Marketing

The Bow of Destiny Character Interview: Spark

SparkAs I mentioned on on release day, I added an animal character to The Bow of Destiny at the suggestion of a beta reader. What I settled on was a dog based on my German Shepherds and named him Spark. If you haven’t read the part of the scavenger hunt from Monday please take a look since it shares a funny way of communicating that my male dog has – his tail. That’s correct, when you ask him simple questions he wags his tail for yes and doesn’t for no. So Spark does the same thing. However, Athson is the only one who can see him besides, you, the reader. But, Athson doesn’t quite understand that Spark is communicating with him. Now that you know, you can read the book and understand something additional happening in the book.

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With that in mind, I decided to interview Spark for a bit of unique fun:

Q: How are you today, Spark? Er, I mean, are you well today Spark? (Gotta stick to the question rules!)

Spark: wag, wag, wag.

Q: So you’ve been with Athson since he was orphaned?

Spark: wag, wag, wag.

Q: Do other people see you?

Spark: no tail wag.

Q: Are you real?

Spark: wag, wag, wag.

Q: Is there a reason you follow Athson?

Spark cocks his head and lets loose a low growl.

Uh, right, we’re not getting int that now (and that question didn’t follow the rules).

Q: Let’s find out your favorite place. Do you like Auguron Forest?

Spark: wag, wag, wag.

Q: Do you like the Troll Heaths?

Spark: no tail wag

Q: Do you like Chokkra?

Spark: one, slight tail wag.

Hmm, guess he’s got an opinion that we can’t quite understand at the moment.

Q: Do you like Athson?

Spark: pants , wag, wag, wag.

Q: Do you have a deeper propose in the series?

Spark: cocks his head and growls again.

Uh, well I guess he doesn’t want to talk about that.

So that’s Spark and now you are in on the secret that not even Athson has figured out. I hope the interview was unique and fun and you’re a little intrigued with the book.

BOD FinalThe Bow of Destiny is currently on sale throughout the week for $2.99 (that’s $2 off the regular price). It’s gained several 5-star ratings and reviews and it’s climbing Amazon rankings in it’s genre. Have a look at the book and Spark and add it to your Goodreads shelf.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available on Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, I have FREE book, What Is Needed is available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords & Amazon.

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Scrivener Project Management: Don’t Let the Beast Loose

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

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Keep a Lid On ItKeep track of a project at any time can be difficult. If your not able to do so things can become a monstrous mess that can consume the good intentions behind your goals. The same is true of managing a project in Scrivener.  So let’s take a look at one way to keep a lid on the beast of disorganization and it consequences.

I got an interesting question a while back so I’m addressing it today. A follower on Twitter asked about performance issues with Scrivener. It was a rather general question so I followed up by asking for more details.

The answer I got went something like this: the person asking about performance issues had a project that was opening/closing very slowly. A little further explanation indicated that the project was one that had been in use for several years with daily input during that time.

Options MenuIt wasn’t hard to imagine how large the project had gotten and there’s the rub. If you still have auto backup enabled on closing a project (recommended) then the project will backup and close once you exit. The larger the project, the longer the backup will take. Opening is a similar story sans the backup. Also, the larger the project the more computer resources will be used.

Here’s a personal feeling about this issue so take it for it’s worth. I wouldn’t recommend using a project for daily work that stretches for years – it will just get too big to open and I can imagine it would be cumbersome to manage as well. Personally, I have a few projects that I’m using throughout the year such as those for blog posts and newsletters. However, I intend to close these out at the end of the year and create new projects for these purposes in 2016. That way they are easy to manage and don’t get too large. Most projects aren’t used this way – such as a book – which will eventually be completed.

So what do you do if you have such a problem? Easy! Export older or new content (depends on how you want to do it) out of the project and then import said data back into a new project. This means that you are essentially going to split the project. Make sure to take a snapshot beforehand as well as having a backup to which you can revert (check your backup folder which is in your Options by clicking on Tools => Options => Backup, click the button to open the backup folder). Once you’ve confirmed you’ve exported and imported the data successfully you can trash what you exported out of the old project. After that, if you’re still having performance issues, contact Literature and Latte for more assistance.

