Saturday, April 15, 2006

Preparing to Write 

Conjure, Australia's national speculative fiction convention, is on this weekend in Brisbane. Edit Zoner Gillian Polack gave a workshop there yesterday on medieval backdrops and will soon blog her Brizzie adventures at Even in a little thing. I've just read the Conjure site and, despite my spec fic squeamishness, feel like I'm missing out on lots of cool discussion.

While I'm waiting to read all about it, here's a few writing resources I've learnt about but haven't had time to share:

  • The Eats, Shoots and Leaves Punctuation Quiz reveals that even before reading the book, I was a 100% Stickler. Now that I've read the book I realise I nearly always use dashes (of the super-short, hyphen-size variety) in my online writing and that I could probably use a semicolon or two. I made it through uni without needing them, except for maybe when listing stuff. Peter Carey won the Booker Prize without any commas so I'm keeping my degree all the same.

  • I'm using the free version of WordWeb to check the meaning and spelling of words. The WordWeb icon sits on my task bar and all I need to do is highlight a word and click on the icon to have the meanings and synonyms pop up. This is handy when I'm using NoteTab and other programs (like browsers) that don't come with in-built dictionaries. By the way, there's a paid version of NoteTab that does have a spell check.

  • Following a recommendation, I've also subscribed to West Australian writer and speaker Elizabeth Bezant's Writing to Inspire e-zine.

  • Brisbane writer Jennifer Stewart has a weekly newsletter Write Way. I haven't subscribed because I'm running out of reading time but if you like to test your vocabulary, check it out.

  • I've also subscribed to the Radio National Books and Drama Mailing List so I can know what's coming up when.



All I need now is a radio.

Comments:
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