Tag: technology


The Best Apps for Every Step of NaNoWriMo

So it’s the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, and you only have time to do things like go to school for eight hours, sleep for an inconvenient five or so, and occasionally eat. Writing does take time, but you have more time than you probably think (unless you thought you had twenty-four hours in a day, which is technically accurate but unlikely for a functioning person). While there are some circumstances where you can’t whip out your laptop, there are far fewer cases where it’s unusual to take out your phone. So instead of lamenting your wasted time, use the moments you do have to chip away at that 50k on iPhone or Android… with some (all free!) apps to help you with every step of the process.


1. The research process 



Charlie Kelly from 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

Image Via Imgur.com


Evernote, free for iPhone and Android, is perfect for keeping track of all your research and inspirational quotations. Its Web Clipper feature allows you to incorporate your source material directly into your notes, so you don’t crash your computer (again) with your 22 dubiously-useful open tabs.


2. The outline 



Millie Bobby Brown Gif

Gif Via Tumblr.com


Go Writer Lite for iPhone incorporates note-taking into the writing process with the draft board feature, a temporary storage space for text fragments (like that one sentence you just can’t figure out). As a bonus, the app will read your text aloud to you, so you can hear for yourself what sounds the way you imagined it.


Workflowy for Android is perfect for complicated outlines, allowing users to see any heading and its subheadings in isolation to prevent distraction (to the extent that it can). The app also includes searchable hashtags, so you can mark problem areas you want to remember for later—and then actually remember them.


3. The first draft



'Tom and Jerry' Gif

Gif Via Github.com


Writer for iPhone is more powerful than your typical word processor, saving all drafts of your product so that you never lose any material. In addition to your usual built-in spell check, this app also comes with a built in thesaurus to help you find the right (write?) word. On top of that, the app has simple yet varied table of contents formatting to help you and (and your eventual readers!) stay organized.


4. The editing process 



Frantic Typing Gif

Gif Via Gfycat.com


Unlike your typical sticky note phone app, Jotterpad for Android keeps track of your word count, paragraph count, character count, AND reading time. With a built in dictionary and thesaurus, this app is already better than many word processing computer programs. Jotterpad is especially good for your second and third drafts, as its snapshot feature allows you to revert to earlier versions of your story.


With any luck, these apps will help you put your (relatively few) moments of down time to work writing the novel of your dreams (or occasionally your nightmares).


Featured Image Via WeScreeplay

dead girl's detective agency

HarperCollins Launches First Snapchat Novel

HarperCollins has partnered with Snap to launch the first story of its kind— a Snapchat mobile adaptation of a teen mystery novel. Suzie Cox‘s The Dead Girls Detective Agency, a popular YA mystery from 2012, has taken its place at the frontier of digital storytelling. 



Promotional shot for 'The Dead Girls Detective Agency' based on novel by Suzie Cox

Image via fiercevideo.com



On October 10, 2018, Snap launched its new Snap Originals: five-minute episodes of original shows with new episodes premiering daily. At the moment, there are twelve shows available through the Discover feature. All episodes are vertically shot, meaning they’re perfectly adapted for mobile viewing. The content ranges in subject matter, with many documentary style shorts across every genre from horror to romantic comedy. One follows the exploits of Bhad Bhabie (A.K.A. the ‘cash me outside’ girl); another follows the rise of teen queens (that’s drag AND drama queens).



Snap Originals Logo

Image via mobilesyrup.com


This adaptation is just one of a few ways that technology continues to push storytelling further into multimedia territory. A much earlier example is the publication of Lauren Myracle‘s inventive The Internet Girls books (ttyl; ttfn; and l8r, g8r), a series Myracle crafted entirely from instant messages. Other YA novels have since followed suit, incorporating social media elements like chats, blog posts, and online profiles into the structure of the story. Books have taken inspiration from social media for well over a decade; now, social media is taking inspiration from books. The HarperCollins Snapchat partnership further demonstrates the way in which the symbiotic push and pull between books and technology ultimately shapes both mediums.



