November 14, 2017
- CHARACTER: How do you write about heroes?
Writer's Digest published a great guest article by John Mangan on how to go about creating heroic characters and where to find inspiration in your own social circle. It's a quick read but will definitely get your wheels turning about who fits the hero profile.
- WRITING TIP OF THE WEEK: JK Rowling
Ruthanne Reid published JK Rowling's 8 Rules of Writing at thewritepractice.comrecently. If you are taking part in NaNoWriMo (or just want to make writing a serious part of your life), Rule One is absolutely a must!
- CHARACTER (uh...Part Deux): Crime Analysts
Fighting crime involves more than Detectives, Patrol Officers, and CSI experts. Crime Analysts and Intelligence Analysts are growing in importance and job numbers, as law enforcement struggles to work smarter. I know there are a lot of far-fetched stories with a 24/7 available nerd capable of hacking surveillance systems as soon as the protagonist makes the request, but these Analysts might be the real life equivalent. Plotting data onto GIS satellite images has never seemed cooler! In reality, Analysts can use existing data to project the likelihood of future crime locations or even the neighborhood where an unidentified suspect may be living. Analysts can also use cell phone and wiretap data to map out entire criminal organizations.
- PRIVACY FOR AUTHORS: ConvertKit* did something really cool last week
Since my readers are primarily authors and screenwriters, there is a very real likelihood that you have (or want) a mailing list of people interested in your writing. According to CAN-SPAM rules, a physical address must accompany any broadcast email you send. This can be a bit scary for writers that work from home and don't want to publish their address. Renting a P.O. box or a PMB at a UPS Store seems to be the most viable workaround. Last week, ConvertKit did something to help with that. But let me back up a bit...
There are a lot of email mailing list providers out there, several offer free plans to those of us starting out with a small (or non-existent) mailing list. I started the APB mailing list on a free MailChimp account in 2015, which I still recommend to anyone building a brand.
Last year, however, I switched my mailing list service to ConvertKit. It was a big deal for me, as I was making the leap from a free account at MailChimp to paying a monthly fee to host these APB emails. I am happy I made the switch. ConvertKit is a small company that focuses their mailing list service on the needs of bloggers and writers. I found ConvertKit was much more user friendly than MailChimp and worth the money.
Last week, ConvertKit proved this even further when they announced that they have begun allowing current customers to use the ConvertKit Office as their physical address for CAN-SPAM requirements. They will send you a PDF of any CAN-SPAM related snail-mail via email, effectively saving writers the cost of renting a P.O. Box for privacy. (MailChimp does NOT offer this service, but there may be other providers I'm not aware of that do.)
As far as I know, ConvertKit does NOT offer a free account. So, wait until you're ready to pay for mailing list services. You can get by for quite awhile on a free account elsewhere. Once you have established a mailing list of your own and the growing pains of your success send you in search of a better mailing list service, I highly recommend ConvertKit*. (Yes, this is an affiliate link...but I really do pay for and use it, because it's awesome.)