WordPress workshop – fix thumbnail and tag-lines for Facebook

If you are anything like me, you occasionally (OK often) make a goof when publishing a wordpress post. You know the moment, you hit the publish button, and then spot the glaring typo in the first line!

If you are anything like me, you have suffered infinate frustration when you can not figure out why your new corrected details are not showing up when you try to post to Facebook.

Maybe you have fixed the typo but it still shows when you paste to Facebook. Or you have changed your thumbnail image five times, and the old one (that your really don’t like) is still there – even though you have deleted the damn thing from your post, and your media library…and your machine out of sheer desperation!

So, if you ever find the wrong image showing in your thumbnail in Facebook, or the title, or the tag text that accompanies your post…here is a super easy way to fix.

Facebook Object Debugger

Paste your post url in here, and see what pops out. Scroll down to check what it has now.

To correct the details, hit the ‘Fetch New Scape’ button at the top.

Done 🙂

A relieved blog writer, and corrected a post – Win!

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Writing – the measure of success

I can’t claim to have any success as a writer, after all, I’ve never had anything published, but it seems to me that the moment you do publish, you are soon to be measured against a fantasy measuring stick.

I hope I never lose sight of the fact that I love writing, and I keep things in perspective. Both the good reviews and the bad.

If even one person enjoys our work, and even if that one person is ourselves, shouldn’t we be allowed to feel a success?

A very thought provoking article below, and well worth a read.

Should I Just Give Up on My Writing?

Book 2 draft finished – Yay!

It has been a long weekend here (public holiday Monday). So I enjoyed an extra day at home, and I am very pleased to be able to say, I have finished the draft of book two.

Now, the long and painful editing process can begin! Hurrah!

It was beautiful weather, so we (Ok, my husband) did some gardening. And since it was so nice,  we did also get out and about too.

Happy little parrot, taken in Darlington Village where we live.

Happy Parrot

The tree frogs are back in the pond 🙂 I terrified the poor thing when I was filling the pond up!

Slender tree frog

The very sweet Norwegian lady who lives next door brought me this lovely bounty of greens from her garden. Spinach, mint, added a couple of apples, and a lemon picked from my tree – perfect juice.

Jucing

The Parkerville Tavern, is as good a country pub as you will find anywhere in the world. Live music playing, nice warm weather, and some tasty food (Just balancing up the healthy juice above).

Parkerville Tavern

There just happens to be a emu in the field next to the Tavern…

Emu

Happy writing everyone 🙂

8 Sci-fi Movies you have probably never seen

I always like to hear of new sci-fi whether it is books, or as in this case, movies.

I have not seen any of these films, but the descriptions are intriguing so I will definitely be checking them out.

http://whoisthemanfromkrypton.com/2015/09/sci-fi-recommendations/

Scrivener workshop – using a writing target word count

I am typically not a great planner when it comes to my writing work. I get the job done in a random fashion that bounces about from the start, to the end, to the middle, and all over the place. As a poor planner, scrivener has a number of features I have found invaluable to assist me in getting on with the task of writing a book. The project target feature is a great little prompt to help you keep on track with your writing targets, and to celebrate your progress along the way.

Accessed via the menu. Project | Show Project Targets

scrivener - show project targets menu

When I am writing, I have no pressing deadlines other than the ones I set myself. I usually pick a date and see how it comes out for the daily word count.

I write scifi, so I always pick a genre specific target for the whole book of 90K. Generally, I write 10k more than I intend, but hack about 10k out during editing.

This is the main Manuscript target box you see when you select the above menu option. It just floats like this over the top of you project, or as in my case, I drop it over the bottom corner of my second monitor.

scrivener - Show project targets dialog

It’s super easy to set up.

Select the options button at the bottom to show the next dialog. Here you can set your proposed date, writing days etc.

scrivener - show project targets - options

You can play around with the options to suit your preferences, but a few things worth noting.

  • I have some chapters which are potentially going to get chopped and / or are just bullet notes, so I tick the count documents in the compile only option to avoid muddying the count. You set the ‘include in compile’ against each folder (chapter). If you are not using this ‘include in compile’ feature then untick this.
  • Deadline – I like to play about with the target date and see what the word count per day pops out at. If you know roughly how many words you can achieve a day, you can work out a sensible target date.
  • I like to allow negatives. Sometimes when you are editing this can be a little disconcerting, but I still like to think about my overall target. If I chop out 500 words I just have to work extra hard to make my day’s count!
  • The writing days picker is good if you know you have definite days of the week you don’t write. I tend to just leave as is, and then write over-target on good days.
  • I use the default  reset the session count at midnight, but if you are a late night writer, you may prefer the reset on project close or one of the other session target options.
  • Tick the show target notifications if you want a happy little bong when you meet your target!

