Author Topic: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.  (Read 715 times)  

Offline setherd

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The local branch of my state writers group has asked me to give a presentation in a couple weeks on technology available to help writers.
I'm looking for ideas!!!!


So far I plan on talking about having a backup plan in place first. That would include talking about things like dropbox, google drive, skydrive, and even dedicated backup software like carbonite and crashplan.

I think I'll spend most of the talk on Scrivener. (I think I'm the only who uses it.) Also Calibre, and Aeon Timeline ( I just recently found this).

I'm not sure if I should talk about websites or podcasts.

If anyone has any other ideas I'm open to anything!!
Take care,
Seth

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    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 07:50:41 am »
    Does it have to be tech ideas? Can it be things like beat sheets?
             

    Offline ilamont

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 07:57:17 am »
    One approach you can take is how to align technology tools with goals, as opposed to adopting technology because it's the flavor of the month. Some people in your audience may only want to understand tools that improve their writing output (Scrivener, Google Docs, etc.) while others may want to know more about tools that help them connect with their audiences, boost sales, etc.

    Offline George Applegate

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 08:03:07 am »
    Text-to-speech that allows a writer to listen for pacing, word use, etc.
        

    Offline Al K. Line

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 08:16:42 am »
    What about the fact that some writers are returning to older forms of technology to remove the distractions of Web access? Or using blocking software to keep them to a minimum at least?

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #5 on: December 30, 2014, 08:41:52 am »
    One approach you can take is how to align technology tools with goals, as opposed to adopting technology because it's the flavor of the month.

    ^THIS.

    Writers will have different objectives, needs and obstacles in their efforts.  There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, tech or otherwise, for authors.

    For example, I know a couple Scrivener adherents that have become akin to religious zealots on a mission from the Almighty Scrivener to save writers everywhere.  They are quite annoying.  I looked at Scrivener and it doesn't offer me any benefits that would make it worthwhile to me.  Still, the advocates wished to convert me, offering to take an hour or two to walk me through the software to show me how apparently glorious and heavenly it was, insisting I was not wise enough to determine from the website that it wasn't of value to me or my needs.

    I left that chat group.  Incidentally, it was a chat group I had started.  But the Scrivener evangelists don't bother me anymore. 

    Offline 75845

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #6 on: December 30, 2014, 08:46:36 am »
    For the discovery writer Scrivener is like buying your own personal discovery hating plotting writer to sit on your shoulder and whisper in your ear, "You are not a real writer."

    For those who just want to write Evernote is your friend in need.

    Offline setherd

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #7 on: December 30, 2014, 09:20:23 am »
    Whoa! I'm not trying to tell them "this is how you have to do it." I love Scrivener but I agree some users get a little "preachy" about it.
    I just want to highlight some options they may or may not know of. I'm hoping that as I'm looking for things to talk about I'll find new things as well.

    Shane, it's supposed to be technology.

    Evernote, Another good one to talk about.
    Text to speech, I'll talk a bit about that (although I haven't found a version that doesn't make my ears bleed)

    thank you everyone!
     
    Take care,
    Seth

    Offline Lisa Grace

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #8 on: December 30, 2014, 09:32:32 am »
    I prepare a handout ahead of time, and I offer to email it to everyone. I like to start with a show of hands of what they would like covered. Some writers' groups I've visited are so entrenched in trade (to the point they had only ever submitted manuscripts on paper), they had no idea .docs for books do not need to be double spaced, with two spaces after each period.  It's good for you to know if they even know the basics of the ebook world before you start your talk.

    Neos or alphasmarts and the soon to be Hemingwrites. (Simple word processors that are battery run that dl to your PC), Dragon by Nuance or speech to text programs for those with sight or hand issues. Textnovel.com, Createspace, KDP, Nook Press, Kobo,  D2D (for it's simple ease of use), and ACX.


    Have fun! :)
     
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    Offline MyraScott

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 10:45:10 am »
    Dragon Naturally Speaking, dictation software seems an obvious one.

