5 Writing Tidbits


When I build a print book, I go through all the chapters and add a drop cap.  Some of my earliest reading memories is seeing books with illustrated drop caps to start a chapter.  This adds a level of professionalism in the formatting, because not everyone does it.  Here’s how to create one in Word, along with an example of what one is.


If you’re traveling for research on a book (or vacation, given it’s summer and time to head for the beach!  Yay!), there’s a great tool for estimating the cost of your food.  It’s GSA per diem rates.  This is what the government uses to determine what to pay their TDY travelers.  The government did a survey a number of years ago to figure out the average cost in all these cities, and that’s the per diem rate.


Every time I have to go into my deleted emails to find one, I can’t believe the number I’ve received in the last week.  They seem to be breeding on their own!  So I use a tool called SaneBox.  It sorts the emails into a folder and then gives you a list to go through.  You use the list for a quick review and delete some.  This works great for emails like from CVS Pharmacy where you want to use a sale if you have to make a purchase, but you don’t want to look at each and every one.  I also use the SaneBlackHole because there’s this woman who used my email address for her bank.  It’s been like that for years, so I just send all those into the black hole. This link will give you a discount and me a discount on my renewal.  (Note: If you’ve seen a different product that’s free, stay away.  They’re selling everyone’s name to another company).


No…more…adverbs!  Every time I hear someone saying “Avoid adverbs” or “use them sparingly,” I think of Faye Dunaway spouting “No…more…wire…hangers!”  It’s such an overreaction.  I suppose it’s because it’s easy to go through and look for all the ly words, but still… A writer friend had a zero tolerance policy for them and brought his three chapters in for critique.  He was beaming because he’d followed the rules!  And his writing was terrible.  Removing all the adverbs sucked the life out of the story and out of the characters.  Adverbs are just another piece of the story.


For us indie publishing, our books can appear on multiple platforms…Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, take your pick.  You can either look your book up on each one, which would be a lot of work, or you can use Books2Read.  It creates a nifty universal link that you can use instead.



2 thoughts on “5 Writing Tidbits

  1. Harvey Stanbrough June 4, 2019 / 7:30 am

    Note that Draft2Digital (D2D) is a competitor to Smashwords. You can distribute your book through both places, but you have to DEselect any venues at Smashwords that you SELECT at D2D.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pagadan June 6, 2019 / 11:16 am

    I love my adverbs, but you have to be careful. I must watch overuse of elipses, dashes, etc. too….


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