Featured Image Via epicreads.com


Microfiction Mondays: Read Short Stories via Serial Box’s Notifications

Every morning, we open our still-sleepy eyes, turn aside, and reach out to our phone-as-alarm. Stop. Stop. Stop. After closing all the shouting alarms sets, we always check out the notifications piled up all night. 


This is a routine for every modern person. Notifications full of messages, news, and emails.


Now, there can be a small variation happening in the repetition. According to SERIAL BOX , you can turn your phone into a snapread of short stories as long as you have their app Serial Box Publishing. Beginning July 9th, the app with its newly launched program-Microfiction Mondays-will send a 150-character-or less story to your phones via notification function.




The left story is by Brian Francis Slattery; the right Brenda Clough | Image via SERIAL BOX


The short stories comes from a group of talented authors/writers embroidered with Hugo, World Science Fiction, and Nebula Award-winning and -nominated sparkles.


The official blog said:


The perfect bite-sized story for a busy afternoon filled with meetings, we hope these will provide a moment of fictional solace for our Serial Boxers. This is one more step in the world of pushing the boundaries and limitations of technology and social to expand on the written word and storytelling, and we are excited to bring you something fresh.


It sounds really interesting and I’m downloading the app lol. Oh, one thing you, bookstrs, need to know is that, if you swipe the story-in-the-notification out, it will never come back again.



Check out the clip below and explore more functions in the app:




Image via Serial Box


Featured Image via SERIAL BOX


Learning Code Is Magical With New Harry Potter Coding Kit

Spells like Wingardium Leviosa are among the first that young witches and wizards learn in the Harry Potter world.


But now, everyone can learn how to do it, fun, intellectual, nd still magical.


Kano released its new product-The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit-on Tuesday and claimed the era of “Coding Magic” is coming. With this STEM-related toy, kids can learn the basic coding skills, build their coding wands, and code the powerful spells like IncendioStupefy, and Wingardium Leviosa.


The kit is ready to go on sale in the US, UK and Australia on October 1. Good news:  The kit is available for preorder from Kano’s website, with the company’s motion-sensor kit provided as a preorder bonus.



If someday you heard a mail package mysteriously casted into your front porch, don’t hesitate, you are entering the Wizarding World via Kano’s new STEM kit!



Featured Image via Engadget

Elon Musk and Steve Jobs

Ever Wondered What It’s Like Working for Steve Jobs or Elon Musk? This Book Is for You!

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to work for high powered tech geniuses such as Steve Jobs or Elon Musk? If so, Sophia of Silicon Valley might just be the book for you.


Sophia of Silicon Valley

Image via Hachette Books


Sophia of Silicon Valley follows Sophia from her termination from an investment bank, to rising through a top Silicon Valley law firm, eventually becoming an investor relations guru. Sophia works for an eccentric CEO who wears black t-shirts and jeans (subtle), then later, a younger genius who dreams of building electronic cars and rocket ships.


Sound familiar?


Anna Yen, the author, worked in Silicon Valley for nearly twenty-five years and says the novel is taken from her experiences and the lessons she’s learned. Yen worked under Steve Jobs at Pixar and Elon Musk at Tesla. Essentially a memoir, the novel is told through the eyes of fictional Sophia Young, a recent college graduate working her way through the tech scene in the mid nineties.


“Sophia is a toned-down version of me — I have a much worse mouth,” said Yen to Business Insider. “But she is me. That part is very autobiographical.” Despite being a work of fiction, the people and companies portrayed are based in reality. Yen is adamant that the book is not a tell-all, at least not in the typical sense. There’s no salacious gossip, Sophia of Silicon Valley is the account of a woman navigating the tech industry in its heyday, working with some of the most influential people in technology. The book is meant to entertain, not to dredge up any billionaire’s behavior from decades ago.


“I wrote the book based on the major lessons I learned that I always used day-to-day,” Yen said. “I wanted it to be fun and yet something that young women might be inspired by — and that’s all I wanted it to be. I wasn’t trying for more.”


Featured Image Via CNN (Musk) and BOOMSbeat (Jobs).