Writing A Novel: A Guide And Record Of How I’m Going To Do It

Apr 21, 2014 by

Writing A Novel: A Guide And Record Of How I’m Going To Do It

It’s been about a month and a half now since I began an adventure and as yet, I’ve not really told many what I’m doing. As I sit here and type, I even have a hesitation, something akin to having had a few miscarriages previously and waiting to announce a pregnancy until it’s well enough along. Being a man, assuredly male, I can convincingly say I am not pregnant, but I have begun an exploratory effort to birth out something seemingly as difficult–I’ve begun to write my first novel.

The use of notecards is essential in design of a literary work. More on why in coming posts.

The use of notecards is essential in design of a literary work. More on why in coming posts.

That’s not saying I’ve actually begun writing anything. Nothing of what will be the book, provided I finish this process from beginning to end, has dare been written yet. In fact, everything I’ve read so far suggests I should not even begin typing “the book” for several more months, and some might even argue, YEARS.

What I intend to do in a series of posts is document this journey in hopes that others shall find peace, confidence, clues or helpful tips about what to and not to do in their own right/write.

It is my desire at this writing to supply information about how I:

  • Got interested in my topic
  • Did my research
  • Read about how to write a story
  • Went from idea to concept to premise and beyond
  • Wrote a fictional novel

So many factors will depend on my success or failure. Things like:

  • Available time when I should be doing work for clients
  • Available mental time
  • Available information
  • Available drive

Lots of things. And many more not on the above list.

Writing a novel, it appears, is not for the faint of heart. But after multiple sessions now with my counselors, my sister, and other confidants, the greatest thing that’s happening here is that I am mentally getting “unstuck.” I’m told I’m breaking free from the things in my life from the past four years and clicking things into another gear. That’s not me saying that, that’s the general observation. And if you read any of my past history, you will see that’s a big, big step.

THE PLAN

So what’s the plan? That’s a good question and one I’m going to seek to sum up here.

First of all, I’m going to type out a series of posts for the site(s) daddyclaxton.com and claxtoncreative.com and maybe another one to be announced later, and begin to include regular posts as I go throughout the process. I also will include information on Twitter @daddyclaxton and @claxtoncreative. I have some additional tips and ideas that shall come from that later.

In those posts, it is my intent as of  April 21, 2014, to begin providing regular information about the process. That will include reviews of the books I’ve read to get me into this mess, as well as ones I’ve bought and read word-for-word religiously once I left port. And I shall share other insights from reviews of existing literature.

Once I’ve established enough about the materials used to get into the process, I will begin to write ABOUT the actual process. Where does one begin? How does one begin? Where’s the middle? What’s the end?

I also shall write about the tools I’ve found to go through this process. That in and of itself has been a lesson.

There will be discoveries and set backs along the way, things I cannot forecast right now that I shall address as I come to them. This is, after all, a journey. And a journey in life isn’t any fun, nor decent, if it goes from start to finish exactly as expected?

So it’s time now to close this initial post. The seed has been planted. Water has been poured on the ground. It’s time to see if anything can break through to the surface.

 

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Oncor Blog Presentation

May 17, 2013 by

Oncor Blog Presentation

An Oncor Presentation: Blogging 101

An Oncor Presentation: Blogging 101. This photo is linked to the book for iPad version of the presentation.

Recently I was invited to speak during a panel discussion at Oncor in Dallas.  I began a blog in 2004 using the name of TheDadsCenter.org. Somewhere in 2007 I began using my fabled name, @DaddyClaxton on Twitter and then bought the domain. The original “Daddy Claxton” was mentioned in a song by the late, Roy Claxton Acuff, who apparently changed the name from Carter or something else. As we created our business to build websites and now design and produce books for iPad and books for Kindle and Nook, came the development of this site.

This is the presentation I prepared for my 15 minutes. It includes helpful tips about blogging, including must-have plugins for WordPress and a  little bit about the history of blogging in general.

