Tag Archives: computer

Outlining Your Story – Paper vs Computer

Outlining is an important part of the writing process. You can clearly get an idea about how your story will go, and you can always fill in the blanks and expand. There are many methods to outline, and everyone has their preference. But the most basic question could be about which media you use.

Some people like to use their computers to outline. It’s versatile, there are many applications available to use, and you can even diagram the outline. Others like to use paper. It’s easy to jot things down, easy to access, and you can work on it anywhere you are. Which do you prefer? Paper or computer? If you use computer, which applications do you use?

I tend to use paper. I keep a notebook and write all my notes in it. I’ve outlined an entire book with one, though it’s not highly detailed. I outline what happens in general first, then expand it and sort it into chapters. After that, I do a chapter-by-chapter outline. It’s one of the more basic outlining styles where you keep expanding what you have.  But I think the reason I use a notebook is because it’s far more portable than my computer. I’ve done a lot of outlining at work during my lunch break.

How about you? Let me know in the comments below.

The Most Perfect Space Game Ever – No Man’s Sky

Go to YouTube and search for “no man’s sky ign” and watch the videos. There are several of them. You won’t be sorry.  Here’s one of them.

This game looks amazing. It’s a space explorer’s dream come true. The worlds are randomly generated when discovered for the first time, and then they’re part of a vast universe. The discoverer gets to name them, including any animals they find. As time goes on, more planets are discovered, more animals are catalogued, and a vast encyclopedia is compiled. You can travel between planets and stars, upgrade your ship, become an explorer, trader, or just join with pirates and shoot at anything you like. There are so many potential planet that it’ll take billions of years to explore them all. And these are planets. They are full-scale. They have regular length days. So 24 hours of real life is also 24 hours on a planet in the game. You’ll see one sunset and one sunrise. It’s meant to be as realistic as possible.

Here are five worlds to check out.

Does this look interesting? As soon as I can, when it’s available to the public, I really want to play it. In the meantime, check out their homepage.

So, who wants to play?

Video Editing Software Recommendations

I’ll be making videos on YouTube soon for Life in Japan, and so far, I’ve been using YouTube’s editor. It’s okay for what I’ve been doing, but it’s not the fastest or smoothest editor to use. And it’s entirely online.

I’d like some more precise control over how I edit, as well as the ability to put title pages and other graphics on the video. I’ve used Windows Movie Maker in the past, and that’s when it came with Windows XP. After getting my old Windows 7 computer, I stopped editing videos until I started using YouTube’s editor.

What I’d like is a good free video editor that I can use to make my videos look more professional and less like home videos. Does anyone have any recommendations for good editing software? Let me know in the comments.

Oh No! Authors Answer Delayed!

I regret to inform you that Authors Answer is delayed. Yesterday, my wife’s computer crashed and was unable to start. The hard drive is corrupt. So, we got some data recovery software and a USB cable to recover important data. My computer is currently busy doing that task, and it’ll take several hours. It’ll likely be finished after midnight. So, Authors Answer will be delayed a day at most.

Discussion: Pen or Keyboard

As I continue to fight these allergies thanks to very warm late winter weather, I’m continuing with some more discussion posts.  This time, it’s for the writers.  Which do you prefer to use when writing, pen and paper or computer?

It could be a combination of both, or exclusively one for different parts of the writing process.  You can talk about those different stages.

As for me, I do my writing on computer 95% of the time.  However, I may write a scene or two when I’m away from home in a notebook I keep just for that purpose.  I also do a lot of my planning, outlining, character profiles, and any notes in a notebook.

Writing on Paper

Writing a novel take a lot of time.  During that time, the writer needs to be able to concentrate on what they’re writing.  That can make it difficult at times.

I normally write on my computer, but since it’s difficult to take my computer everywhere, I’m going to have to look at alternatives.  Therefore, I’m going to do as much writing as I possibly can on paper in notebooks and then type it up.  I’ve already been talking about taking notes in a notebook, but now I’ll actually write the book in notebooks.

I don’t get much time at home alone, and it’s impossible to write with my 2 year old daughter around.  I can’t concentrate.  She wants to play with me or sit on my lap.  Well, time to write away from home and on paper.

If you’re writing a book, do you prefer to use pen and paper or computer?

