you’re writing about?

The list can get quite long. The important thing I want you to get out of all this is that you need to surround yourself with all the tools you can get. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, take advantage of the tools that enable you to put forth an excellent book.

I recommend buying books (hardcover or softcover) and downloading from the Internet. Aside from those two ideas, I often copy information from the internet and paste it into a new document in Word. I find it helpful not only for the story, but in marketing and publishing.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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), Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five),  or Battle at Proxima Centauri. 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.

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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.