Practical tips


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Thread: Practical tips

  1. #1

    Practical tips

    Computer


    There are many grades of writer, amateur, novice, expert, JK Rowling, and so on, but each one of you reading this has one thing in common. The computer you use. Some of us use a pen and paper to start with, and then edit on the computer. Some of us write straight on to the screen. Most of us who have been bashing the keys for a few decades have learned a thing or two, and I think it is only fair to share them, a sort of hints and tips for all.


    I'm sure there are things I could be doing better, and things I should be doing I don't even know about. So if you have anything that you are willing to share, please do so.


    Here are a few of mine.


    Never write an article or story straight into WF. Use your favourite word processor, save it, give it a few days and review it. Use the word processors inbuilt spell checker, format the pages so they look neat. Then if all is well, minimise the page, go online to WF. And after logging on and choosing where you wish to publish, maximise the document, go to edit, select all, then copy, minimise the page, and paste into the WF. Text input window.


    Never, ever, ever post anything while drunk.


    I don't know much about the Microsoft Internet Explorer thingy, because I use Mozilla Firefox. This is a free competitor to Microsoft. It has something called add ons. One of them is an always on spell checker. Very useful when posting crits.


    Also Firefox add ons include something called WOT, or Web of Trust. This is a community based idea. Web sites are given a red for danger, orange for okay, and green for safe rating, the rating system is not perfect, but it does add another layer of security when browsing.


    Who's next?
    Last edited by bazz cargo; March 24th, 2011 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Remove unwanted transients

  2. #2
    Don't post your work as one whole chunk of text. Leave a little white space so that your readers' eyes don't herniate. Also, paragraph tabs don't work well with HTML code, so it's always wise to use the 'preview post' button so you see exactly what your text will look like once posted. There you'll notice if it's just one huge block, which is usually what happens when you copy and paste directly from Word. Use the ENTER key to skip down a line at each paragraph and you will at least guarantee that readers won't click out of your thread as quickly as they clicked into it.

    When doing non-WF-related works, such as chapters for your novel, the way to insert a chapter break is not by repeatedly hitting ENTER until Word creates a new page. This will mess your formatting if you happen to change fonts or font sizes in the future, leaving your chapters starting sometimes halfway down the page. The proper way to insert a chapter break is by pressing CTRL & ENTER. This keeps everything formatted correctly.

    Sometimes you'll have to write a word with its first or last letters omitted. An example is 'scope, which is short for telescope and is not yet an accepted word. This apostrophe curls to the left and is often hard to insert. Most people just insert a right-curling one first and then another one on top of it. Because one has already been inserted, Word automatically assumes you don't want another one of the same. But then you have to move your cursor back and delete the first one -- which is not all that terribly difficult. However, the way to remedy this is by using CTRL again. Hold it down while pressing your single apostrophe key (it's usually beside the semi colon). Nothing will happen. Until you press the apostrophe key again without CTRL this time. Voila. You have a left-curling apostrophe.

    I have loads more. I just have to think of them.
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  3. #3
    WF Veteran Mistique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazz cargo View Post
    p { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }
    Never, ever, ever post anything while drunk.
    Actually sometimes that can lead to quite interesting results You probably shouldn't critique while being drunk though.

    If you are like me and English is not your first language then Yahoo! Babel Fish - Text Translation and Web Page Translation can be very useful in providing translations.
    I long for the day when MS stands for mystery solved!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bazz cargo View Post
    Never write an article or story straight into WF. Use your favourite word processor, save it, give it a few days and review it. Use the word processors inbuilt spell checker, format the pages so they look neat. Then if all is well, minimise the page, go online to WF. And after logging on and choosing where you wish to publish, maximise the document, go to edit, select all, then copy, minimise the page, and paste into the WF. Text input window.

    Never, ever, ever post anything while drunk.
    These two, I definitely agree with. MS Word or OpenOffice may not help you with grammar, but it can definitely help you with your spelling. Even if we have an A+ in spelling, sometimes we stumble onto the typos. The spell-check mechanism will help greatly. And as for copying into the text input window, then I tell you, check into "Go Advanced" then see click the preview to see if the text is good to the eyes. If it appears to be a gargantuan chunk of text, then it will less likely gain readers than one that is well-formatted.

    Oh, and as for the second tip, I am reminded of this maxim I read here in WF. "Write drunk, edit sober."
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  5. #5
    If you're interested with help on grammar check out a little program called Right Writer. It's great. The program basically dissects the writing and spits out results that can range from how many adjectives you're using to how often you use a particular sentence structure.

  6. #6
    So much work is posted with poor formatting that I wonder if people don't know how to get to the advanced editing box, where one can preview one's post before committing. At the bottom of the quick reply box is a button labelled Go Advanced which one clicks to get there. How or if this shows up might depend on your WF settings, I'm not sure. Using this advanced editing feature may be the single most important item in improving the format quality of posted work.
    Last edited by ppsage; March 24th, 2011 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Specification, as usual.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  7. #7
    Never, ever, ever post anything while drunk.
    Oh, and as for the second tip, I am reminded of this maxim I read here in WF. "Write drunk, edit sober."
    How you write is your business, but posting while drunk can on the rare occasion, lead to regret, even to hostility and possibly a kick in the nadgers.

    New tip.

    Buy a usb memory stick. After you have saved your latest work to your hard drive, back it up on the stick. Do not leave the stick connected to the computer for long periods, it burns them out.
    If you don't back it up,
    you'll lose the lot, lose the lot, lose the lot.
    If you don't back it up,
    You'll lose the lot, think how stupid you'd feel.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazz cargo View Post
    There are many grades of writer, JK Rowling, amateur, novice, expert
    Fixed that for you No need to thank me; just doing my part.

    So, thoughts on the physical aspect of writing... I tend to write short paragraphs (usually 5-10 lines thick) and space between them. I also tend to block off and number sections as small as a couple paragraphs or as long as a couple pages. No matter how short, these are my "chapters." Dividers might be removed in the final draft, but they help me keep things sorted.

    I'll also make and keep notes either under the working story or in another document I can have open side-by-side. Usually, I'll copy/paste my outline beneath my story, and delete the outline as I set each part into narrative form. That way I can know at a glance exactly where I am in a story and world that exist non-temporally in my head.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bazz cargo View Post
    Never, ever, ever post anything while drunk.

    I totally agree with this statement.

    Unfortunately, when I'm drunk, I don't agree.

    Hey, I'm in a wonderful world that's spinning delightfully. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA... ............
    Last edited by spider8; March 27th, 2011 at 03:16 PM.

  10. #10
    Haha indeed.

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