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Federico Escobar
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I think what's going on is slightly different; it's less about manners and more about fiction workshops. Take any writing how-to book, and one of the first tips (one that you must follow or your manuscript will end up in the gutter) is to choose richer, more descriptive words, particularly verbs (and adverbs must be banished). For example, we can't walk in fiction; he have to galumph, or scuttle, or prance, and so on. Plain walking would say nothing to a reader. Or so the popular wisdom in those advice books go. Hence, I think these writers cringed at the thought of producing such a bland verb as "eat," and they came up with those more descriptive, in-your-face, and less civil terms that you picked up on. In fact, the how-to advice worked, in a way, since you actually took note of those passages; passages in which people simply ate would probably have slipped by unnoticed. Now, whether that's sane advice for making high-quality fiction is another matter altogether.
Carol wrote: Deri, those ideas are new to me--I'll have to try them! I usually don't have room to have a second version open (what with my style sheet, bibliography, etc.), but in some cases it would be feasible. But there are great ways of making your desktop grow to accommodate all of those applications. If you work on a Mac, Spaces (or Mission Control, in the new version of the operating system) is great. You can toggle from one space (or desktop) to another, and thus have all those applications and windows open at the same time. If you're working on a PC, Microsoft offers this program called Desktops for free: It's not as user-friendly as Spaces, but it does allow you to have several desktops open at once and move from one to another using Control+[the number of the desktop].
Dear Carol: A quick question along the same lines. I recently switched from PC to Mac, and one of my trusted allies from the bygone PC era is something you suggested in this post: pressing Control+B to add bold in the Find box. I've been rooting around support pages for Office for Mac 2011, and it seems we are forced to click on Format... and then on Bold every time we want to search using Bold, Not bold, Italics, etc. Please give me the good news that you do know a shortcut. All the best with your new book, by the way.
Great answers; thanks! The Editorium's document on wildcard searches was very helpful.
The idea that the "successful local independent publisher" gave you for short books is actually quite similar to Amazon's Kindle Singles. I don't know if they have been successful, but they sure were well advertised. That's probably one of the paths publishing will follow in the future: app-style short books. Vook seems to be on the right track, but the actual vooks I've seen are not living up to the potential (yet).
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May 21, 2011