Once you are done in the options, click Ok, and head back to the main dialog.

Now Hit the Edit button. (It will then become Apply)

scrivener - edit target count

The manuscript word target can now be edited. After you have set the target words hit Apply. Your target session count will pop out.

Note: you can change words to pages or characters if you prefer. I like the default basic word count. (Click on words next to your manuscript target count)

I tend to jump in and out of the options to change the project deadline based on the total manuscript target until I get a realistic target per day.

I’m sure a target glaring at you from the corner of the screen will not work for everyone, but if you have not tried this feature yet, then you may want to give it a go. Writing a book is a long process and anything that helps you to celebrate the progress and the little wins along the way can only be a good thing.

I would love to hear from anyone already using this, and whether you find it useful or not. And anyone thinking of giving it a trial for the first time, let me know if it helps! 🙂

Divided Serenity Book Cover

Divided Serenity out now on all Amazon stores, and free with Kindle Unlimited.

100 Interesting Facts about Famous Authors

Some great (and funny) facts about famous writers 😉

Interesting Literature

100 fun facts about writers and their fascinating lives

On Twitter we recently reached the 100,000 followers milestone. (Hurrah! And do follow us @InterestingLit if you’re also a tweeter.) To celebrate the occasion, we’ve gathered together one hundred of our favourite facts about famous authors. We hope you enjoy them! Where there’s a link on an author’s name, we’ve linked to our post about that particular author (usually part of our five fascinating facts series – indeed, if you like these facts, check out that series).

Virginia Woolf was the granddaughter of novelist William Makepeace Thackeray.

Aldous Huxley was the great-nephew of Matthew Arnold.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, lived next door to Mark Twain.

Evelyn Waugh’s first wife’s name was Evelyn. They were known as ‘He-Evelyn’ and ‘She-Evelyn’.

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Too many authors spoil the story – The problem with audio books

Hello! I’m Lee, The Chimp’s other half, and I’ve been thinking about writing a guest post for some time. To give you some background, I’m not an author. I can think of nothing worse. I’m not even an avid reader. I just don’t find the time. When I do read, it’s predominantly non-fiction. I reckon for every fiction book I’ve ever read, I’ve read 50 non-fiction, probably more. So you’re likely thinking “OK, shut up buddy and put The Chimp back on”.

If you’re still reading, then I want to talk about audio books. You see, I went through a fairly lengthy period of listening to many audio books. Typically on my drive to and from work each day (90 minutes total). Occasionally when I was in bed too. Audible is a great service and I listened to around 20 or so audio books. I stopped after I read a book on holiday earlier this year. A book. OK, an e-book, but it involved reading, not listening. It was George Orwell’s 1984, and it was quite splendid. I could barely put it down.

Relevance check! – Listening to audio books made me aware that every book (read fiction from here) has 2 authors. The obvious one who builds a story, creates characters, the environment, etc. This is probably 85% (ouch!) of the writing. The second author is the reader who gives the story its visuals, finishes the personality of each character and gives characters a unique identity. If the primary author does a great job, the supporting author (you) reciprocates unconsciously and gives that instance of the completed book its delicious uniqueness.

When you listen to a book, something gets lost. I tried abridged and unabridged, but in my view audio books introduce a third author. The narrator has a style of reading that dilutes the “readers” creativity in writing the book. When I listen to books, I’m not as immersed in the story or the environment as I am when I read. It’s also much, much slower. When someone narrates a book my view is the story is consumed around 2-3 times slower than you can read. The narrators voice can also be a determining factor into how well the story works and the inflections in their words provide emphasis of their choosing, not yours. It certainly helps if the narrators are professional actors. Books narrated by the author (worst) or by a low budget professional narrator (better) provide the poorest experiences. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a great example. I have heard two versions of this, but providing a very different experience of the story. One spoken entirely by Stephen Fry, who was very good as you can imagine. The other spoken by a cast of actors in a dramatised version which was better still, but these latter types of audio books are rare in my experience.

Non-fiction books work quite well in audio book format, but not technical books. Management, business, self-development, etc all work quite well.

Anyway, let me know your experiences of audio books or feel free to share recommendations for audio books that have worked for you.

Bye!

Note – These views are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chimp (PS. She made me say that)