To download the book for iPad, simply go to this Dropbox address and download. (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2269153/Oncor/ClaxtonCreative%20Blogger.ibooks)

To download the PDF version, here’s the link. (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2269153/Oncor/ClaxtonCreative%20Blogger.pdf)

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The Realities of the Current Social Media Trend–Write An eBook

Mar 9, 2013 by

The Current Social Media Trend–Write An eBook

Back in 2006 or 2007 when I began my blog with the now defunct, dadscenter.org, I had a mission to become one of the best and most prolific dad bloggers on the Net. When Twitter came along I was one of the early adopters and remember thinking how amazing it was that in no time, I had 300 followers. Then 600. Then 1,000….  Today I have 12,773 followers, most of whom I have zero time to regularly engage on @DaddyClaxton and another 1,700 on @ClaxtonCreative that are a challenge to regularly interact with as well. (Don’t forget to follow me!)

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Беларуская: Фотаздымак электроннай кнігі Русский: Фотография электронной книги (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then came the trend to jump on Facebook and have your tweets going straight to your Facebook wall. People got tired really fast about seeing everything you tweeted on your Facebook wall.  Oh, then came the need to have a Facebook Business Page. (Don’t forget to LIKE us while you’re here.

Then came Google +. (Join my circles!)

In between all that came the Mommy Blogger craze, and in 2010, many of us dads started saying, “Hey, we buy stuff, too,” and so we had the dad blogger phase.

With the advancement of each new platform has come the hype and the craze. “YOU CAN GET RICH IMMEDIATELY DOING (insert name of latest new thing!!!!)

But as Ted Murphy pointed out at the Modern Media Man conference in Atlanta in September 2010, the precious few who are going to get struck by lightning and make millions having a blog, using Twitter, using Facebook, having a Facebook Business Page, having a Google + community going, etc. etc. and etc. are just that.  A precious few.

That’s not a throwing in the towel of admission, it’s just the factual reality of all this and if you’re one of those precious few, congratulations.  if you’re not, I encourage you to never give up.  But it’s clear the latest trend is here and that’s what this post really was intended to be about.

The Latest Trend–Write an eBook

And so it goes, the latest trend clearly on the Net is to write an eBook, self-publish it, and ride away to prosperity and peace and comfort.

Again, we’re not discouraging the practice, we just want to temper that with some practical common sense, which seems to be lacking in the blasts of trumpeting this latest, newest, easiest and most important phase–(again, like in all other previous phases.)

Writing an ebook  or regular book, for that matter, is a time-consuming and a time-honored practice. There is/was a reason why so many manuscripts were sent to print publishers that never got printed throughout the course of time. They just weren’t going to sell in the long run and the publisher didn’t want to take a risk in publishing something that was not going to sell.

Now as an individual, yes, many out there just have this incredible desire to part with their wisdom knowing convincingly that what they have to say is going to be something some massive numbers of people have been sitting around waiting to be published throughout the course of human history. You probably know that from the long line of people who stand at your front door or office door each day waiting for you to make your next prolific statement about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What? They’re not there?

Now, again, don’t read that as a negative, just read it as a practical point. If you undertake the process to write an ebook, it’s going to take a lot of time, effort and sacrifice. Ultimately, you may not make any money at all from the process and unless you are one of the precious few, that’s likely to be the case.

On top of that, 10,000 other people are going to be releasing their new ebook on the same day as yours, (remember, this is a wide-open trend at the moment) and you are going to be in that mix.

How are you going to market your book? Who is going to buy it? How are you going to get it to them?  The odds are that the 10,000 other people who publish their ebook on the same day as yours aren’t going to buy your book that day.  They’re going to be focused on one thing–trying to get the other 999,998 people involved to buy it, and those people are going to be like you and the one other….

There are dozens of questions to ponder, but seriously, before you even get down to that, recognize the “write an ebook” trend for what it is.  We’ve been here with blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Business Pages, Google +, (you could throw in Instagram, Pinterest, and several others I can’t even remember the names of at the moment) and we’re here again with the premise of “write an ebook.”

In a few months, it’s going to be something else…. Just wait.  You’ll see.

CLAXTON CREATIVE

We feel comfortable writing this piece because the focus of our work isn’t on the production of eBooks. No, our work is in interactive books for iPad that include video, 3D animations, interactive widgets and much more. There’s a huge difference and that’s where we see the future of books going.  To us it seems so many are focused on getting a version of some prose published for Kindle or Nook.  We see that as a huge, tactical mistake. 

