My Writers Circle

Writing => Writers Wanted! => Topic started by: Nick on October 01, 2008, 12:42:04 PM

Title: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 01, 2008, 12:42:04 PM
I have just launched a competition for original writing-related tips on my blog. Tips must be under 250 words, and there are two prizes of a year's subscription to the online spelling and grammar-checking service SpellCheckPlus Pro (http://pro.spellcheckplus.com/) for the winners.

For full details, please see my blog post at the URL below:

http://www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2008/10/writing-tips-competition.html

Good luck!

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on October 09, 2008, 05:42:57 AM
And no one has submitted a writing tip yet???

Well, I think I will - just need to come up with a good one. :D
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 09, 2008, 08:29:33 AM
And no one has submitted a writing tip yet???

Well, I think I will - just need to come up with a good one. :D

I look forward to it - right now any tip submitted in this contest is guaranteed to win a prize!

Nick  :D
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on October 10, 2008, 01:29:00 PM
You know, Nick - I know it sounds funny - but I'm not even interested in winning a prize.  :D

To me, it's the sheer fun of entering the competition that would make it worthwhile for me.  :)

Time to get cracking on that Golden Tip.
I think I already know something - a technique I've been using ever since I was a child, and which came to me completely naturally.


Edit: I think I just submitted my writing tip; I'm not entirely sure though, as you've got comment moderation on, so it didn't show up yet.
I hope you'll let me know if you didn't receive it. I've got it saved to my computer so I could always submit it again.  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on October 10, 2008, 03:50:38 PM
Oooops!
There's all kind of funny characters in my writing tip.  :-[

What happened? Looks like Blogger hates Word, doesn't it?
I sure didn't put those funny characters there.
How embarrassing.  :-[
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 10, 2008, 04:28:28 PM
Thanks for being the first to enter my contest, Leah  :)

Sorry about the odd characters that appeared in your tip. It happens when you use 'smart quotes' and other characters such as dashes in Word, and then copy and paste the text into Blogger - I've done it a heap of times myself. Unfortunately Blogger doesn't allow me to edit comments either (as a blogging platform it has its shortcomings...).

Here's my best suggestion. I've pasted a revised version of your tip below, with all the Word formatting stripped out. Just create another comment on my blog and copy/paste the text below - it should then show up without any weird characters in it. I will then delete the earlier version you posted. Does that make sense?

Thanks - Nick

COPY OF TIP FOLLOWS

Dream up your Story

I'm sure you're familiar with the advice to have little notebooks and pens in every room of your house. In the bathroom, on your bedside table And here I'm going to tell you to not use them. Not with this technique, which I've been using successfully ever since I first started writing as a child.

When you go to bed, don't count sheep. Think about your story. Dream about your main character while you're still awake. Dream while you're in that twilight zone between wakefulness and sleep - but don't reach for your pen and paper; it will disrupt the flow of your dream. Dream about what's going to happen until you fall asleep.

When you wake up, still half asleep, pick up your dream where you left it last night and allow yourself to dream for just a little while longer. Then, when you're finally fully awake, grab pen and paper and write it all down.

You can also use this technique when you're taking a nice long hot bath, or in the car on a two-hour drive to your grandparents up North... Just make sure you're in the passenger seat.



Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: SuzieHarris on October 11, 2008, 05:35:13 AM
Nick,

I sent a tip in, even though it proves I'm a bit of an airhead at times!c(well, most of the time actually hehe - and you have met me so you know it's true lol.)

Suzie x
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 11, 2008, 06:42:33 AM
Thanks, Suzie. Good to see the entries are rolling in now...

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 11, 2008, 06:32:37 PM
Just a quick reminder - when posting your competition entries on my blog, try to avoid using 'smart quotes' and other special characters from Word, as they won't display properly online. It's best really to compose your tips in the Blogger comments box, or alternatively use a text editor such as Notepad and copy and paste from that.

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Hugh on October 12, 2008, 04:58:01 AM
Hello Nick

Like Leah's, my tip is almost unreadable, as it has quite a few quote marks and contractions in it.  Can you please delete it?  I'll try again, typing straight into the box. Google has also come up with a name I used ages ago when I tried blogging, but which I didn't put on my entry for your comp.  Bloody computers -- why won't they do what you want them to?
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 12, 2008, 06:33:38 AM
No problem, Hugh. I'll delete it now.

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on October 12, 2008, 06:43:15 AM
Thanks for being the first to enter my contest, Leah  :)

Sorry about the odd characters that appeared in your tip. It happens when you use 'smart quotes' and other characters such as dashes in Word, and then copy and paste the text into Blogger - I've done it a heap of times myself. Unfortunately Blogger doesn't allow me to edit comments either (as a blogging platform it has its shortcomings...).

Here's my best suggestion. I've pasted a revised version of your tip below, with all the Word formatting stripped out. Just create another comment on my blog and copy/paste the text below - it should then show up without any weird characters in it. I will then delete the earlier version you posted. Does that make sense?

Thanks - Nick

COPY OF TIP FOLLOWS


Thanks Nick, I'll do that.

Should have done it yesterday already, but I spent all day and night working on a story. I was seriously wasted by the time I went to bed (which was around 3 AM!  :o )

Blogger... yes, it has its shortcomings, but I still like it way better than Wordpress.  :)
I recently starting creating custom templates for Blogger - now that's fun!

BTW: I understand that when you're using Blogger with your own domain, you can only use classical templates, and I was wondering, can you customize the html of those too?
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Spell Chick on October 12, 2008, 07:56:03 AM
Nick,

I edit comments for a three times a week e-zine. I have to use Dreamweaver for that because that's what the boss says. Dreamweaver doesn't like Microsoft (which I believe is entirely reciprocated) and all the fancy things Word does makes the Adobe program weep.

