Posted in poetry, writing

On Writing Haiku

In my younger days I wasn’t a great fan of poetry. I found it hard going, requiring more effort to understand than I was prepared to expend on it. Then I stumbled upon Haiku. I met a Japanese girl at University and she changed the way I thought about a great deal of things. I began looking in to Japanese history and culture. Two books hooked me completely. “The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon” was one. The other was “On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho”. Basho (1644–94) is considered to be one of the masters of the genre, and…

Posted in Scrivener, writing

Scrivener: Changing Backgrounds in Composition Mode

Distraction-free writing. It is something many writers crave, and a ton of apps have appeared on the scene to fill the need. But here’s the thing — it is already built in to Scrivener under the guise of Composition Mode.The problem with some of these apps is that they hang their hat on words like “minimalist” and “simplicity” when what they really mean is their app lacks features and options. Scrivener can look as distraction-free as any of those apps. What they can’t do is offer the mind-blowing content-management and compilation features of Scrivener. Composition Mode You may already know…

Posted in tech, writing

Is There a Write! Way to Blog?

I have been looking for alternative ways to post to my web site ever since I discovered WordPress were on the verge of introducing their new post editor, Gutenberg. Gutenberg will appeal to many, but it does not suit how I work at all. Earlier, I posted an article about this directly from my iPad, and I was really pleased with how well it worked. That is definitely an option for me now, writing in Byword on the iPad and posting directly to my site. However, I am always looking for more options and I really wanted a way to…

Posted in tech, writing

Blogging by iPad

As someone who has worked as a web developer, I know how time consuming creating and maintaining a web site can be. Which is why WordPress is such a godsend for bloggers. It handles so much of the fiddly, technical stuff without fuss and leaves you free to concentrate on what you want to say. There is only one thing I really don’t like about WordPress. That is the post editor. I don’t like writing in a web browser at all. I use Scrivener for most of my writing, including blog posts. When I am ready to post I copy…

Posted in Scrivener, writing

Using Scrivener’s Name Generator Tool

Scrivener has a ton of features hidden away in those menus and many of them remain unnoticed by even the most addicted Scrivener users. One useful tool that often gets overlooked is the name generator. This is a really handy thing when you are looking to name a character but it is also a way of inspiring new characters. Let’s dive in to it then. Go to the Edit menu and select “Writing Tools”. You will see a sub-menu pop up, and there, right at the bottom, is “Name Generator…”. Right away you can see it has generated a bunch…

Posted in writing

Need or Want? Which Is Best For Writers?

They say necessity is the mother of invention. If you need to write to make a living and pay your bills do you find it easier than if you are financially secure and write because you want to? Which drives creativity better, need or want? Some people, and I count myself among them, don’t operate too well under pressure. Looming deadlines and loud managers are not for me. I need the shackles off in order to create. I write because I want to. I do it for the love. But all that is about to change, and in future I…

Posted in tech, writing

What’s The Best Way To Capture Your Ideas?

Note-taking for me has been something of a thorny issue for many years. I’m always on the lookout for a quick and easy way to capture my thoughts when I’m out and about and away from my computer. I have tried more or less everything but after many years of struggle I have finally found the best solution, for me at least.   Tablets and Smartphones I have been through a ton of these devices, from a Nexus 7 and iPad Mini to an iPod Touch and a Samsung Galaxy phone. I have tried them with their own notes apps,…

Posted in writing

There, their, they’re! Watch Out For Those Pesky Confusables…

It is little wonder people learning English get confused with words that sound the same. It can even catch out those of us who have been speaking the language for fifty years! Recently, Graham Norton questioned the wisdom of naming a film “Our Souls In The Night”. Whilst this quirk of our language may afford ample comic opportunities it can be a bit of a nightmare for writers. You can’t rely on grammar checkers to save your blushes either. Putting your faith in those is as foolhardy as putting your faith in a satnav. “Your” is a another good example…

Posted in Scrivener, tech, writing

Distraction-free Writing? Try Going Old School!

Since I started using Scrivener for my novels I can’t imagine life without it. I almost live in it. But as indispensable as it is, it does have one major drawback — it shares my laptop with a browser. Even though I use the wonderful composition mode, it doesn’t quite make Scrivener distraction free. It isn’t Scrivener’s fault of course, the same applies to Word or ZenWriter or whatever software you use. I’ll just be getting into the zone, half way through some wonderful dialogue, when a little warble grabs my attention. Someone has tweeted! Or it will be a…