Conventional wisdom for selecting beta readers is to choose people who can give you honest, objective feedback—a set which typically excludes close family and friends. But on a recent trip overseas with my husband, I learned that sometimes the best feedback comes from the person who knows you the best.
Two weeks in and we’re crashing a beachside resort pavilion, confident and casual, and although our mud-crusted sandals and smattering of possessions aren’t fooling anyone, we order a mango smoothie and a coconut so people think we belong here.
Coconuts. Can you even believe them? They’re filled with water! No, no, don’t charge it to the room, I’ve got cash.
OK, so “hack” isn’t really the right word for it. I’m not doing anything Microsoft doesn’t want me to be doing. I don’t know how to change Word’s default language to Klingon or turn my computer into an orbital station or anything (though I know a guy who can help you with that last one). What I do know is that there’s a lot hidden beneath the surface of Microsoft Word’s Find and Replace tool that I’ve found handy in my own writing and editing.
In a world of verbal texting and mortifying autocorrects, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that any software’s spelling and grammar suggestions might (gasp) not always be 100% accurate. But that doesn’t stop lots of authors from treating these suggestions as gospel. On the one hand, I completely understand. After all, this is Microsoft Word, pretty much the Holy Grail of the publishing world. (For editors anyway, until Scrivener offers that nice, beefy track Track Changes option that’s going to solve all my problems. But I digress, and I will save the rant about editing technology for another post.) ButRead More
A few months ago, I noticed that Audible doesn’t always include a book’s position in a series. How did I notice? Good question. I’d heard wonderful things about Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, so I downloaded MaddAddam to check it out for myself. I was absolutely spellbound, not just because of the story, but because of how richly woven her backstory was. And every time I found myself wanting her to elaborate on something, she did. Turns out MaddAddam is the third book of the series. :D Ordinarily, this rookie mistake would have infuriated me. (It infuriated my husband, who’d givenRead More
Regular readers, friends, and anyone I’ve ever cornered at a bar will not be surprised that language is one of my favorite elements of science fiction. The freedom to invent and extrapolate words and terminology at will never fails to delight me. I thought I’d collect and share some of the science fiction terms that particularly tickle my language bone. Did I miss any of your favorites? 1. Stargate You know, like a gate—but with stars. So compound. Such German. Seriously, though, it made for a great concept: that you could enter another world just by walking into it, noRead More