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    Posted December 3, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Tech talk

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    Writing in the Digital Age

    Storytellers have always engaged their audience with their captivating tales by utilizing the technology available to them. The first published stories occurred around 25,000 to 30,000 years BP when humans painted their stories on cave walls. The written language was developed in Mesopotamia around 3200 BCE and in Mesoamerica around 600 BCE. With the advent of writing came the development of several writing systems throughout the world. Authors, businessmen, and other educated people used the technology available to them to convey their messages. S, papyrus, scrolls, paper and books transformed the minds of so many with their written words.
    Just as the discovery of paper changed the way writers conveyed their words, the internet changed the way authors convey their creativity to a larger audience. In the past, authors who wanted to be published had to depend on one of the Big 6 publishing houses in order to do so. Amazon changed all of that. An author no longer has to depend upon a publishing house to publish their books. They can self-publish their books on Amazon’s Createspace platform. Ebooks, the digital version of any book, can be simply uploaded to Smashwords or KDP. Smaller publishing houses, such as Mountain Springs House, are plentiful on the Internet and are able to operate because they no longer have to compete with one of the Big 6 publishing house. Readers can discover new authors on the Internet. This means a very talented author who wouldn’t have had a chance to acquire a following now have the opportunity to do so.
    The Internet has changed the way authors and publishing houses operate. Gone are the days when the author is dependent upon paper and pen. Notes can be taken using a word processor, a smart phone or tablet. Authors can conduct research on the Internet instead of going to their local library. Interviews are often conducted in chat or via Skype.
    I’ve been a historical fiction author for five years yet I wouldn’t have had the many opportunities I have had without the Internet and my laptop. My laptop is my best friend. Unlike my literary predecessors, I normally do not take notes by hand when conducting research. I will take notes via Evernote or use my Microsoft Word. Most of my research has been printed off from the Internet but I have also been known to write on the back of my printouts. When I plan a story I will write it out in a paradigm but my rough draft? I never write my rough draft by hand.
    I usually load my Scrivener up based on the outline I have developed and then each chapter in that program. I try to write at least two chapters a day. After I write the chapter, I edit it and then past it into the final document. Once I have collected all of my chapters I will read through it again, edit it and send it to my beta readers. A beta reader is someone who will read your book for content and grammatical errors. You never pay a person to do this. They are usually readers who are so thirsty for a new story they will read your book for free. After they read it, they will send it back to you with suggestions. I take the suggestions and then write my second draft. After my second draft is complete I send my manuscript to my editor.
    In the past, whenever an author was sending their manuscript to someone they would have to mail it. No longer. Publishing houses now require authors to send their book via email. Everything is digital nowadays. I wonder how will the technological advances in the next fifty years change the literary world?

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