    Vellum (for Mac users) formatting service is pretty well liked.

    I use WorkFlowy for outlines, snippets, ideas, short pieces,  Evernote and Pinterest to track my research and inspiration.
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    Offline Jennifer R P

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 11:16:49 am »
    CeltX for the script writers in the group - it's free and handles all the formatting for you. (It also has a "novel" option, but I've never looked at it - I'm not somebody who's into Scrivener-style tools).


    Offline MyraScott

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #11 on: December 30, 2014, 01:51:26 pm »
    Oh, and I forgot Hemingwayapp and Autocrit and Ginger and some of the others that can point out certain types of repetition/adverbs/passivity, etc.
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    Offline busywoman

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #12 on: December 30, 2014, 01:55:07 pm »
    Regarding Evernote, mentioned above... I'd also point out other note taking alternatives.  Include a list, with Google Keep (very basic and simple) and Microsoft's One Note, which I like better than Evernote.  There's also SimpleNote which some iPad users seem to really like.  And someone recently told me about NoteSync for Android users (although the One Note app works just fine with Android and I believe Evernote does, as well).

    If you discuss podcasts, I'd emphasize that writers stop and think hard about their goals first. What do they want to achieve with a podcast?  Lots of writers think a podcast series will help market their books. Having done one weekly for years, people totally underestimate how much time a podcast takes.  I couldn't believe how we were slaves in my company to doing that podcast every week.  There were always technical issues to sort out,  download issues, scheduling of guests, lots of communication back and forth, writing about the shows (because you have to write about the show content for proper SEO), promoting the podcast episodes on social media, etc. Running a podcast series takes time away from writing. People think of a podcast as a way to market their books, but in reality you're just adding another marketing obligation to your plate.  You now have to market your podcast, in addition to marketing your books.  (Because how is a podcast that hardly anyone listens to going to help sell books?) 

    On the other hand, being a guest on other people's podcasts is a great idea.   ;)

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #13 on: December 30, 2014, 02:01:08 pm »
    Text-to-speech that allows a writer to listen for pacing, word use, etc.


    This!

    Microsoft Word has this built into versions starting with 2010. There was a thread about this a few weeks ago...

    Newer Macs have this built-in as well. Listening to the computer read your story is the best way to proofread for missing words. It also helps you find awkward sentences, overuse of words in proximity, pacing problems, and a bunch more.

    If you can't get your computer to read your ms, then send it to your Kindle and have your Kindle read it out loud.

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 02:09:03 pm »
    Dragon Naturally Speaking, dictation software seems an obvious one.




    All newer computers (2010+ ?) come with dictation software built in. Right along with text to speech, they have speech to text.
    « Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 02:11:39 pm by Cherise Kelley »

    Offline setherd

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #15 on: December 31, 2014, 02:30:30 am »
    Thanks eveyone!

    Busywoman: I wasn't going to talk about these writers starting a podcast. I was thinking of mentioning good ones to listen to as I was afraid I wouldn't have enough to talk about. But thanks to everyones excellent ideas, I think I can easily fill up an hour!
    Take care,
    Seth

    Offline 75845

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #16 on: December 31, 2014, 02:34:19 am »
    Apple OSX has had text to speech available for over a decade. It would be hard to buy a Mac that does not have it.

    Offline Indecisive

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    Re: need tech ideas that help writers for a talk at my local writers group.
    « Reply #17 on: December 31, 2014, 02:46:05 am »
    What about the fact that some writers are returning to older forms of technology to remove the distractions of Web access? Or using blocking software to keep them to a minimum at least?

    Internet blocking software was the first thing I thought of, too.

    I'm another non-Scrivener person, and the evangelism bugs me, too. There's so much you can do with a plain word processor if you get to know it's features (I use Libre Office).

    Another aspect of the internet that might bear mentioning is using forums, NaNoWriMo, online writers' groups, or Goodreads to find beta readers and connect with other writers at your particular career stage. I've found it very hard to find such people locally.

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