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# Episode 28 - Our Secret Identities Revealed

In this episode we take a look at a handy story structure spreadsheet and outlining with Workflowy. We also reveal our secret identities and discuss when you should use a Nom de Plume.

##Works in Progress

[00:00:36] John wrote 5400 words on drone (the former hobo) story. Crossed 20,000, which is the longest I've ever stuck to writing one story. It's all rubbish, though.

Eric has been busy but not on the writing front.

Mike worked a little on *Zero Ward* by creating a timeline of events to make sure things happen when they should.

##What's happening online

###Story Structures

[00:02:14] A user on [r/writing](

created a [23 story structuresspreadsheet]( that shows the story structures from various authors/sources. The spreadsheet breaks down the three act structure, and offers word counts for each section based on a total word count you can specify.

###Inspiring Messages from a Coach

[00:03:53] [Inspiring Messages from a Coach - WSJ](

> Good coaches inspire their players, but Jerry Wainwright takes it a step further. Mr. Wainwright, a longtime Division I college basketball coach, sends about 300 to 500 handwritten notes each week to former players, as well as many coaches and managers. He’s been doing it for 30 years.

###Amazon Sues Fake Reviewers

[00:05:12] Amazon is going after 1000 people who post fake reviews to Amazon. Most of these reviewers are hired on the [Fiverr]( website, but because Fiverr prohibits this, Amazon is going after the users themselves.

[Amazon Sues 1000 Fake Reviewers](

###Richard Stallman's eBook Dangers

[00:05:55] Richard Stallman is a big proponent of keeping software and other digital assets free. He wrote an article called [The Danger of E-Books]( listing some of the drawbacks of ebook formats such as those for the Amazon Kindle, and the benefits of books.

With books:

- You can buy one with cash, anonymously.
- Then you own it.
- You are not required to sign a license that restricts your use of it.
- The format is known, and no proprietary technology is needed to read the book.
- You can give, lend or sell the book to another.
- You can, physically, scan and copy the book, and it's sometimes lawful under copyright.
- Nobody has the power to destroy your book.

With ebooks:

- Amazon requires users to identify themselves to get an e-book.
- In some countries, including the US, Amazon says the user cannot own the e-book.
- Amazon requires the user to accept a restrictive license on use of the e-book.
- The format is secret, and only proprietary user-restricting software can read it at all.
- An ersatz “lending” is allowed for some books, for a limited time, but only by specifying by name another user of the same system. No giving or selling.
- To copy the e-book is impossible due to Digital Restrictions Management in the player and prohibited by the license, which is more restrictive than copyright law.
- Amazon can remotely delete the e-book using a back door. It used this back door in 2009 to delete thousands of copies of George Orwell's 1984.

John mentioned an article he read: [If you wanted to ensure it lasted for 150 years – you’d choose paper]( and how paper is a file format that's *always* accessible, which is not the case with electronic files.

###Speech 2 Text in to come

[00:08:02] We've been talking a lot lately about converting text to speech so you can listen to your draft. Eric is teasing a new website to allow you to upload a text document and get an mp3 of your text. Coming soon.

##Reading Spotlight

[00:09:50] John is 3/4 way done with [Shift]( by Hugh Howey.

Mike is reading [Alas, Babylon]( by Pat Frank. Mike said it was funny to read something from 1959, because it was *not* politically correct in any way.

Eric is reading [The Count of the Sahara]( by Wayne Turmel

##Tech Focus - Workflowy

[00:11:57] [Workflowy]( is a tool to Organize Your Brain. Workflowy is a todo list, but it works really well for outlining as well. You can set it up to keep completed items on the list, so you can mark them off as completed, which crosses them out, but they remain in the list.

The lists can easily be dragged-and-dropped to quickly reorganize the information in whatever way you want.

The site has a great onboarding tutorial to help you learn how it works very quickly.

Exports can be done in three formats, but must be cut-and-pasted from the app rather than exporting to a file.

There is also a Pro version that also includes some collaboration features.

##Craft Talk - Nom De Plumes

[00:19:02] Nom De Plumes, or pen names, have been been used by authors for a long time. At what point should you use a pen name? How do you choose your pen name? Do you check Twitter and domain names to make sure there's one available?

Some authors will have a single page where they list "writing as" and the pen names under which their work can be found.

Authors will also use pseudonyms to disguise their genders so as not to put off writers who might not read a certain genre if it was written by a man or another if written by a woman.

We also discussed other options and whether or not you should go ahead and get a pen name ready in case a publisher asks you to use a pseudonym.

J.K. Rowling wrote an adult mystery under a pseudonym, but it didn't sell well until it was rebranded under her name.

Richard Bachman was a nom de plume used by Stephen King because he was producing so much work his publishers were concerned he'd dilute his name brand. Instead, some of the work was published under the Bachman name, although now all the books can be found under Stephen King.

[How John got nicknamed y0mbo](

###Nuking Spain

[00:31:30] Here's a true-life story just itching to be turned into a spy novel: [US Dropped Four H-Bombs on Spain in 1966]( Eric threw out all kinds of thriller ideas for it.


The hat of justice has dispensed its name, and the winner of the Rhodia notebook is Mike Johnston. Congrats, Mike!