Saturday, December 24, 2011

Write Your Novel: Step-By-Step Guidance

This is the first in a series of articles which will guide you into writing and completing an actual work of fiction. I will take you through every step, even my own frustration and failure, as I walk you through completing your novel.

Step 1: Decide on a genre, title, over all idea
Genre: Mystery Title: The Geek Who Could Program Backwards (props to Lillian Jackson Braun -- The Cat Who Could Read Backwards)

Step 2: Create a marketing blurb which tells what your novel is about:
When Adam Knowlex visits the small town of Fillkey, Ohio, he uncovers an international team of hackers who are poised to unleash a series of attacks which could shutdown power plants, and even knock the government off line. Will he be able to convince others of the truth and stop the hackers in time?

Step 3: Create a rough outline of scenes (chapters, events) that will occur in the book. At least enough to get started

chapter 1 - friend convinces Adam to go to Fillkey, Ohio to help investigate a computer hack. chapter 2 - getting to fillkey, ohio - meeting his contact, liking the town and meeting the beautiful woman. The mystery no one wants him to know.
chapter 3 - Helping with the main problem puts him onto the real mystery. One of the citizens is killed -- later find out it is because of his involvement with the scam / mystery.
Chapter 4 - someone comes after Adam. not an easy mark, because he knows a rare type of kung fu jeet kune do - bruce lee. barely escapes with his life.

Step 4: Create a cover to convince yourself and others you are really writing a book. I paid for an image at one of those web sites where you have a one-time fee and no royalty payments, then I created the simple cover above. Doesn't that make it seem more real?

You could take all of these steps in a few hours of work. What're you waiting for?
Keep on learning, keep on writing.

~Newton Saber

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Failure of Humanism: Trampling the Middle

If atheism were true, it would mean there was no God. If there were no God, then humanism would rule. If humanism ruled, then the best thing you could be is the best human. If the best thing you could be is the best human, then it would behoove you to get to the top of the human pile. Only the lazy and uneducated sheep would stay at the bottom.

If you know your ideas are the best (and who doesn't, except the sheep) you have a driving force for getting to the top: you can enlighten others once you're there.

Your ideas are the best, so you must lead. Some people may think you are mean and nasty, but you just want to help people.

Since the best human is the one with the best ideas and the best ideas are from the leaders at the top of the pile, a hidden logic is created: get to the top of the pile by any means necessary.

This is circular logic which fails continually and supports a terrible philosophy that the ends justify the means.
Remember, Machiavelli was a politician (diplomat and political philosopher).

Knock You Off The Top of the Pile
Even as you rise to the top there are always others who disagree with you; who are fighting to knock you off the top of the pile.

Crush the Dogs
This causes the ones at the top to overcompensate. Suddenly, political discussion that doesn't line up with your great ideas must be abolished. Quickly pass laws that support your power and crush the dogs that gnash at your heels.

Meanwhile, the opposition is building its machinery to place their leaders at the top of the pile. Surely their ideas are better, they assume. And they're right. They have to be right -- if they get to the top of the pile, it proves it doesn't it?

We of the Middle
Alas, the ultimate failure of humanism is that while the Great Leaders (intelligentsia) battle for supremacy we in the middle -- the people who work to support the nation, the world -- are trampled beneath the feet of the ruling class.

We go on working, supporting our families and each other, hoping that the ruling class will finally do the right thing.

However, they cannot do the right thing. Since they believe that the human is the highest thing, it is as if they see everything through bad lenses that put the world out of focus.

They can't get their mind off their own ideas. They can't get new ideas, because their guidance systems are out of focus. They can't see anything but themselves.

This is the failure of humanism that repeats itself around the world and throughout history. It is a strange atheism, which allows many of its adherents to argue they still believe in God.

Ultimately, the Politicians, the Kings, the Rulers never notice what they've done and how they've failed.

It is only us,

[ the tired, the poor,
the huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of [the] teeming shore,
the homeless and tempest-tost ]*

who lose.

*From the poem, The New Colossus, mounted in bronze inside the Statue of Liberty.

Keep on learning, keep on moving forward.
~Newton Saber

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Enhance Your Productivity & Creativity

The introduction to my forthcoming book, Do It Today: An Action Plan for Enhanced Productivity & Creativity is now available for download.
eBook Versions
The book is available as a Kindle book (click here) and a PDF (click here) --Adobe Reader document. You can click the links to download the book or get it from my web site:

Keep on learning, keep on writing.
~Newton Saber
100 Beginnings for Fiction Writers analysis of 100 novels and how we (as writers) learn from them.
The Writer's Invisible Mentor My writing project about writing and learning to write
Saber Slice: More on Creativity and Writing

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grand Experiment: Give-Away Marketing

Perfect is the enemy of done.

