googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Composing your novel using yWriter

Simon Haynes author of yWrite
Building your novel is tough, but not thinking about how it will be structured is a sure recipe for disaster. 

If you just plunge into writing, without thinking structure, characters, and scenes, you are sure to end up with a mish mash and waste a lot of time.

I’ve just dipped into a FREE program named yWriter which was written by Simon Haynes, a designer and programmer, and also an author. Here’s his website:

What does yWriter do? It’s a word processor that breaks your novel into chapters and scenes, so that you can keep track of your novel as it progresses. That’s all it does: no plot suggestions, no critiques of your writing style – none of that.

But what it does is take a load off your shoulders by making your writing easier and more focused.

Here are some of its features, lifted from Simon Haynes’ website:
  Organise your novel using a project.
Add chapters to the project.
Add scenes, characters, items and locations.
Display the word count for every file in the project, along with a total.
Saves a log file every day, showing words per file and the total. (Tracks your progress)
Saves automatic backups at user-specified intervals.
Allows multiple scenes within chapters
Viewpoint character, goal, conflict and outcome fields for each scene.
Multiple characters per scene.
Storyboard view, a visual layout of your work.
Re-order scenes within chapters.
Drag and drop of chapters, scenes, characters, items and locations.
Automatic chapter renumbering.

All of that, for nothing!

The program focuses on scenes.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Still not sure why Trump won?

The reread the Michael Moore analysis of the Brexit States (Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan).

And click on his speech to hear his stunningly assessment of Trump as Molotov Cocktail.

And weigh Moore's words against the chattering classes in the major news groups, and the disbelief by many - including President Obama - that Trump will do most of what he said he planned to do if elected.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thutmosis III in the news again!

London sphinx guarding Thutmose III obelisk

Here’s the latest news that Pharoah Tut 3 is making:

The find occurred in the context of an archaeological mission known as the "Thutmosis III temple project", which began in 2008. Referred to as the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmosis III, the monument is dedicated to one of the most famous pharaohs of Egyptian history, who came to be known as the "Egyptian Napoleon", due to his many conquests.

The temple, located not far from the city of Luxor, had been explored in the early 20th century but not entirely. It was subsequently abandoned by archaeologists in 1938, and was covered by sand and forgotten for seventy years.

We’re very familiar with Thutmose III, because we stumbled across him while researching our novel, Obelisk Seven.

He plays an important role in our novel, as this extract about the London obelisk shows:

"There she is," Gliffy said proudly.

"Cleopatra's Needle. Made by old T3 - Pharaoh Thutmose III."

Before them stood the seventy foot tall obelisk, mounted on a granite pad thrust out from the side of the Thames Embankment, into the river itself.

Stairs ran from the top of the pad down to the river below.

Two seven-ton bronze guardian sphinxes, nineteen feet long, flanked the obelisk; each had a sphinx head on top of a muscular lion's body.

“This beauty stood for about a thousand years in the desert before it was toppled by the Persians in 500 BC,” Gliffy explained.

“And then it was buried for about five hundred years, before the Romans dug it up and moved it to Alexandria, where they raised it on the seashore. There it stood for 1300 years, before falling in an earthquake in 1300 AD. It was buried in the sand for another five hundred years, before being dug up once more and sent to London.”

“Buried twice, for a thousand years,” Nick whispered, awed.

“And now we want to ferret out its secret: does it also send out signals?” Kate said softly.
Gliffy was scanning the street.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump: About not seeing the obvious

Intense navel-gazing for the next six months down south, as the changing of the guard takes place in Washington D.C.

But the explanation for the Trump win is not really that hard to find, as this journalist writes:

Those Rust Belt states were where he won this election.

How the Democrats were lulled into complacency about this rather obvious problem will be the enduring question of the 2016 presidential race.

Anyone who drives across a state like Pennsylvania, which I drove through on my way to the convention in Cleveland last summer, would have to notice that the formerly industrial towns along the route were ideal recruiting grounds for the Donald.

I gather the Dems thought they could overcome this by ginning up the urban vote in cities like Philadelphia. But that was always a risky strategy.

If Hillary had been able to get the urban vote, she would have been the nominee in 2008. The lukewarm enthusiasm for Clinton among minorities was another thing the media missed.

The pundits also showed they were totally out of touch with the American worker's economic plight.
 Hopefully, Trump will shift the Republican Party away from its narrow base so that it represents a wider section of America, and his stunning victory will force the Democratic Party to examine their foolish reaction to the equally stunning quest by Bernie Sanders.

And for those freaking out right now, think of this: America is a powerful nation, with strong democratic underpinnings. It will do well over the coming decades. Have faith in this nation.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Way to go, PEI!

Canadian democracy takes a giant leap forward:

A non-binding plebiscite on electoral reform in Prince Edward Island has shown voters support a switch to a form of proportional representation.

Mixed member proportional representation was the most popular option, drawing more than half of the votes after ballots were counted and redistributed five times according to the rules of preferential voting.

Islanders were given five options to chose from, including an option to keep the current first-past-the-post system. Voters were asked to rank some or all of the options on a one-to-five scale.

If no electoral system received more than half the votes, the option with the fewest votes was eliminated and those ballots redistributed to their second-choice option.

That process was repeated until one option passed the 50 per cent threshold to achieve majority support.

No let's have this happen in the other provinces and federally!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Michael Moore gets Trump supporters

This is the canny Moore’s assessment of The Donald’s appeal to so many millions of American voters:

MICHAEL MOORE: I know a lot of people in Michigan that are planning to vote for Trump and they don't necessarily like him that much, and they don't necessarily agree with him. They're not racist or rednecks, they're actually pretty decent people, and so after talking to a number of them I wanted to write this:

'Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of Ford Motor executives and said, "if you close these factories as you're planning to do in Detroit and build them in Mexico, I'm going to put a 35% tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody's going to buy them."

It was an amazing thing to see. No politician, Republican or Democrat, had ever said anything like that to these executives, and it was music to the ears of people in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- the "Brexit" states.

Monday, September 19, 2016

My Influencers: A force of nature - Lawyer Charles Friedman

Straight out of law school, I had to seek articles so that I could be trained in the practice of law, write my qualifying examinations, and then be turned loose on the public as a lawyer.

The first firm I approached for articles offered me the princely salary equal to $14 a month. I had to refuse, for one because my train fare from home to the city cost more than that, and I needed money to live on.

Enter, stage left, Charles (Red Light) Friedman

The second firm I called on was the firm of Hayman Godfrey & Sanderson, which was then run by one of the most dynamic individuals I have ever met. Charles Friedman was the legal equivalent of a dervish: never stopping, never still, ever demanding, pushing himself as hard as he pushed others, utterly ruthless in demanding the very best of all who worked for ‘his’ firm, and with a view of the legal world that extended far beyond South Africa.

He had a light on his office door which he flipped to red when he was busy, and green when he was available. The windows were always shuttered, with shades drawn, to avoid any snooping on the important commercial deals that were hammered out in his office.

He had five personal assistants, who were all expert at typing out his dictation, whether from the tapes he recorded while travelling, or from notes taken in shorthand in his office. All five of them worked furiously all day, with no respite.

Some more of my random posts for you: