Tag Archives: technology

Finding Effective Modern Tools

In the last few days I’ve been considering some of the amazing modern tools writers have available. The internet in itself is a marvelous tool full of material for writers to use and explore. It’s full of information for research, dictionaries, thesauruses, grammar guides, etc.

The two tools I’ve been enjoying recently are not specifically intended for writing. The first is music devices such as Itunes and Spotify. With these I’ve been enjoying creating playlists to fuel my writing. Sometimes I just stick to soundtrack that seems to fit my mood, something sinister, or something light and happy. However, other times I’ve enjoyed finding songs that fit the themes or ideas. I find listening to music increases my emotional ability, making me more understanding of my characters and better able to portray their wild feelings.

The second tool is pinterest. When I’m stumped on what to write I have found it useful to explore photography to garner inspiration. I’ve even created an inspiration board full of pictures that seem to want their own story or want a place in my writing. You can find my board here if you’d like to see for yourself. I invite you to start your own if you’re a pinterest user! It’s good to practice writing, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. A board full of pictures can be very useful.

DeviantART has also been helpful in creating my characters. I love finding pictures there, especially of interesting looking people. I find I can get so much more of a visual of someone if I can stare into a real face for inspiration.

These are my latest uses of modern technology towards my writing. What are some of yours? Any helpful websites or other tools you’d like to share?

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Out with the Old

Lights. Camera. Action. The thrilling feel of the beginning of a movie.

I just finished watching The Artist tonight, presented on my school’s campus for a French film festival. It was enjoyable as always. But today I had the pleasure of really examining this film from the perspective of what I’ve been learning about in my writing class. It’s a film about change.

For those who haven’t seen this movie (I really would recommend it) I will summarize. The story is a silent black and white film that was made in 2011. It follows the life of an older actor who goes out of popularity when talking movies come to the forefront of the movie industry.

It is a charming and lovely film, done in an inovative and original way, but the message really is something that can capture attention. Things change. One of the major problems for George Valentin, the protagonist, is that he refuses to accept that the world moves on and comes to accept new ideas or means of communication. He clings tightly to the forms of the past and in doing so dooms his career.

In my writing class we have recently been talking about the demise of the traditional novel. With so much technology available it is hard to see the novel continuing on in the same form it has. Just as with talkies replacing silent films, e-books may one day kill off paper copies.

E-books, blogs, online journals. The future of writing and publishing has changed. There are so many new possibilities for writers. So many new markets and new chances. And so many new things to get used to. So many changes, and so many people wondering what will come next.

In my opinion the book will never entirely die out. It of course will change forms and mostly be used on Kindles and other portable devices, but unless we burn all our existing copies, there will still be some actual hardcover books (thank goodness!). Just as with other things in our past, the regular medium will change, but the art lives on.

 That is one of the main points of The Artist. Even though silent films die out, the art is not lost. It has simply changed slightly. We still have plays even though movies are widely available. Some people still keep vinyl, even if they could easily buy a CD or download off the internet. I enjoyed watching some old VHS movies while I was home for spring break. The Artist shows that even silent movies have still been made in spite of changes.

 The book won’t entirely disappear. It will just become less popular. Have hope. As a writer you still can be published. It might just be read from the technological world instead.

In the words of Peppy Miller, the female star of The Artist: “Out with the old, in with the new! That’s life!”

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Technology’s Changes

The clacking of keys fills my room as I busily type away at the document opened in front of me. When the typing finally comes to an end I pause and glance at the screen, reviewing what I’ve put down. When I am at last satisfied I move over to the chat window on the right hand side and type two letters. YT.

I shift to my facebook before looking back. Another cursor moves down the page before words start appearing. I sit still as I watch them go. I nod my head at what they say and watch as the ghost like writing stops. A message appears in the chat. YT

I quickly move back to writing, eager to finish what has been going on for about an hour.

This is merely a demonstration of the importance of technology to my writing.  One of the biggest ways it’s impacted me is allowing me to co-write a novel with a friend across the world. Thanks to google docs (I believe it’s called Google drive now) it has been easy to write a novel with someone else. The two of us simply switch back and forth indicating this with a “Your Turn” (or YT) in the chat box. With such a helpful tool, writing a novel was accomplished in a matter of months.

Technology is helpful in so many ways. It allows speed people never had in previous generations. From self-publishing, laptops, e-books, internet journalism and more, writing has become a completely new art in the last fifty years.

Then again as I flip back and forth between my facebook and this blog, I can’t help but see some negative aspects of technology as well. From distractions to less time spent editing, there are many problems that the come with the progress in the ways we write.

How do we sort out the good from the bad? Anyone can make a blog. Anyone can get their voice out. For many writers this is something that shows a lot of hope. For others there is a feeling of being drowned in a sea of other writers.

As time goes on our lives as writers will only continue to change. It is impossible to say what writing will be like in the next few decades. There are many marvels to the increasing tools for writers and many negatives as well.

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