There are a lot of opinions about when a writer becomes an author. A lot of people seem to feel you start as a writer, and only become an author after you have been published.
Scorn is heaped upon anyone that does not respect the proper flow, the process of becoming an author. The proper use of "Author".
This is nonsense. ...
a person who has written a particular text.
"the writer of the letter"
a person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.
"the distinguished travel writer Freya Stark"
a writer of a book, article, or report.
"he is the author of several books on the subject"
be the author of (a book or piece of writing).
"she has authored several articles on wildlife"
I use Eric C Bailey, Author because I had to pick one, and preferred how Author sounded and looked. Not because it is better, it means the same thing.
So demanding a preferred usage of author, or of writer, is the all too often seen semantic BS.
ProWritingAid (multiple platforms, web browsers)
Next up in my series about software that I use is ProWritingAid which works in
as described in the previous Newb Files and the Erratum at the beginning of this newsletter.
WARNING: Do NOT have the same file open in Scrivener and ProWritingAid. You will receive a warning message, but don't let it get that far.
ProWritingAid is my choice for grammar and punctuation software. Like grammar and punctuation, software relating to English is messed up. Period.
When I was testing the various options I quickly settled on two options: ProWritingAid and Grammarly.
While testing the same text fragment, these two programs (apps) would have the opposite suggestions to fix it. This is not acceptable, at least not in any other context. It's normal unfortunately in grammar-related issues.
English is a mess, despite what most grammarians would tell you.
So, ProWritingAid is a lot better than nothing, but it takes a lot of decisions (by you) regarding what to ignore and what to accept to improve your writing. As they all do.
The primary reason I use it is that it works with Scrivener files directly. Allowing you to step through scene by scene (in the desktop version of ProWritingAid) as explained previously.
I tried it for a year and then purchased a lifetime (80 years) subscription for half price. At the time, that was $200 and change in US funds.
This type of software is so imprecise, so directed by the user (you), that the full price of $400 US is a ridiculous amount to pay. Paying half that still hurt. ...
Monthly Newb Moment
Nothing is writing, except writing.
Eric C Bailey
Remember that writing is not the thing that happens at your computer, typing is the thing that happens at your computer. Writing is the thing you can do anywhere, anytime at all. ...
So which is correct? I think both are.
The first quote has been on my website since it went live. It is, in fact, my tagline. ...
The second is how I work, at least 90% of the time.
I will often expand on, fill in, details (as in adding layers or growing the snowflake) at the computer, but in general I just write (type) what I have come up with previously.
Of the six short stories I have written, four have had the full plot outlined in my head while sitting in the lazy-boy in our living room. Three out of four worked, so, that's not bad.
My apologies to the four people who read draft versions of the one plot that didn't work.
The problem with the V.E. Schwab quote is, there has to be a time limit. If ALL you do is THINK about plot lines, themes, characters, character arcs, etc. and never write it down you are NOT writing.
No one will read it, no one will enjoy it, and, yes, no one will criticize it. Suck it up and write it.
At some point you have to write it, on paper, into a text editor, or preferably, into Scrivener.
Is this a Monthly Newb Moment or an Opinion piece? Meh, doesn't matter. ...
Below are links to a few short stories I wrote. The first three are the results from an exercise in 'voice' for the diymfa.com writing course I took in the spring of 2020. The fourth is the second short story I ever wrote, which I wrote as an entry for the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize.
Clicking a button will take you to my author website.