Providing Value For Free
Can I provide a group of products and services that 1 person finds valuable enough to use for free?

Are my products and services useful enough that a person is willing to take the time to install (software), learn, and/or read them (articles)?

1st Barrier: Create Something Useful
I'm not interested in providing free useless junk. I want to provide useful / valuable free stuff.

2nd Barrier: Create Something Broadly Useful
If I can provide something that one person finds valuable, can I make it great enough that ten people find it valuable? 1,000? 1,000,000?

3rd Barrier: Perceived Value
If I am able to provide products and services that break through these first two barriers, would the people who use them feel motivated enough to donate $1 (or more)?

Can 1 Person Reach 1,000,000?
Is it possible for one person to provide products and services that 1,000,000 people (or more) find valuable enough to part with a $1 donation? Is that possible?

This experiment would attempt to answer quite a few questions:

1.) Are my products and services perceived as useful by a great number of people? If only 4 people download and use my products and services then I have not succeeded in the first step.

2.) Will people be motivated, not because they have to, but out of sheer gratitude to take the time and effort to donate $1 (or more)?

3.) Does gratitude exist? If 1,000,000 people download and use my products and services and I only have 11 donations, then maybe people only want things they never have to thank someone for. Maybe this would mean that everyone on the Web is selfish. :-)

4.) Does word-of-mouth marketing work?
I do not have the resources to market my products and services. Will the people who use them recommend them to others and keep the wheel spinning, until we reach over 1,000,000 users/readers?

Am I Talking About Perfect Products?
No. I'm talking about useful products. You may find bugs in my software, or errors in my grammar. But, you'll also find that my software does things for you that makes your life simpler. My articles make you think in new ways. They are able to do these things, simply because I've put a lot of work into them and I've completed them enough so you can get your hands on them.
Plus, I am continually updating them so they become better with time.

Original Intent of the Web
This is the original intent of the Web
1.) Sharing - I give to you, you give back. However, we are all motivated to do so by inner principles, not from principles outside ourselves.

For example, I create the best software that I can, because I want to create great software (inner principle of hard work). You donate $1 (or more) because you find those products helpful and you want to complete the circle (inner principle of rewarding hard work).

I do not simply create software in order to get your money. You do not give me money because you are compelled by law (software license) to do so, but because you wish to do so.

2.) Iterative Development and Learning - Another intent of the Web is that you find articles, ideas, software that are still in a rough state and that is okay, because it fills a need at the time. Then, as time passes, the article, idea, or software gets better, because it is revised.

3.) Building Community
All of this works together to build community.

That is how we learn, how we grow and how we live. It is the best way.

Will You Check Out My Products And Start The Wheel Spinning?
You can see all of my products at my web site:

Read My Articles
You can read my articles at my blog sites:
100 Beginnings for Fiction Writers analysis of 100 novels and how we (as writers) learn from them.
The Writer's Invisible Mentor My writing project about writing and learning to write
Saber Slice: More on Creativity and Writing

Keep on learning, keep on writing.
~Newton Saber

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Get More Readers: Syndicate Yourself (Free software included)

Definition of RSS
Have you seen this symbol?
It indicates that there is an RSS feed for the page.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.

Have you ever heard of XML? Well, RSS is basically a special format based upon XML, which can be used to obtain information about articles that have been published on web sites.

Offer Your Articles to Readers
RSS is a simple way to offer your articles to the world of readers. I will explain how easy it is in just a moment, but first allow me to explain the benefits of RSS.

What's the Benefit of an RSS Feed?
The most important benefit of viewing RSS feeds is that you can quickly check multiple sites to see if they have articles that you would like to read.

Follow Multiple Feeds With One View
If you follow certain blogs or news sites, you do not want to have to load numerous home pages just to check if there is a new article you are interested in.

We All Forget
I often forget to check certain sites and my blog readers often forget to check my sites for updated content.

Check All Sites At Once
Now you can check all those sites at once.

FreedReadR - Check RSS
Using my FREE program, FreedReadR, you can simply add all the RSS feeds you would like to check, then each day click the "Check Feeds" button and you'll see a list (including their publication dates) of the all the articles available on all of the sites.
Since the RSS contains a smaller amount of data (no pix, etc), it loads a lot faster.

Sort the Articles
After you load the articles you can use FreedReadR to sort the articles by title or date published.

