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This Week On Writers Abroad 23rd May 2016
Category: Site News

After the flurry of activity last week when The Third Space was published, things are a little quieter here today.

Monday Muse: Jill has supplied a great mix of sentences drawn from novels to inspire your writing as well as an intriguing image of a young woman and her suitcase. Or is it even hers? Thatís for you to decide when you put pen to paper.

Blog: Jo talks about a topic that every writer who tackles longer works of fiction or a series, has to think about: how to keep track of all the details. Jo suggests that a Story Bible is what you need.

Bragging Stool: The seat is cool as no one has climbed up there this week. Weíll hope for more good news next week.

Thereís been some activity in Works in Progress and Alison has a story in the May Challenge that Iím sure she would appreciate comments about. Also, if you havenít done so, please add any comments you wish to make about Honorary Membership to the thread in the Noticeboard.

Itís a little more than a week since the most recent edition of our magazine was released. It has been well received, judging by responses Jo received. But donít let it slip out of the public eye. Please continue to promote it on social media.

Have a good writing week.†

Creating a Story Bible

Writing stories of whatever length, can mean gathering a lot of information. I donít know about you, but I think Iím organised, then spend hours looking for that one snippet of research, or a name I thought would fit, or a picture of a setting. And the longer it takes to search through my notebooks, folders, drawers and diary, the more frustrated I become. Iím a bit of a luddite I admit; my preference for paper based information is not very productive in terms of using my time. In addition, although I donít venture far from my desk, my system isnít very practical if Iím not at home and have to lug the stuff about. Iíd probably lose it anyway. And to top it all, our house is tiny and Iím already surrounded by bulging bookshelves full of paper and files which threaten to topple on my head and heavenís forbid my laptop.

As Iím in the process of sorting five works in progress out this year in preparation for publication and have gathered and continue to gather lots of information I may need at my fingertips, I decided Iíd get a bit more savvy and step out of my paper filled comfort zone. Itís just as hard to break ingrained habits as it is to maintain them and I canít claim that Iím fully paper less but Iím getting there.

ďOrganizing is a journey, not a destination.Ē 
- Anonymous

Iíve used Microsoft OneNote for some time for gathering information, but rather like my desk it became cluttered with information I soon forgot about. However, it is a powerful tool and whatís more, itís so easy to use. It represents a folder with tabs, just like my old fashioned system but itís kept online and you can access it very easily from any device if youíve set it up properly.† In preparation for my editing and revisions Iíve set up this simple Ďstory bibleí for each one of my projects with tabs for plot, characters, setting, research and notes. I can clip stuff easily from the internet using a chrome extension, I can type in notes just as I would write them and save images. †I can even make the Ďpageí look like lined not paper. Whatís not to like? Iíve stopped scribbling stuff down on sticky notes, on the back of my hand and stopped trying to remember things Iím so sure I wonít forget, because I will.

So now I can access everything to do with one project all in one place. Itís not perfect though and depends very much on the user, as most things technical. And I still misfile things. Yesterday I spent ages looking for notes I was convinced Iíd typed up after reading a reference book on the subject matter. I cursed and cursed blaming the laptop, the eternal black hole of the internet and even the dog until I realised Iíd saved it in the wrong place. So not infallible then. But I donít suppose anything ever will be with my scatterbrain.

Ah, well, at least Iíve saved a few trees and maybe eventually a forest or two.

*This is a re-post of a blog from Louise Charles.†

This Week on Writers Abroad 16th May 2016
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad writing ex-pat writers

Sorry to be late posting this. I was out for much of the weekend and all of yesterday, so Iím only just catching up!

The big news this week is that the 4th Issue of The Writers Abroad Magazine: The Third Space was published on Sunday and looks great. Many thanks to Jo and others for their hard work in getting it off the virtual presses despite personal difficulties. Those on social media, please promote wherever you can.

The Bragging Stool is yet again fully occupied. Alyson has had another story accepted by Peoples Friend (the second in two weeks), Sue got to the 2nd round of the 2nd Annual Great American Sentence Contest, Crilly took first prize at Purple Pumpkin with a former Monday Muse, Angela has had her story The Veiled Lady, also a former MM, accepted by the Story Shack, and I had a minor success with Write Invite. Well done all, WA is really forging ahead!

Maggie has supplied a great selection of unusual prompts and a couple of photos for this weekís Monday Muse. Seeing how successful these MMs become subsequently in competitions, itís well worth having a go (note to self: find a spare 20 minutes this week).

Nicolaís thought-provoking blog post looks at what many believe to be the importance of building an author brand and the place of blogging in branding. How to market yourself Ė without turning people off completely Ė is a thorny issue for authors and the blogging issue is part of that bigger debate.

The May Challenge is still up with a wide variety of competitions, big and small.

There are also plenty of Works in Progress or chapters in the Chapter Group being posted at the moment for additional critiquing.†

Thereís a formal chat next Sunday 22nd May at 11.00 am CET on Skype with Chris N in the chair. Jo has been asking membersí opinions about staggering the times of the chats and we will discuss that at the meeting and hopefully come up with a solution that suits as many people as possible.

Please remind me of anything Iíve forgotten and have a happy and productive writing week.

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This Week On Writers Abroad 23rd May 2016
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Creating a Story Bible
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