 

 

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iBooks 3 Adds Social Media

Nov 16, 2012 by

iBooks 3 books for iPad now includes a powerful Social Media component that allows a reader to share content with others via Twitter, Facebook, Message, and Email.

iBooks 3 Social Media tools

iBooks 3 Social Media tools

From an educational standpoint, this is significant.

The new “share” function from highlighting allows for the exchange of text within a book via Mail, Message, Twitter, Facebook or allows a reader to copy for pasting elsewhere. Because of this, the world’s classroom just got a lot bigger. And with the release of the iPad mini, it’s going to grow even faster.

As we’ve mentioned before, a superintendent with $1 million to spend on hardware before the iPad mini, could spend those funds and purchase 2,000 iPads. Because the iPad mini is priced lower, a superintendent can now buy 3,000 iPad mini units for roughly the same $1 million.  Apple‘s strategy clearly was to offer a lower-priced unit that could be smaller in size and not compromise usability–after all, elementary and middle school kid fingers are smaller, so it was a perfect fit.  And think about this, what demographic has the most growth potential in the use of social media?

Social Media In An iBooks 3 Book For iPad

We’ve said it before on this site, but it is worth repeating.  The Social Media component in a book for iPad means a reader now can ask a classmate, parent, teacher or maybe even the book’s author a question about something within the book. Think about the power of that development? Think about being a student and you get to a part in a book you don’t understand and you leave a note for a classmate, the teacher or even the author and ask for further explanation!  That’s mind boggling compared to what happened in education just 10-15 years ago, let alone a month ago before this capability was introduced.

Using the iBooks 3 Social Media Tools

As you might expect, using the iBooks 3 Social Media tools is easy.  A reader just highlights a portion of text they want to share by rubbing their finger over it. Up will pop a dialogue box to color it with a virtual highlighter or underline it, and then the reader has the option to click a MORE button that will lead to a SHARE button.  From there, up pops various Social Media icons.  From there, the reader picks which one to use and goes through necessary logins and addressing and sends the information along with any messages intended.

It’s that easy.  It’s that powerful.  It’s going to change how learning is done in the worldwide classroom.  And just think, if you don’t have an iPad or iPad mini, you’re missing it.

ClaxtonCreative.com

Thank you for reading our series of posts, What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad.  You’re welcome to download a free copy of it for your iPad or iPad Mini, or you can download a free .PDF version of the book so you can read more about these powerful developments in books for iPad. Our company is located in Dallas, Texas, USA, and we are a designer and publisher of these special books for iPad. Yes, the iBooks Author software is available free to use. And nowadays, most people can get their hands on a copy of Photoshop, but that doesn’t make a person an expert at Photoshop.  Likewise, we have found throughout 2012, that making books for iPad isn’t just something one plops down and does. There are tricks to the process.  An entirely different way of thinking is necessary in designing such a book.  This isn’t like a traditional book, and it’s not even like one you’d write for a Kindle or Nook.

That is why we continually offer our services and encourage you, our readers, who may be considering making a book for iPad, to contact us and let’s talk about how to build it for you.  You can reach us today by calling 972-863-8784 or by using the book submission form at the top of this page. Thank you.  More posts coming Monday!

 

c

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iBooks 3, iBooks Author Now Include A Social Media Component

Oct 24, 2012 by

iBooks 3 and iBooks Author produced books now include a social media component! You can make a note in the book and then share it with anyone in the world.

Little noted yesterday during the Apple announcement was one of the biggest things that’s happened in books since Gutenberg–iBooks 3 books for the iPad now have social connectivity in them–meaning, you can share a section of a book with a friend via Facebook, Email, Twitter and Messages.

Think about what that now means? 

Say you’re studying in a book and you hit a part that confuses you.  But you’re reading in a remote location, with WiFi or 4G service though, and you can share a note with a friend about that part of the book you’re reading and say, “Hey, isn’t this Rio Azul Mask in Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya just wickedly cool as a 3-D animation?”

Well, that’s now available in books for the iPad.  And it is going to further revolutionize how books are made and used and learned with throughout the world.

At Claxton Creative, LLC, in Dallas, we are building these books.  If you have a manuscript ready for conversion to the iPad as a multi-touch, interactive book, we want to talk to you today.

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