Up Again? Idea for My Expected Downtime

It appears my web browsers are working fine today.  That’s strange.  Yesterday, I couldn’t get a thing done with them freezing no matter what I did.  But I can’t expect it to continue to run normally for long. So, I had an idea.

My idea deals with two of my hobbies at the same time.  For each day that I can’t use a web browser on my computer, I’ll take a picture with my iPhone, then post it here with a short scene written  based on the photo.  I’m thinking of calling it “A Picture is Worth Ten Sentences.”  I’ll be able to continue posting daily, and it’ll be an interesting writing exercise for me.

What do you think?

Computerless for the Foreseeable Future

I’m writing this from my phone, as I can’t get any of my computer’s web browsers to work without locking up. This means I’m restricted to my phone for the Internet. Not the best thing for typing up blog posts. So, I won’t be able to make long blog posts without tiring myself out, because typing on an iPhone takes far too long.

So, what should I do now? I’ll be reading a lot more. I’ll be writing on paper, both for my book and book reviews. Everything will get typed up once my computer is replaced, whenever that will be.

As for this blog, I’ll try blog often from my phone, hopefully generating some discussion from you in the comments. That means it’s your turn to talk a lot on this blog. So please leave comments often!

The unfortunate thing is that my Coursera courses are being put on hold for now. One course I won’t be able to finish at all because it’s done this month. I can’t watch anything. I don’t have iOS 7, so I can’t get the Coursera app. I tried.

Anyway, please bear with me until I get a new computer. When I’m fully up and running, I’ll have plenty to say.

Notes and Outlining: Paper or Computer?

In the nearly 15 years of working on Ariadne, I have used various media to take notes and outline.  One of them is my brain.  But I don’t think the brain is the most reliable in storing notes.  However, it seems that I do my best outlining while I’m walking outside without a computer or a notebook.

In the beginning, when I made the original maps around 2000, I used only paper.  I did almost nothing on my computer.  However, after a while, I started using a spreadsheet that calculated maximum sustainable populations for countries depending on land use, land area, climate, and coastline.  I put the results on paper, though.

As time went on, I continued to use paper to write my ideas, and never used a computer.  But when I started to finally write the prequel (Journey to Ariadne), I relied on my computer almost exclusively.  I wrote at home.  Occasionally, I wrote some scenes on paper, but I found that all of my previous parts were on my computer.  I had no access to them when I was out.

With my recent computer problems, I’ve decided that paper may be the way to go.  It has many advantages:

  • A notebook is light and very portable.
  • It’s easy to pull out my notebook and a pen when I’m on the train, at work, or elsewhere.
  • I can include sketches.
  • It’s easy to look up information elsewhere in the notebook.
  • It’s faster to open a notebook than start a computer.

There are some disadvantages, though:

  • Writing is slower than on a computer.
  • I can’t edit efficiently.
  • If I have a lot of notes, it turns out not to be very portable.

Despite these problems, I think I can overcome the editing problem.  I can use different colours to highlight changes.  I can also make notes on my draft.

For those of you who are writers, what do you like to do?  Do you plan, outline, and take notes on paper, or do you prefer to do it on computer?  Leave a comment with your thoughts.

If I Disappear, This Is Why

Recently, I’ve been having computer problems.  I’ve also recently checked what the problem is.  Turns out I have bad sectors on my hard drive.  This may mean that my hard drive is failing.  Well, tonight, I noticed that a couple of my shortcuts were blank.  They led to nothing.  Those applications had disappeared.  They weren’t just simple applications, they were massive games.  All of the program files are gone.  I have no idea how that happened, but they were there 2 days ago.  In fact, it seems they disappeared while my computer was on. That is just strange.  I could reinstall, but there’s no point with the way this computer is acting.

So, if I disappear suddenly, this is why.  I may have a complete hard drive failure.  If so, I won’t be back until I have a new computer, which could take a while to save up for.  In that case, I’ll be doing any writing I have to do on paper, the old-fashioned way.  I’ll also be spending a lot more time reading.  Reviews will also be written on paper.

I could do some posts from my iPhone, but they’ll be brief.  I’m hoping my computer will hold out until I can buy a new one, though.

Well, there goes my motivation tonight.