Dylan.Blog Writing and musings by Dylan Reed

Writing Stuff and Things

I have been doing a lot more writing in the past couple months. Unlike a lot of my past writing this has been super focused on a single piece. In the past I was much more likely to write short little pieces without a lot of thought and planning. I wrote one of those pieces a while ago and shared it with Harper.

He suggested I explore the idea further and try and make it into an eBook. I was intrigued by this idea and gave it a try. I increased it from 500 words to over 7500. I then pruned it, making it easier to read and trying to make sure it made sense.

After all of that I sent it to an actual editor. This process was amazing. Here was someone looking at my work from the outside. Not family, friends or anyone I even knew. I learned so much from this process. The editing process showed me that I have a bad habit of using weak words in description and using this is/that is statements.

Hopefully I have learned enough so that my writing gets better. Or at least I will be able to be more effective in my editing before I send it to a real editor.

On the other side of writing I have started my serial story. It is over at Fancy Cadaver. My hope is that this will become a place for me to experiment with fiction. I started my first story on April 7th. I am going to do my best to publish a section every Monday until the story is done and then continue with a new story.

Writing fiction is hard. I seem to do OK in the non-fiction space. This is because I have spent a lot of time writing for school and this blog. I haven’t spent very much time writing fiction. Which is the whole purpose of the serial story: To write more fiction.

The tools I have been using are pretty simple:

  • iPad - this is my current go to computing device since I am laptop free currently. I occasionally use my mac mini but not as often.
  • iPad keyboard - I use a Logitech one recommended by wirecutter.com. Once I got used to the small size it became easy to use.
  • Karma Hotspot- Sometimes I need internet while writing.
  • Draft - This is my favorite place to write. It is clean and simple and made for writing. I also like that I can snag an editor within the program and it makes sharing drafts super easy.
  • Pages - When I am writing offline. Works well and automatically syncs with the desktop.
  • Markdown - The markdown syntax has been a little tricky to learn but it is what Jekyll uses and Draft supports it so that is great.

These tools allow me to work anywhere I need to. That has allowed me to be more productive in my writing. Instead of having to find time to write I let time find me. I almost always have my iPad with me so when the mood hits or I have time I can throw down some words.

I have done a lot of reading and research on workflows for writers and what others are using. I ran into a bunch of clunky programs that didn’t allow me to just write. A lot of the apps I tried were about the gimmicks and not about writing. I need to put words on a page not have a background picture.

Draft and Pages are just that. They are simple and easy to use and are just for writing. This also applies to the platform I publish on. For this blog I use WordPress and have for a long, long time. For Fancy Cadaver I am using git hub pages/Jekyll/markdown. I wasn’t a fan at first. It was different then WordPress and was therefore evil.

Then as I played with it more I realized that it has everything I love in my writing tools. It is simple, easy and allows me to put words up. There are no bells and whistles. Jekyll isn’t perfect but it works for what I need.

Moving forward I am going to be writing a lot. I don’t know that I will consistently hitting 1600 words a day but I would really like too. I will also be posting about the whole process of writing the eBook once I get the publishing figured out.

Meanwhile, feel free to checkout Fancy Cadaver for some fun fiction and let me know what you think.