Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why yWriter?

I'm working on the last story for SHIFTY, the short story collection set in the world of SAGE, my fantasy trilogy. I revised the story before this using Scrivener, so I decided I would revise this one using yWriter5, a free (yes, I said FREE) program from Spacejock.

I like yWriter5 better. How to write and what tools to use will always be idiosyncratic. I know many people who love Scrivener, and others who can't wrap their heads around it.

After having used both programs on real-time projects, I find yWriter5 both simpler and more flexible. yWriter5 lets you list important items and locations as well as characters, sort them. It lets you chart viewpoints for each chapter and scene, date (down to the hour and minute) when each scene happens, and I don't know what all!

You can view a timeline of when each chapter happens with the chapters appearing on each character's timeline.

In each scene, you can note characters, items, locations, scene title (brief description), and a longer description. You can note whether the scene is action or reaction, and other details that it's fashionable these days to call "granular." When you're all granulated up, you can generate an outline using the brief descriptions, the long ones, or both. Instant synopsis!

Hey! Call a theme or a motif or a red herring or a clue an Item or a Location and keep track of it at a glance.

You can export a list of characters and their descriptions. Export locations. Export the whole damn project to a Word doc, rtf, html, or an eBook.

There's even a Linux version and a version for Windows 8 and up. Alas, none for Mac. Sorry Macsters. :(

AA-aa-and, there's a Wiki with all kindsa helpfulness.

yWriter5. I think I'll keep it.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Opposite of Dark, Second Edition Ebook is Here!

Late this spring, I reached an amicable agreement to obtain all of my rights back to my first four Casey Holland mysteries. While TouchWood Editions was a great publisher to work with, it was time to move on.

I’m delighted to relaunch a second edition, ebook version of first installment, The Opposite of Dark. I’m hoping to release all four books before the year’s over, but I’m working on several new writing projects, and real life commitments swallow up many hours per week, so who knows?

The plan is to release the fifth installment, Knock Knock, in both print and ebook versions next year, which is exciting! More on that over the coming months!

After a lot of pondering and reading all sorts of advice on the subject, I’ve decided to price The Opposite of Dark at $3.99 US, which feels right, but time will tell. Meanwhile, the book’s available at:

And the blurb:

When the police tell transit security cop Casey Holland that her father was murdered the previous night, Casey doesn’t believe them. Why would she, given that she buried her dad three years earlier? Desperate to understand what’s going on and if the man she buried really was Marcus Holland, Casey attempts to unravel the truth about her past.

Filled with twists and turns and the unwelcome help of a persistent stranger, Casey’s quest takes her to Europe where startling revelations place her in danger. An associate of her father believes that Marcus stole three million dollars from him and he wants it back. Convinced that Casey can find the money, the man won’t stop until he either has the cash or she and those she loves die.


“This is truly a fast-moving, action-packed thriller with many twists and turns, many suspects, and many secrets and lies. I would have read this book at one sitting were I able to, I was so involved in the story.” Nightreader

“This is one fast-paced novel filled with characters that will definitely keep the reader wondering just who can Casey trust. This is a definite must read.” Fran Lewis

“This book is a page-turner. Purdy Kong creates rounded, believable characters and the story is complex enough to satisfy but not defeat you. I was never quite sure “who dun it”. Just what I love in a good mystery novel.” – Julie H. Ferguson, Author of Book Magic

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Get Ready for This Year's Word Reading and Writing Festival

Autumn has nearly arrived and with it comes the 22nd annual Word Reading and Writing Festival. I’ve participated at the Vancouver event nearly every year since it began and I can tell you that it’s a terrific experience.

Word has expanded over the years and now runs for five days in Vancouver. This year, events will start on Wed., Sept. 21st and end in the main event on Sunday, Sept. 25th, at Library Square, (at the main library on Georgia Street). You can find a schedule of events and the different venues through the week HERE.

This is a free festival with music, author readings, panel discussions, workshops, and activities for the kids. For those of you who don’t live in Vancouver, Word (also known as Word on the Street) will be held in Halifax (Sept. 17), Saskatoon (Sept. 18), Lethbridge (Sept. 24), and Toronto (Sept. 24). You can find further information about those events HERE.

I’ll be helping out at the Crime Writers of Canada table with other writing colleagues from 1 to 3 pm, but please drop by to visit our table whenever your schedule permits. Fellow crime writers will be there from 11 to 5:00 pm, and they’ll have lots of good information to share about local writers and Crime Writers of Canada.

I’m not sure of the exact location of our table yet, but volunteers give out free programs that allows you to find everyone who’s representing their organization, magazine, publishing house, indie books, and so forth. It really is a paradise for book lovers, so I hope to see you there!