Read Only the Articles That Interest You
It's much quicker to load them all and then simply check article titles for ones that you are interested in reading, than it is to load all those individual web pages. Plus, this way you won't forget to check those sites that you only rarely surf.

But, wait, there's more...

Marketing Your Blog or Articles
You are free to use my FreedReadR to load links to your own blogs, then distribute FreedReadR (along with the feeds.xml which contains your blog links) to your friends, family, everyone.

You're Syndicated, Baby!
After that, all your readers will have to do is run the program and click the "Check Feeds" button, and all your latest articles will appear in FreedReadR.

Do You Have RSS?
If you're blogging, then most likely you have RSS, even if you didn't know it. Here are some popular blog sites that provide RSS to your content and the links that you will need to use to feed your content.

Popular Blogging RSS Links

Use where blogname is the name of your blog.

For example mine looks like:

For more information see the blogger site at:
Use where blogname is the name of your blog.

For example mine looks like
For more information see the wordpress site at:
Use where blogname is the name of your tumblr blog.

One More Thing
Since FreedReadR allows your readers to add other RSS feeds, they have even more reason to use the program--and view your blog articles. Here's what I mean. Convince them to use the FreedReadR for your sites, because they can easily add other blogs and news feeds they are interested in.

Below is a list of just a few popular RSS feeds. You can simply click the Add New Feed button in FeedReadR and copy/paste these in to add them.

RSS Feeds of All Types
Yahoo! Top News

MIT's Technology Review Mag.

New York Times - U.S. Home

Popular Science Mag.

Wall Street Journal - Small Business

Yahoo! Sports

Want More?
The best way to find out if a specific source has RSS is to go to
and type the following search: site: rss where is the web site your interested in.
Google will search only that site for the letters rss, and generally will provide you with a link that works.

Keepin' It Simple

My program attempts to keep it simple.

You can:

1.) add new feeds

Click the Add New Feeds button. Add a unique name that will show up in the drop list that you will use to reference the feed. Add a URL that points to the feed. Check out the following image:

2.) delete feeds that don't work or you no longer follow. --Choose the one you want to delete in the drop list. Right-click the drop list and choose Delete Feed from the menu that appears.

3.) Click the Check Feeds button to load the latest feeds on either All of your available feeds or the specific one you've chosen in the drop list.

4.) You can copy the link for re-use, since many of them are so similar. Choose the one you want to copy in the drop list. Right-click the drop list and choose Copy Feed Link from the menu that appears.

5.) Read the specific article. Double-click the item in the list and your default Internet browser will open and load the link.

Get the software at:

Keep on learning, keep on writing.

~Newton Saber

100 Beginnings for Fiction Writers analysis of 100 novels and how we (as writers) learn from them.
The Writer's Invisible Mentor My writing project about writing and learning to write
Saber Slice: More on Creativity and Writing

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Success Is Yours, Yours Is Mine. (Length: 623 words)

First Works
The first stories and essays I wrote twenty years ago still stand as terrible, uninspired examples. I knew they were bad, so I determined to learn to write great purely from books and practice. Is that possible? It is if you find the right people.

No One Can Make You Great
No one can _make_ you a great writer
. However, there are those who reveal truths in such a way that it stokes the fires of greatness that already burn within you. Find those people.

Obviously, I'm still unknown, but it is possible that I am a great writer (you can decide for yourself by reading my blogs). If I am a great writer (or even moderately good) then you too have the hope of becoming a great writer.

Does all of this sound extremely arrogant? I understand how it would.

My Past Writing : Perfectly Terrible
My point is not that I'm a great writer, but rather that my writing was so perfectly terrible. If my writing has transformed, then the worst writers among us can expect the same of their work. If. Yes, if.

Two ifs, actually:
1. If you believe.
2. If you work.

Belief Changes Slower Than Knowledge
It has taken me 20 years to believe, but far less time to actually learn.

That's because there are only two writing problems:
1. Emotional
2. Technical

Technical : Six To Twelve Months
I suggest that you could learn to write at a professional level in six to twelve months. You could learn the technical. But, I'm assuming you focus and determine nothing will stop you from obtaining the result of great writing. Nothing. Not even the emotional.

Emotional Package
The emotional includes the intense connection you have to the words of your previously written pieces. You must allow the fires of greatness to burn away any chaff.
Even at the risk of great emotional pain.

How long will that take? Only a moment. Or, a lifetime. I cannot say. Only you can answer that question.

How We Answer A Question Reveals Our True Selves
What if someone guaranteed you writing success in six months, but required serious work?

For example:
1. No television.
2. Always either writing or reading (specific materials).
3. Produce 2000 words a day, every day, no matter what.

