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    After I abandoned Word, I wrote both fiction and non-fiction in plaintext. I became disappointed with the lack of formatting options. I have since switched to writing using Markdown. My favorite Markdown editor is ghostwriter. It works on both Windows and Linux. You can also use it to export your finished document to any format, including epub.

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      If you’re taking the traditionally published route, then yeah… that’s basically the way things work. Some authors have negotiated contracts that give them a little bit more control over the cover, but it’s pretty rare.

      Of course, if you publish it yourself, then you have absolute control over the cover. The difficulty there, of course, is that you need to source a cover artist yourself… or you have to do the art on your own (not recommended unless you actually have an art and design background).

      The nice thing about Joel Friedlander’s site is that these monthly “awards” give even non-designers a minor understanding of terminology and the kinds of elements that make show effective versus poor design.

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        I’ve always wondered how the cover art comes about. Aka, I know as the author you have little to no say in it; does the artist just go by the title and the summary?

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          I use to use Evernote but switched to Bear Notes recently; the desktop client is superb (at least on OS-X, have not tried the Win-10 version).

          It has a really clever hash-tagging mechanism that allows you to easily create complex structures and change them in a snap, if necessary. Basically the hash-tags create the a psuedo-folder hierarchy navigation on the left. It’s also cloud connected so it’s always sync’d with my mobile etc. Pretty great tool, I highly recommend it.

          I’ve moved all my notes into it, whether it’s story ideas, outlines, time-tracking hours at my day job, or hell even my workout or current hockey gear. Handy to be able to look up all that stuff out and about.

          Bear Notes

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            Yeah this is a tricky one. I think it’s easy to overthink this kind of thing. I general get into this kind of mental finger trap on my 3 or 4th revision; aka I’m really trying to tighten everything up and you start to get a little crazy over phrasing. It’s easy to try to be too clever in this situation, break out a thesaurus etc and then you end up with something that’s just oddly worded and draws more attention to itself than the supposed overused phrasing you are replacing.

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              Yeah I agree. In theory it’s pretty cool, but the terms are a bit scary. I always wonder how something like this would go for a first time writer, which is basically all I would expect this to attract (cause otherwise, you already have ‘broken out’ and have an agent, etc, to try to line up this kind of thing).

              Still it’s interesting times; the need for original content is (becoming/ already) the new gold rush it seems. Not entirely a bad thing.

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                I’m still not 100% sure that I like the terms for submitting work through this system. I’m definitely not using it for writing (my own workflow is already pretty well-tailored to me), but the submission and review system is certainly intriguing. I just kind of wish the platform was more open, I suppose.

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                  Update #1.

                  I spent a little time on this site today, mostly reading critiques by other members of submitted stories (aka critiques of other peoples stories, I have not submitted a story yet). I would say overall the critiques are quite good. Most provided some meaningful feedback on story structure and/or grammar, punctuation, etc. I was surprised by how thorough a few were.

                  I’m going to read a few new story submissions and critique them today.

                  I’ll submit a new short story I’m wrapping up later this week, or maybe one I just finished, still debating which to toss over the fence first.

                  Overall, so far looks pretty good !

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                    Definitely report back on the results you get. I’m extremely interested in knowing how well it works.

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                      I’ve signed up but I haven’t submitted anything for critique yet. Seems like it’s pretty active though, at least for short-stories and some novel excerpts.

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                        I backed out on seeing it’s not for poetry writers.

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                          Yay for the Oxford comma! But… replacing all commas with semi-colons? Really?

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                            Looks like I need to go revisit my links. I wasn’t particularly happy with them, but now I have some language to explain why.

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                              I sort of had the opposite progression. I quit using word/office but went to plaintext, instead of online editing. At least for the long form stuff. Anymore, just opening an interface with more than 2 tool bars kind of stresses me out.

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                                As someone who just started blogging (again) recently, this is great to read. He nails the self doubting that can happen (for me especially, it’s the struggle to edit anything; I often feel as though my posts are rambles), and helped me remember that this happens to literally everyone.

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                                  It’s odd how lots of things are moving to web apps. I actually have a high web app workflow, Trello, Evernote and Gdocs, kinda crazy. What’s interesting is I can’t go back to desktop only word processors, Word and OpenOffice just don’t have the flow/ease-of-use for me.

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                                    Why is everything a web app nowadays?

                                    I wrote my first short story mainly in Treeline, much easier to set up.

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                                      I was never quite sure why I like The Office so much, but now I do.

                                      Doesn’t subtract from my liking of Arrested Development, fortunately, but there is a point to be made.

                                      TV has largely embraced people being assholes or worse, and I find that sad. I thought Girls is a kind of parody about how awful people can be, and it’s sort of said out loud in the first season. Then it dragged on with the awfulness in place.

                                      My brain died with that show, but it was resurrected a bit by shows like The 100.

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                                        Not literal feasts, but a couple of “feasts” featuring the best of Southern Hospitality. The focus was mostly on what the food and manners of eating showed about the participants and their relationships. It’s good practice. :-)

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                                          Someone in the comments mentioned the Atreides feast and GRRM’s feasts. I’ve read only the Dune novels of the two, but yeah, solid points.

                                          Throughout the beginning example, I was thinking to myself that this is boring as shit and taking Enid Blyton’s food descriptions to a level that should not exist.

                                          Has anyone here written a feast scene? I kind of feel like I should try it out.