ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 31 January 2011

Beyond awesome! A search engine just for writers...

Elizabeth Spann Craig started something really cool! A search engine for writers. No more useless Google searches! Well, I'm a great fan of Google, but if you're like me and have bookmarked hundreds of excellent articles on writing, then can't find them in a hurry when you need them, Elizabeth Spann Craig came up with a solution:

A Search Engine for Writers

Here's what Elizabeth has to say:

Google doesn’t always deliver. If you want to search for specific information on POV, for example, try plugging the term into Google.

The top sites returned for POV are a video that PBS made (which isn’t on writing POV), a couple of definitions by Wikipedia (several of which have to do with automobiles), a racy YouTube video, and some freeware.


That’s right—nothing to do with the craft of writing.


When I started subscribing to writing blogs, I did it to access in-depth information on the writing craft—written by working writers and industry professionals.


After amassing a huge (1587 and growing) number of writing blog subscriptions, it occurred to me that other writers might be interested in the same type of information….and that maybe they didn’t know where to look.


That’s when I started tweeting the info I found.


Realizing that not everyone was on Twitter, I started sharing the links, weekly, on my blog.


Still, the fact that the links weren’t easily searched bothered me. What if there was a writer who didn’t need that great link on book marketing now? Maybe they needed an agent post on penning the perfect query. Would they just miss out on the marketing link since they wouldn’t need it for a while? Would they bookmark it for later and end up with a ton of bookmarks?


I put a couple of pages up on my blog to try to archive the links and make them, to some degree, searchable. Still, the searching wasn’t particularly efficient.


I mentioned on my blog one day, “I’m sure there’s got to be a better way to do this, but I can’t think of it.”


Enter Mike Fleming, software engineer.


Mike knew exactly how to make the links searchable—create a specific search engine for writing links. He emailed me to bat the idea back and forth with me (actually, it was more of a one-sided tennis game, since he’s way over my head in terms of technology.)


But I loved the idea of a free resource for writers. A way for writers to access information that would help them write better books or articles.


After a lot of work on Mike’s part, the Writer’s Knowledge Base was created.

As Mike stated on his blog:


The search is done instantly over thousands of writing-related articles ranging from character development to author promotion on social media. Unlike Google, all of the results are relevant to you as a writer. They may not all interest you, of course, but at least searching for "plot" will bring back articles on how to plot your story and not news articles on terrorist plots.


Mike has also included a fun feature where a writer can browse the links and find random writing-related articles.


Who are the authors of these blog posts? Writers, agents, editors, book marketing experts. Some of your blog posts may be included, too. Writers won’t only be accessing the information they need, but they’ll also be finding new and helpful blogs to follow. And Mike will continue adding the links that I uncover each week.


When you have a minute, we’d love for you to give it a try. What do you think? Please tell us what you like, what you’d like to see added, and any ideas or thoughts you have. You can comment on either of our blogs, email me at elizabethspanncraig (at) gmail.com or Mike at mike.fleming (at) hiveword.com.


And feel free to spread the news. I’d love for this to be a real resource for writers.

There you go, lovelies. Isn't this great news? Check it out, tweet, fb it, but most of all grab the picture/link I have in my sidebar (it's available on Elizabeth's blog) and whammo! You're set to read awesome how-tos on just about any writing topic. I thought Christmas was over!
 
And the fun keeps on...don't forget to comment on Alex J Cavanaugh's talk below to learn heaps and to be in the running for great prizes. New Publication Party post Wednesday - short story guru Helen M Hunt! Woo hoo!
 
Denise :)


28 comments:

  1. Or should I say though? Ha Ha.

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  2. What a great idea. I'm going to try it now.

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  3. How awesome is this???!!! Thank you so much!

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  4. That is so cool! I have so many sites and articles bookmarked under my Writer Resource folder, I wouldn't be able to find anything when I needed it. To organize links and make the sites searchable is a great idea!!

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  5. Alleged Author: This is the best!

    Carol: Me too. I can get deleting a few!

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  6. Bless you Denise, I know we can always rely on you to come out with an ingenious idea like this. Well done, again!

    I may yet become a writer one day, and I know I have you among others to thank for it.

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  7. very cool. i'll have to check this out. thanks for sharing.

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  8. What a great resource - thanks!

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  9. Sounds like a great idea. Will head over to check it out :)

    Rach

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  10. Holy cow, this is brilliant! Beats my motley collection of bookmarks and excel spreadsheets!

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  11. That is such a fantastic idea! Thanks for the link, I'm off to have a nose around. x

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  12. Thanks for the link, Denise. I've bookmarked that one. ; )

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  13. Fantastic idea! Off to check it out.

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  14. Great minds! I've also just come across this (from Glynis Smy) and it's brilliant. I've popped the button and link over on my blog too :-)

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  15. It's a great site and good to have in the writers toolkit!

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  16. And thanks so much for your review of CassaStar! I am just blown away...

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  17. Go for it all! Alex, you're welcome!

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  18. Cool! Thanks for the tip and I'll be linking to this in a future post to spread the word!

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  19. This sounds very useful. I'm going to see if I can figure it out!! Thanks for the link!!!
    Ann Best, Author

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  20. Thank you for the good post !! the post is providing useful information ,,,and will be of great use!!! review blog

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