Wednesday, December 12, 2012


 On Monday I started my story of how I came up with the idea for my Weekend Writing GuideLet’s see where was I?  Oh yes, building blocks.

As I built the pyramid on my desk, I envisioned some of the blocks (cubes) having numbers on them.

So I hunted up images of building blocks on the web and found the perfect image.  Coping it I simply changed the ABC’s on the blocks to numbers and then thought, let’s make this a puzzle for the reader.  Readers love mysteries.

I took all those ABC’s and changed them to a couple of E’s and S’s along with a D and of course a U and a V.  Right I scrambled them up, but if one looked carefully, the letters now spelled by name

Next I sent my sketches to my cover artist.  He bought the rights to the image. Cost. $10.00

Then he started re-working the image incorporating my ideas. I think, of course, that it turned out great:

Okay, the cover and the outlines were done.
Next came the writing. It just flowed. Using my notes from my classes I had plenty of material and within a few weeks I had over 12,000 words on 48 pages. A perfect size, if I do say so myself, for a short book or booklet or in this case a guide.

Now came decision time. How to get it up on the web? I looked at all the various places that offered formatting. They all cost money, not too much, but the big draw back was that the finished products looked so bland and boring. 

Formatting the book myself was simply not an option. I have enough trouble just getting the bullets in the right place.  And speaking of bullets, some companies won’t let you use bullets... sigh.

I was stuck. What to do? I needed input from those who knew what to do so I called my friend Bjarne.

Bjarne is a computer genius. Many times over the years he has come to the house and helped me with my computer. Of course, those were the days I had a PC which was always having to be re-programmed. My wonderful husband was getting tired of fixing it and finally bought me a Mac...

I love my Apple... in the four years I have had it, there has never been a problem.  In fact we recently upgraded to a larger monitor and the current software programs... I was a bit worried that all my files, which are now in Pages and not in Windows would be a problem, but Bjarne assured me all he needed was the raw file.

Hmm. Raw file. That means just what it implies. Simply a file. No page breaks. Just the file as you wrote it.  Perfect.

As you have guessed I had called him to see if he knew of anyone that could, for a reasonable cost, format my booklet. “No problem. I’ll do it for you. Just send it as is.”

Click. It flew through the air.

Three hours later it came back. Formatted. OMG, it was magnificent. All the bullets were indented correctly.  All the section headings were in color with a overall design pattern through the whole layout. Everything worked perfectly. Just click on a chapter and there you were. Just click on anything and it took you there.

And no double columns. Each page was a page. Very classy looking.

Okay. I had the first draft.  Next I had to go back in the proof it. To do this I had to add the software program Adobe Reader to my computer.

At first it was a mystery to navigate, but with Bjarne’s help I soon mastered the program... which I have to say is so much fun.  It’s set up so that if you want to change let’s say a word, a sentence or a paragraph, you simply overlay the section with the yellow highlight marker. 

Then, this is part I like best, you click on “sticky note”... it’s a yellow balloon, like the like you see over a comic strip character that is talking. The balloon appears and and you simple write in it what you want changed or deleted or added.

Then the proofed document goes back to the formatting person and the changes are made.  It’s so neat and simple. I love it.

Back to the cover artist and have him insert a new heading that will run across the top of the cover.  It will say in big letters...


and then the name of the guide.

So far we have finished:

  Three guides for the nonfiction writer

  One on plotting

Semi finished in that the outline and some of the writing is done:

  The final three in the nonfiction series

  The two guides for writing a memoir

  The outline for the villain guide

  The outline for the flaws book

Under consideration:

  A guide on scenes

  One on inspiration

  One on character driven plotting

  Our plotting wheel

  One on conflict

Still in the beginning “thinking” stages:


  Beauty and the Beast




Not only am I excited about this new venture, but everyone who is writing with me is thrilled. I’m hoping this WEEKEND WRITER series will be to the writers, what the “Dummies” series and “Chicken Soup” is to the general public.

Wish us luck and... of course, wish us a boat load of potential writers who want to be both better writers and eventually authors.

Should you have any questions or ideas at any time, send me a note at

And I hope you'll leave a comment on what you think of this new idea..

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