The easiest way to make sure everyone's writing gets into the e-zine without looking like it was written by aliens is to first run it through my emailstripper program. It's free. It's here (http://www.papercut.com/).

Hope this helps
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 12, 2008, 10:01:47 AM
Thanks for the heads up, Patti  :)

If you just need a 'quick-and-dirty' tool for removing smart quotes and such like, this web-based service works very well. And yes, it's free too.

http://www.hochmanconsultants.com/tools/replace-smart-quotes.shtml

It doesn't convert all of Word's non-ASCII characters - ellipses just get deleted, for example - but I still find it a very handy tool.

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 12, 2008, 10:07:07 AM
Thanks for re-posting your writing tip, Leah. Everything is looking good now. Just need Hugh to get round to re-posting his tip after I deleted the original version.

I'm sorry I don't really know the answer to your question. The design of my blog is handled by my sponsors, WCCL, rather than me personally. I'm pretty sure they have customized the basic templates, but how and to what extent you'd need to ask them (i.e. Karl).

Nick  :)

P.S. I see Hugh has now re-posted his tip, so everything is hunky-dory. Some great tips there already. Anyone else like to join in the fun (http://www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2008/10/writing-tips-competition.html)?
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Hugh on October 12, 2008, 11:30:13 AM
Oh boy.  I managed to post my tip again, leaving out quote marks, then, having checked to see if it went through, I saw I'd left a bit out (...and didn't want to be tempted) near the end, so the next sentence didn't make sense.  Can't get it back to edit, so have posted it yet again.

Is it me being a dren -- backward computer nerd -- or does Google deliberately make it impossible to use things like italics or quote marks, or change things once they are posted?

Better go and have a cup of tea before I chuck this computer through the window.

Sorry to mess you about, Nick
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Hugh on October 13, 2008, 05:03:32 AM
I’ve heard of oldies having a “senior moment”, but I thought computers were supposed to make life easier – delete, overwrite, cut and paste and all that.

In order to post a version of my tip without the quote marks that became strange unreadable symbols, I had to print the original from Word and, copying from that, type straight into the box on Nick’s blog.   So far so good.  After Nick had approved and posted it, I read it through, only to find I had left a bit out, so that the next sentence didn’t relate to anything.

There was no way I could get it back to modify it, so what to do?  I typed it yet again into the box, hoping that Nick would delete the incomplete one and leave a third and final (I hope) fair copy. But what if I’ve made a typo in that?

I'm no Hemingway but, like him, I try to get the words right, whatever it takes.

Frustrated.

Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 13, 2008, 06:11:09 AM
Never mind, Hugh - we got there in the end. You deserve a prize for persistence if nothing else!

Good luck in the contest.

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Hugh on October 13, 2008, 08:15:17 AM
Many thanks, Nick.  I will try not to be such a pain in future -- honest.

I'm not bothered about trying to win a prize.  It's the tips generated that make the contest a winner.

Hugh
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 25, 2008, 07:43:11 AM
Just under a week to go, and still only five entries. Come on, guys and gals, share your writing tips, and maybe win a year's subscription to SpellCheckPlus Pro! Here's the link again:

http://www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2008/10/writing-tips-competition.html

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on October 25, 2008, 03:06:40 PM
We can enter more than just once, can't we, Nick?
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 25, 2008, 05:06:13 PM
Sorry, Leah, but it does say in the rules, only one tip per person.

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Margarett on October 26, 2008, 03:22:21 AM
Ok i put a penny and one half cents worth in the competition!  Not quiet two cents worth but least I tried! ;D
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on October 26, 2008, 05:42:23 AM
NP, Nick.  :)

I'll just assemble all my writing tips in a little E-book and sell them.
That way I'll always be a winner.  ;)

Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 26, 2008, 08:09:03 AM
Thanks, Leah. That sounds a good idea to me! Might make a good group project too...

And thanks for your entry, Margarett. Up to six now!

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: righting on October 26, 2008, 01:26:17 PM
I'll check it out!  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on October 27, 2008, 04:22:52 PM
Thanks, Leah. That sounds a good idea to me! Might make a good group project too...

And thanks for your entry, Margarett. Up to six now!

Nick  :)

A group project! Now wouldn't that be fun! I like that idea, Nick.

And drat! I still didn't post it to my blog. I meant to, but somehow I keep forgetting it.
I'd better go do it right now, before it's too late.
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on October 27, 2008, 04:43:01 PM
And done!

Published a blogpost about your contest on my blog:
http://leahswritersblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/writing-tips-contest.html

and announced it on my little forum as well:
http://simtales.freecolors.net/bb3portal.php?sid=ed8b82276b68644bb42e2f2042cca4af

I really hope one of my writing buddies over there will enter too. :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 31, 2008, 09:38:46 AM
Last chance to enter today!

http://www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2008/10/writing-tips-competition.html

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: caseyquinn on October 31, 2008, 11:06:10 AM
Hey I just submitted something as well :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on October 31, 2008, 03:14:46 PM
Thanks, Casey. We're up to the magic number 7 now.

If anyone else wants to join in, I'll accept entries till the witching hour  :D

Nick
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on November 01, 2008, 08:20:45 AM
OK, the contest is now closed. Results will be announced on my blog next week. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nick on November 05, 2008, 06:38:21 AM
Results now out. Congratulations to our lucky winners!

http://www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2008/11/writing-tips-contest-results.html

Nick  :)
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: SuzieHarris on November 05, 2008, 06:39:35 AM
Erm,

Who won, then?  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=17430.0

Suzie xx
Title: Re: Writing Tips Contest
Post by: Nelodra on November 05, 2008, 12:59:57 PM
Congrats to the winners.  :)

It was fun entering the contest.