4 Platform Tips for the Fund Challenged Writer

ListHave you got a list of things that you need to do as a writer? Do you lack funds to acquire some or all of these needs for your writer platform. Here’s 4 tips for inexpensively improving your platform without breaking the bank.

1. Lack funds to create a website? Use a free one like Want a custom domain name with your site for minimal cost? WordPress and other such hosts can help with that too. Here’s what WordPress can do!

2. Need to use email with your own domain name? Try it for minimal cost via Google Apps. Here are the instructions.

3. Have a product, announcement or other tweet you want new followers to see and retweet? Pin your tweet to the top of your feed and it will be the first post seen on your feed by visitors. Here are some visual instructions to do just that:

Go to your feed and choose something you’ve posted and click on the 3 dots for “More” and then click “Pin to your profile page”:

Twitter Pin Instrusctions 1

Here’s what currently stays at the top of me feed:

Twitter Pin Instructions 2

4. Want to add pictures to your blog posts but lack funds? If you have Microsoft Office installed you can use Click Art from Office. Verify that the Click Art is from Microsoft by either hovering over the image or right clicking on the image and choosing properties to see the originator. To access this library from Office 2010 click on the Insert tab and then on the Click Art button:

Office Click Art Instructions

In fact, the picture at the top of this post is from Click Art. Read the terms of service for Click Art and understand how you may use it. If you need to use royalty free pictures for re-sale that’s another issue altogether so know what your are doing with pictures. For a great discussion of Microsoft’s Clip Art usage click here.

That’s all for today. See the News page for upcoming announcements like the month-long October special for “The Black Bag”! Feel free to leave comments below and I will reply! Remember to sign-up to follow by email and receive a coupon for a FREE copy (any e-book format) via Smashwords for “The Black Bag”. Thanks for reading!


4 Common Computer Questions


Tech Tips

When other writers find out that I work by day in computer support, technical questions are immediately asked of me. Here are some of those questions and my suggestions in answer (NOTE: I’m not doing technical support from this site so please don’t ask me about fixing Laptopproblems).

  1. What brand should I use? I rarely answer this directly as there are several good brands of computers available depending on your taste and budget. The main idea I suggest is research the brand and model.
  2. My battery doesn’t charge anymore. Should I replace my laptop? This depends on one main factor: the age of the laptop. A new battery can cost between a quarter to half of the cost of an inexpensive laptop so if the laptop is over three to four years old and/or out of warranty you might consider replacing it. At that age a laptop may have other parts that fail so investing more money into it may be a losing prospect versus a new, affordable laptop. Also consider this: many newer laptops have solid-state hard drives with less failure potential as well as improved battery life.
  3. Should I get a laptop or a tablet? If you travel a lot then a tablet is ideal and may last longer than a laptop. With a laptop the keyboard can fail/break or the screen can stop working with age. While a tablet can be broken, an external keyboard can be more easily replaced. I’m strongly considering a tablet when I eventually replace my current laptop. Regardless, my next computing device will have a solid state drive.
  4. Computer UsageWhere should I get a new laptop/tablet? What should I pay? I look for good buys on clearance/refurbished sites. Also, consider getting an extended warranty especially if you carry your laptop/tablet to various locations or travel frequently. However, if you are mainly computing from home then there is less wear and tear on it so the standard warranty is fine. As far as how much to pay it depends on what you r usage. If you just write then something less expensive is fine. If you play games or do more intensive tasks like graphics design then something with more horsepower (more memory and faster CPU) and a larger screen should be considered.

So those are some common questions I get. What questions, suggestions or personal preferences do you have? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. Also, remember if you opt to follow this blog via email I’ll send you a coupon to download my award-winning short story, The Black Bag, for FREE.

Thanks for reading and check back often for news. I’m currently completing a revision of The Bow of Destiny to send to my editor as well as other details toward publication.

Deep POV Tips Pt. 5: Eliminate Narrative Distance

Editing for Deep POV

Editing for Deep POV

This writing tips series began after I attended a webinar in late July the subject of which was deep third person POV . Part 1 , Part 2Part 3 & Part 4 of this series are available if you want to catch-up on the topic. As promised, here are more tips gleaned from the presentation that you may find helpful as I know they will be for me.

One characteristic of deep POV is the elimination of narrative distance. What does this mean? Simply put, the reader lives with the POV character as the events happen instead of being informed or directed by a narrator. In other words, instead of using a narrative voice with tags that cue the reader on activity and dialogue by the main POVC, the deep POV style lets the reader experience the action with the main POVC.  For example:

Narratvie usage: When the door opened, Martha turned with surprise and said, “Who’s there?”

Deep POV: The door banged open. Martha whirled. “Who’s there?”

Notice the difference? There’s not a tag for Martha’s question. Also the action is ongoing in the second example which is accomplished by the verb usage and dropping unnecessary conditions and descriptions. In so doing, the narrative excess is removed along with the telling and passivity.

In my next post, I’ll focus on another characteristic of deep POV and how it is applied.

Want more pointers? Try these resources for deep POV:

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Writer’s Guide to Emotion: Fiction Writing Tools by Sherry Soule

Check out Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

Do you use deep POV? Why or why not? How do you utilize these and other aspects of this technique. I love receiving comments so feel free to leave one via the form. Also, you can receive notifications about this blog by email and even receive coupon to download my award-winning short story for free. Sign-up and download today!

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

P. H. Solomon