Episode 47 - Get Off My Lawn
In this episode we talk about writing for multiple blogs, why Huffington Post is proud to not pay its writers, and how to write and edit with Beegit.com.
Works in Progress
[00:00:36] Eric is editing Prince of Pigeon Hill. He's adding in some new stuff after having taken out a lot.
Mike wrote some blog posts for MikeHale.me. His goal is one post per week. He wrote one that's 1300 words and another of about 730 words. He started the screenwriting course mentioned in episode 44 (An Introduction to Screenwriting: A Free Online Course](http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2016/02/18/an-introduction-to-screenwriting-online-course/) by screenwriter Michael Lengsfield).
John hasn't written much of anything, only doing a little second edit work on Dispossessed.
Eric got 5 letters sent out 5 InCoWriMo letters. John got 14 sent out.
Previously Eric was reading Devotion by Adam Makos and he accidently DM'd Adam on Twitter saying how much he enjoyed reading the book. From Adam's response, it might be getting optioned for film.
John is still reading CTRL ALT Revolt! by Nick Cole.
What's happening online
More Canadian Serial Killers
[00:11:39] In Episode 32 we discussed a work of fiction penned by serial killer Paul Bernardo that was pulled from Amazon even though it did not violate any Canadian laws.
Now another serial killer, Robert Pickton, has had a book pulled from Amazon. In this case Pickton wrote a memoir, which does violate Canada's "Son of Sam" law preventing the incarcerated from profiting from their crimes. Pickton, a pig farmer, was convicted in 2007 for the murder of six women (and possibly 40 more). He states now that he was coerced by the police. He wrote a memoir that was smuggled from prison by another inmate and published by a third party.
Colorado-based Outskirts Press, which specialises in helping authors self-publish their work, said it had a "longstanding policy of not working with, nor publishing work by, incarcerated individuals".
"Mr Pickton was apparently aware of our no-tolerance policy when he devised a plan to publish through an unaffiliated third party," the company said. The third party, named by the company as Mr Chilldres, told them he was the sole owner and author of the book.
HuffPo prides itself on not paying writers
[00:13:54] [Amazing Disgrace: The ‘Pride’ of The Huffington Post]http://writerunboxed.com/2016/02/19/amazing-disgrace-the-pride-of-the-huffington-post/)
The Huffington Post creates some good content, but a great deal of it is outsourced to writers and is of dubious quality. There are about 100,000 bloggers who write for HuffPo, almost none of which are paid by the site for the work. It's done "For Exposure".
BBC Radio 4 interviewed Huffington Post UK’s editor-in-chief Stephen Hull who said:
"If I was paying someone to write something because I want it to get advertising, that’s not a real authentic way of presenting copy. When somebody writes something for us, we know it’s real, we know they want to write it. It’s not been forced or paid for. I think that’s something to be proud of."
Chuck Wendig responded in a post SCREAM IT UNTIL THEIR EARS BLEED: PAY THE FUCKING WRITERS
Wil Wheaton was asked to republish a post on HuffPo, which he also declined and wrote about You can't pay your rent with "the unique platform and reach our site provides"
[00:17:17] Drape Yourself in Literature with Book Scarves from FreshComfy
If you like getting lost in a good book, here’s your chance to literally cover up in one. Thailand-based FreshComfy prints the covers and pages of classic books on lightweight chiffon scarves.
Out of Print Clothing also sells tees, socks, and sweatshrts. Mike has a Brave New World tee and a Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel t-shirt.
Using machine learning to identify authors
[00:18:10] Jaspreet Sandhu has created software to use machine learning to identify the authors based on the style of their writing.
21 Day Novel Challenge
[00:20:12] Chris Fox is writing a 70,000 novel in 21 days following the principles in his books Write to Market and 5000 Words Per Hour. You can watch the daily videos at 21 Day Challenge.
Tech Focus - Beegit.com
[00:21:57] Beegit.com is a writing tool built over git. We discussed Penflip in Episode 15. The interface in Beegit seems to be smoother and better thought out, where-as in Penflip you end up in very GitHub-like interfaces.
There is a free and paid plan - the bells and whistles are only available in the paid version. The markdown editor is nice. In Beegit, your free plan allows for private stories, unlike Penflip. Beegit is still very utilitarian from the interface. You can create templates in Beegit and create new documents starting with the templates.
Craft Talk - Content Calendars and Blogging
[00:30:14] Eric has four different blogs to which he would like to more regularly publish new posts. He has a folder for each blog and a list of documents inside these folders for each topic.
How often do you post to a blog post? Once a week should be a minimum.
How long do you write your posts? Length is less important than it used to be. There is a variety across the board.
When do you split it into multiple posts? If a post can stand on its own, then it should be okay to be part of a multiple-post series. But if it can't, it shouldn't be broken apart.
Planning ahead is really important. If you can, keep a post or two ahead because: life. Content calendars can help organize your topics to blog about. Mike recommends researching the types of topics (how-tos, reviews, etc) your target audience reads. You can do this by reviewing the post types of other bloggers in the field.
Mike uses Evernote for his content, and doesn't see any tools in the marketplace that meet all of his needs for content calendars.
- Content Calendars for Wordpress - Mike's presentation with embedded links to products.
- Editorial Calendar plugin for Wordpress
- Edit flow
One piece of advice John heard was to work on similar tasks at the same time. So working on a number of draft posts all at once, then batch editing them and finally batch posting them to your blog (with future dates as applicable).
Draft -> Draft -> Draft
Edit -> Edit -> Edit
Publish -> Publish -> Publish
Feedback from James Madara
James suggested a couple of screenplay sites:
Episode 50 - Audio messages!
Episode 50 is coming up soon, which means we've almost been doing this podcast for a year. We'd love to have audio messages from our listeners telling us what they're working on and what their favorite thing(s) about the show are. Just record a quick note on your phone and reach out to us on Twitter so you can send it to us.