It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of all kinds of Scottish Lit – from crime fiction to short stories and classics, I have spent years living here and reading a lot of Scottish lit in my free time. So it’s no surprise that I am beyond excited for the new Bookspotting App from Publishing Scotland. An app designed specifically to promote Scottish books and Scottish-interest books, Publishing Scotland makes it easy for avid readers to be introduced to great writers that they had maybe not discovered before.
One of my favorite aspects of the app is the geo-location feature. By using the phone’s GPS or a post code, the app can tell you what Scottish books take place near you, giving a whole new meaning to reading local literature. Because of the post code feature, the app can even be used by people outside of Scotland to help plan your own bookish tour of the country.
When you pull up the app, it opens with a book of the day and a list of books published that day in previous years.
You can then navigate around to the tours section to find a great book-themed tour and operator around Scotland.
You can also take a fun quiz (in Scots!) and find out which character you are, search through the huge list of associated books by genre or alphabetically, and so much more. If you really want to discover some great new books, use Bookspotting to get your to-read list growing.
It has been 2 1/2 months since my most recent post – woops! Good news in my personal life (a new full-time job with still additional freelance work on the side) and a recent holiday have left me little time to read, let alone to review. However, now as I am finally adjusting to the regimented schedule and getting used to finding new ways to read (during my commute and more audiobooks), I am hoping to pick up where I left up without too much delay.
Thank you all for reading when I post, and for new readers who have continued to discover me in my absence.
As our virtual writing group closes up today (don’t forget to sign up or email me at breathingfiction at gmail.com or contact me through the Facebook page for questions), I was thinking of the different things I’m already using to help my writing along, and those things that I want to start using to help. One thing that I have become increasingly dependent on is my Galaxy SIII. Sure, I prefer taking notes in an actual notebook (I’m a bit OCD, too, where the notebook has to reflect the story or MC) and I write using Scrivener, but I often have my phone and not the other things I need. To digitize and make things easier, I started using a few apps and I want to share my favorite writing apps with you.
The first one I’ve been using for years. It’s called Name Generator and it does just what it says. Select a country/language of name origin, choose male, female, or both, and select how many results you want. It’s really simple, but I can’t tell you how many characters I’ve named with the help of this thing. I often can’t think of what name works, but I have an idea of how I want it to sound. Since it also gives you first and last names, you can mix and match to find the right combination. I personally love it especially for side characters. It’s fast and you can have endless results.
I have been looking for a motivation tool to help me write. While it’d be nice to have on my laptop, so many windows open, etc just distracts me. I found WriteOMeter though and I love it. If you put it on a timer, it’s mean to you and reminds you to keep writing. It helps you set daily word count goals, project word count goals, and you can even put in a goal date for finishing. I think this is going to especially come in handy when the virtual group gets in full swing.
Last but not least is Writer. It’s a fairly straightforward smartphone word processor, but it works really well. You can have lists, numbered lists, and other formatted niceties that a normal phone memo pad misses out on. This has already come in handy for me to jot notes down on the train/bus when I don’t have my notebook(s) on me. If I get a mini-bluetooth keyboard, it’s going to be even more helpful.
Do you have a favorite app to help with your creative writing process? What is it?
I have posted a lot of writing tips on here recently, many from great authors such as Neil Gaiman and Joss Whedon. And searching for all of these got me to thinking about my own writing, and the people that are obviously interested in writing themselves, because each posts has gotten hundreds of hits.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to slack when it comes to my own writing. I make my living partially on the written word, but not for writing novels. And I want that to change. Do you?
I propose then a writing group, virtual since this is a website. This would consist of roughly 4-8 people who want to share work, get feedback, and help other writers progress. Writing groups are also great because they force you to write, to provide something for the group to read. I have been in a few in the past, and I dearly miss that now.
Why 4-8? Well, reading a lot of work in one week would be difficult, so I propose 2 members of the group would submit 5-10 pages each week. This means once a month you would get to have your pages read and critiqued, and then the other 3 weeks you get to help out the others in your group.
What if more than that want in? Here’s where this can get really cool. If we get a great turnout, I can split off people into groups. Tell me what kind of novel/short story/play/movie/TV show you’re writing, and if you know anyone else who is submitting their name for fun as well. Then tell me what part of the world/state/city you’re based in. If we’re lucky, we can put you near someone local, but we’ll definitely put together groups with friends and similar writing interests.
How do you sign up? Right now I’m just garnering interest, but if we get a good response, full steam ahead! Fill out this Google Form, then I will get back in touch with you. And hey, if it’s only a few of us, we’ll get to work together!
Want to think on it? I will keep the form open for two weeks, until midnight PST March 15, 2013. If you happen to stumble on this post after the deadline, please email me at breathingfiction at gmail.com. There might be a group with space, or more to join in!