Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ain't it wonderful?

Technology has come a long way and writers are among the many who have benefited. Gone are the days a writer scribbled her words on paper, replaced by the typewriter. Then to have an electric one, with self-correcting tape was heaven. With a keystroke or two I can spell check, use a thesaurus to find a better word, and easily pick up text and rearrange in a more suitable spot. Of course, future generations will not find our tattered hand-written manuscripts hidden away in some attic, a small price to pay for progress.

Should we need to check accuracy on details in a story, a quick Google search can provide the facts as well as a distraction from the writing at hand. Wikipedia can tell you anything from aardvarks to zebras.

But the real advantage is in the form of social media. There are forums, blogs, and videos for every human endeavor imaginable: quilting, sports, gardening, gaming, and of course, writing. There are how to instructions for drafting, composing, editing, or for writing a query letter or synopsis. You can go online and discover which houses most likely would be interested in your work.

And there are plain old blogs. The Utah Children’s Writers blog is one that comes to mind. Perhaps you’ve read it? Go there and you can find a list of 30 or more other blogs. Most blogs have a link where you can subscribe, which gives you an email and link when a new post goes up.

There are others. You can enjoy the thoughts of local writing goddess, Carol Williams. She is accompanied by and Ann Dee Ellis and Kyra at . Sometimes it is the only way.

Another I subscribe to is From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors. These talented writers, including Utah’s own Elissa Cruz, focus primarily works for upper elementary children. Yet they have so much more, including book lists and special pages for children, teachers and librarians, and other writers. The URL is

Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents blog features timely information when you’re ready to publish. In addition to various articles, several times a week, he mentions new agents and lists the kind of writing they are interested in. You can view it at

There are others, too numerous to mention. I like Mary Kole’s and the Children’s Book Insider although the latter is a for profit site. The can keep you abreast of news about WIFYR. The list goes on and on.

1 comment:

Scott said...

My writing life changed forever in 1983 with my first word processing program, which I "programmed" myself by typing in the program from a computer magazine. We used to do that kind of thing back then. SpeedScript didn't have many features. You could transpose two characters and do basic formatting of text and of the page, once you learned the keystrokes needed to issue commands. No spellcheck or styles or templates or other features I take for granted now. But I could make changes at will and move sentences and paragraphs around, without needing to retype. I could write my drafts on the computer, so there was no more trying to decipher my penmanship, which is never good but gets even worse when writing quickly during creative sprints. And then I could print at a blazing four pages per minute. I've written very little by hand since then.