Scriv Export

To export, select all the folders or documents you want to export in the Binder. Next, click File, slide to Export and click Files on the fly-out menu. There are options to choose such as the location & name of the folder where you are putting your data. There are other options showing but for these purposes only choose “Export Notes” & “Export Meta-data” since the other check-boxes will exclude data/content that you will likely want to retain.

Scriv Export Box

Importing takes a bit more effort. Before importing, assess what you are doing to know how complex the work will be. You must import individual files into specific folders if you want to retain your folder structure. First, create your new project and duplicate your folder structure to your satisfaction.

To import, choose the folder into which you will import and click File, slide to Import and choose Files to navigate to the location where you just exported. You must navigate to individual files so select all the files in each folder and all the content will be imported into the specific folder you already selected. If you haven’t made your folder structure too complex it shouldn’t take forever, otherwise it may take some time.

I hope this helps you iron out any performance issues you may have as well as manage a project that has grown in size or complexity.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Book & Blog Block Party. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about the tour as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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Using Scrivener Collections For Editing

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

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In last week’s Scrivener post, I introduced the use of Collections as a multi-function tool. This week, I’d like to address the usage of this tool by focusing on my ongoing structural edit of my second novel, An Arrow Against the Wind.

First, let me define structural edit. This is the kind of editing where you might re-organize your draft so that flows better. It’s also the type of editing whereby you discover all the holes and inconsistencies within the draft and try to fill them. Another way of addressing the structure is to bring consistency to style as well as characterization, plot and other basic elements of the book.

Next let me describe the situation with my rough draft and how I’m approaching it. While writing An Arrow Against the Wind, I realized I had numerous holes to fill. This was due in large part to removing a sub-plot from the series to publish later as a parallel series. This left a need for more words for An Arrow Against the Wind. I’ve already made decisions about what needs to be added where.

My approach at this point, is to handle all the big structural issues of content. This means writing more in a number of places while I’ll handle style inconsistencies after the additions are completed. So at this point, I want to make a collection that includes all the planned additions and keeps something of a schedule at the same time – the latter so that I stay on-time for the first hand-over of the manuscript to the editor in a few months.

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For this Collection, all I need to do is choose all the empty documents that need content added and include them. So I highlighted the first chapter that needs more content and created the Collection using the instructions I mentioned from last week. I named it “Structural Edit – Additional Content”. From there I began to add all the empty documents that need work by clicking on the Binder tab in the Collection and right clicking on each targeted document and adding it from the context menu as pictured.

Adding to the collection

Adding to the collection

When finished, my collection looks like this:

Scriv Collection Added Folders

So now I have what I need to begin to set a schedule to complete each necessary document. I can assign a label and a status to each of these from the context menu – which is adding Scrivener meta-data. I chose to edit the standard status and label meta-data to fit my work. To do this go to either Label or Status to get a fly-out menu of available choices after right-clicking on a document. Choose edit and make your changes.

Scriv Collection Edit MD

First I edited the Labels to add deadline dates for each of the documents and assigned them successively to each one. Then I created a custom status for each category I need: “In Process”, “Overdue”, “Completed” and “Not Started”. I then set all the documents to the last one. Now I have my deadlines and can assign a status to each document as I progress, finally removing them from the collection once completed.

Scriv Collection Labels

Adding Labels

Scriv Collection Status Sched

Adding Status Schedule

So now my Collection is complete. I can choose to view only the Binder by toggling off the Collection (Ctrl+Shift+9) or clicking View, slide to Collections for the menu and click Collection. To toggle the Binder on go to the same menu and click Binder. To go back into my collection, I can use the same menu and click on the named Collection where it appears in the list below Binder – in this case I only have one Collection (though I’ll have several over the next several weeks).

Collection View

And that’s how I’m using Collections in Scrivener to begin editing An Arrow Against the Wind. Next week I’ll add another collection for my structural edit encompassing stylistic changes. After that, I’ll proceed onto other uses for Collections in my editing.

Have you tried using Collections yet in Scrivener? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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