Writing nooks, novel writing software, writing competitions, building meaningful connections, beautiful book covers.
Your internet writing pal Iain Broome here with the latest edition of the Draft Mode newsletter. How the heck are you? Great. Me? Totally fine.
From this week on, I'm back to the weekly schedule. I think it works better that way and I hope you do too. As you might imagine, my content pipes are all backed up, so look out for some exciting links over the few months.
I also have something I've been working on I want to share with you in the next couple of weeks, but I'm going to keep it brief today. I hope you're tip-top fantastic and that you find something magic in the content below.
PS The image above is Susan Sontag making writing look about as cool as it could ever look. Here's some other famous authors' writing nooks.
Links of the week
Every issue I collect and share the best advice, apps and other shenanigans that I find on my internet travels. Find something useful? Subscribe for free.
NovelPad – Novel Writing Software
NovelPad is a really interesting take on the online writing app. It uses Trello-like scene cards that you can use to organise your plot within the app:
Add scene cards to the plot board, organizing them into plots or subplots, and then lay them all out on the chapter board to organize your story. Or, if you prefer to add scenes as you go, simply add them from the editor!
You can also use the same card sorting to write up and organise your settings and characters. And there's word count and 'time worked' analytics to make yourself feel good/bad about too.
All sounds pretty swell to me. Let me know if you give it a try.
How should a writer be (on the internet)?
This is a brilliant piece in Nicole Zhu's also brilliant newsletter. This sums up my own attitude and recent thinking:
Sometimes I think about cutting all social media ties and living in blissful ignorance of the Main Character of Twitter on any given day. (All the power to you if you can do this.) But I know myself, and the more realistic thing is to adjust my outlook and how I show up online.
I want to do better at growing this newsletter and building an audience for my fiction. But I really do struggle to know where I fit in on social media these days, even if I understand all the things that I could be doing.
Self-promotion today, however, demands a higher amount of effort and access. Listening to your gut and reminding yourself of your priorities can help you draw boundaries around what you’re comfortable sharing.
This is the crux of the article and what I'm taking away from it. To better understand what I actually want out of being on the internet and to spend some time setting boundaries. Actually writing them down, rather than have them rattling around in my head all confused and undefined.
Why writers need an email list, not just social media
Another great take on how you can build meaningful connections online. Essentially, it's to build a following and community in "a way that you own". That's exactly what Draft Mode is and why I moved from Substack to Ghost last year.
If you can form a direct relationships with readers then you've got something that lasts and won't be affected by the whims of any fancy platform. And as we know, sending thoughtful goodies to smaller group of engaged folks is much better than farting nonsense out to the masses via the bumhole of an algorithm.
Did you know that your brilliant book title might well change once it gets into the hands of an agent or publisher? Juliet Mushens explains some title changes her authors' books went through and I can say that they are all much better for it.
Side note: I have minor regrets about the title of my own novel.
At least once a year, I remind you that the Book Cover Archive exists and that it features some of the most lovely book covers going. This is one of those reminders.
The Big List of UK Writing Competitions
What a fantastic resource this is from Neon Books:
When it comes to getting your work noticed, there’s little better than winning or being shortlisted for a writing competition… and the odds of that happening aren’t as long as you think. Every competition listed here produces one or more winners every year, as well as numerous honourable mentions and shortlisted writers.
One of my small goals for this year is to enter a couple of competitions, so this list is exactly where I'll be heading when the time comes.
Riverside.fm - Record Podcasts And Videos From Anywhere
I'm on the lookout for a better way to record podcasts (and video) remotely, having spent years using good old Skype, back in the day. Lots of people I trust have recommended Riverside.fm and it does indeed looks fabulous. It spits out high quality video of the conversation and more importantly, each person's audio on a different track so you can edit them separately.
Tweets of the week
So many bad tweets. These are good ones. Follow @iainbroome on Twitter or @DraftModeHQ for newsletter notifications.
Draft Mode is a weekly newsletter by Iain Broome, author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Join 1500+ subscribers and start receiving tools and tips that help you improve, publish and promote your writing. Subscribe for free.
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