Jim has a new book coming out, Prime Suspects: A Clone Detective Mystery! It's fairly cool sounding for several reasons, not the least of which is that he wrote the entire thing on an HTC Tilt keyboard. Think about that as far as dedication goes!
Jim has agreed to not only write a blog for me, but to also give away a copy to one lucky reader! I've read some of his other stuff, so trust me when I say that you'll want to give this book a try! I've got a copy myself, so I'll have a review posted as soon as I finish!
All you have to do to win a copy is put your email down at the bottom in the following format (name at domain dot com) to ensure that spammers don't grab your stuff! I'll announce the winner on Sunday, September 16th!
New Ways of Writing by Jim Bernheimer
I'd like to thank ChibiNeko for letting me guest post on her blog and also to promote my new release Prime Suspects: A Clone Detective Mystery.
Today, I'd like to talk about finding the time to write and the ways I've been trying to get more productivity. Back when my wife and I just had one daughter, I could get away with staying up until all hours of the night poking away on my desktop or laptop. That kind of ended with child number two. She turned four the other day and the odds of me having set writing times are roughly slim and none.
Since time travel hasn't been invented yet (at least to my knowledge), authors who want to squeeze a few more grains of sand out of the hourglass need to get creative. I've tried a few methods and will share with you my success and disappointments.
To date, my most successful attempt has been with my HTC Tilt mobile phone. It has a slide out keyboard and my thumbs do the majority of the work. This post was written on it.
The only real downside is that this method, when combined with my large thumbs, appears to be murder on my spelling. Still, I just email the document and run it through my computer's word processor to catch the mistakes. As far as productivity goes, I can usually get between 250 and 400 words per hour even if I'm using a treadmill or stationary bike. The elliptical doesn't work because there is too motion. (Yeah, I tried.)
The negatives are overcome by the sheer portability. Add another page to the novel while my youngest is doing her gymnastics? Not a problem. Stuck in the back of a car on a long trip? That too, unless you get a headache.
The other method that I have tried with less than stellar results is Dragon Naturally Speaking. For me, it's the holy grail of writing - the notion that you could speak the words in your mind out loud and the book appears out of thin air at a rate of over a thousand words per hour.
Now here's the reality. It takes lots and lots of practice. You must speak slowly and work on your pronunciation. If you're doing a fantasy novel filled with strange names and the like, be prepared to do a cubic ton of editing. The upside to using Dragon is that the software gets easier to use the more you work with it. The program "learns" your patterns and you "learn" the best ways for getting closer to the results you'd like to achieve.
The process begs the question - Are you training the software or is the software training you. In my experience, it's a little of both.
One other problem I run into with the software is probably of my own making, but I'll throw it out there for you anyway. I have a difficult time using it when there is someone else in the house. Perhaps I’m easily embarrassed, but that’s just me.
Lastly, I've tried using a voice activated digital recorder during my commute or on long solo trips and then connect the recorder to my computer and process it with Dragon. Again, this is a concept that sounds better than the reality. It works fairly well for doing character dialogue, if you're the type of writer who can do the pretend conversations with your characters out loud. Doing long blocks of descriptive exposition is a bit more difficult (at least for me).
Thanks again to ChibiNeko for hosting me today. Here's a quick promo for Prime Suspects: A Clone Detective Mystery. The story is a noir murder mystery set against a science fiction backdrop. The concept that got me started writing the novel was the desire to write something in the vein of Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep). I wanted to do it from the eyes of a replicant…or in my case a clone. At just over 55 thousand words, the paperback version should end up being between 160 and 180 pages when it is released in the next 4 weeks. Right now it’s available on Kindle and the other electronic formats will follow.
Homicide detective David Bagini awakens on a strange world only to discover he is, in fact, the forty-second clone of the Bagini line. Having no memories of why his Prime entered into a clone contract, he wants answers.
The first problem is his Prime has been murdered and Bagini Forty-Two is now in charge of the investigation.
The second problem is all the clues point at one of his fellow clones and they already know all his tricks.
How can he solve his own murder when all the suspects have his name and face?
Link to novel - www.amazon.com/dp/B0090A4MLY
Link to website – www.jimbernheimer.com
Link to author central - www.amazon.com/Jim-Bernheimer/e/B0028OE2UA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1