Writing and Technology

5 Ways Writers Can Protect Against Data Loss

According to GDATA there were 1,017,208 new malware programs in the first half of 2010. In that six month period there was as many viruses as in the first nine months of 2009. Having just fought off a nasty virus that corrupted my Windows installation I can vouch that it is a danger that everyone should take measures to protect themselves against. As I mentioned last week, writers are increasingly keeping no hard copy of their work. In that situation, a major virus could wipe out months or even years of work. Here are some steps writers should take to safeguard their work. This is not about virus protection as I am assuming, as should you, that no matter how hard you try you will encounter a virus or other system failure at some point. Continue reading

Is Technology Endangering Our Writing Heritage?

Located in the South West of Kofu, Yamanashi, away from the hundred-year-old wineries and stunning waterfall, is the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Literature. Surrounded by low cost housing, and little else of interest, it is a strange location for a museum filled with Japanese literature heritage. Inside it contains a mix of originals and copies of drafts produced by some of Japan’s best-known writers. Continue reading

Why Writers and Publishes Need To Create Viral Content and Not Book Trailers

Book trailers, what are they trailing and where are readers meant to encounter? Is there a TV channel, that I don’t get, putting out book trailers between repeats of Q.I? People want interesting content not just to see but also to share. Continue reading

Why Titles Still Matter In An Ebook Age

When it comes to ideas, names can be powerful things. As a writer, ideas will pop in to your head and you will move them around but once they have a title they are yours: you owe them something. Yet, with the proliferation of eReaders, titles are seen less by readers. Rather than the constant view of the book cover, readers have their Kindle sitting on the table in front them. However, this distancing of the reader and the title of your novel does not mean you should underestimate it. Continue reading

Why The Pottermore Deal Says More About Facebook Than Amazon

Over the last week, posts about the importance of the Potter/Amazon deal have been dominating every site and newspaper with any interest in publishing. Some think it is important, a few think it isn’t, but what everyone agrees on is that it may or may not affect the publishing industry. During this whole back and forth and constant likening to the Beatles/iTunes deal – which by the way took a lot longer and had far more widespread ramifications – people seem to have all but missed the most important question: why? Continue reading

Why Google’s New Spell Checker Is a Boon for Writers

A few weeks ago, I talked about the need for a new type of grammar checker, and how I hoped Google would attempt to fix a twenty-old problem. Well the time has arrived - kind of. Google has announced it is incorporating its contextual spell checking system in to Google Docs. Until now, Google Docs has been nothing but a quick way for me to view my files online but this might drag me away from my offline word processor. Continue reading

Does Interactive Storytelling Have A Future Or Is It Destined To Be A Niche?

Every few years the words interactive storytelling or interactive movies starts cascading through discussions of narrative. Often the words make me shriek as I remember awful games such as Night Trap but some interesting tools are making it easier for people to create their own interactive stories. Continue reading