Would it be worth the sacrifice?
Consider how you really feel about the requirements? Should feelings have significance here? You desire a goal. If your emotions get in the way of the goal, shouldn't you be unmoved by your emotions? If you want the goal, shouldn't you simply submit to the discipline?

Not Fame and Fortune
Also, please note, I did not say fame and fortune. Fame and fortune are something entirely different than writing success.

Great Writing
Great writing is great writing no matter what. Great writing is the type of success I am discussing here.

Fame and Fortune Are Fickle
Remember, fame and fortune are fickle and smile upon the ignorant as often as they do the intelligent.

My Point?
If you want a shot at fame and fortune, go buy a lottery ticket.

If you want to transform into a great writer, do the things that great writers do.

Emotional Stretch
Determine to take action, even if those actions will stretch you emotionally.

Specific Actions
What specific actions should you take?
1. Find the people who stoke your fire
2. Believe
3. Work hard - do the things that great writers do

Who are the people?
How do I transform my beliefs?
What do great writers do?

Those are the questions I am currently working to answer (for myself and others) on my blogs.
Am I succeeding?

1. - The Writer's Invisible Mentor (learn to mentor yourself)
2. - Learn to write great while examining the beginnings of 100 published novels.
3. Original articles on Creativity and Writing along with belief
4. Original serialized stories
5. Original flash fiction, written for fun and example

What do you think? Are you in?
Keep on learning, keep on writing.

~Newton Saber

Thursday, July 29, 2010

[No] Barriers to Creativity

Creation From Nothing
Imagine if simply thinking about your novel could cause it to spring fully-formed from your forehead. If it were possible, then there would be no barriers to our creativity. You'd just think and your novel would appear in your hands. Of course, that's just as big of a myth as Athena and her birth from Zeus' forehead .

The Physical World
Simply thinking does not create anything physical. To get something physical, such as a book, we have to do something physical. In our case we have to use our mental energies of creation to take physical action to write.

Physical Barriers
The problem is that when we do something physical, we are challenged by physical barriers.

The more barriers we have the more likely we are to quit.

Okay, so we can't just think our novel into existence. That's out.
But, how can we eliminate the most barriers to our creativity. One way would be to remove the number of physical things we have to interact with.

Scratchy Stick
For example, I could get a stick and scratch out my ideas in the dirt.
That's not very permanent though.

Notebooks Are Cheap
Obviously, I can grab a notebook and a pen and write my entire book using only those low-tech tools.

That definitely eliminates some barriers because now I have fewer requirements than when I use a computer (Electricity, Typing ability, Operating System installed, etc.)
[* Stick with me here, I'm not a luddite (merriam-webster luddite) and I'm using a computer to write this. *]

Distractions Are Also Barriers
Using only paper and pen would definitely get rid of some distractions too.
Distractions are often barriers to creativity. One of the biggest distraction generators is obviously the computer and all of those wonderful tools.

Computer Distraction
The computer provides more distractions in the form of entertainment than almost any other tool in the world and yet there are a plethora of benefits to using a computer. [* Yes! I worked the word plethora into conversation.*]

Speed Benefits
I can type much faster than I can write, so I can almost keep up with my thinking. That actually helps alleviate some of the barriers to creativity.

Maintaining A Computer Can Be A Barrier
However, there are also quite a few barriers the computer creates, because I have to do so much work to maintain it.

Power Up, Updates, Upgrades
I hate turning my computer on and waiting for all the updates, virus checking, upgrades and all that. Sometimes I just want switch the thing on and start writing.

That's why I originally bought my AlphaSmart. (AlphaSmart Neo typing device).

Once the computer is started, I still have to start the word processor and that takes quite a while also.

Word Processor Barriers
This is where I am driving with this article. Since most of us are going to put up with the distractions and barriers that the computer forces upon us, we are going to use word processors.

Eliminate Word Processor Barrier
The word processor barrier is the one I determined to beat. I figured if I could even beat this one barrier to my creativity, I would be greatly helped.

Files and Folders Waste My Time
Have you ever had a great idea that you wanted to capture on your computer real quick?

That's when you come face to face with all those barriers. You have to get the word processor started. Then once you type it all in you have to save it. But, when you go to save the thing you have to decide where to put the file. Put it in the wrong place and you'll never find it again.

Then even after you decide where you'll place it, you have to decide upon a name for the file. Name it poorly and you have great difficulty finding it again, because later it doesn't make sense that you named it that.

Remove the Word Processor Barrier
That's why I wrote the DailyJournal software. It starts fast, can be installed and run from a Flash (thumb/USB) drive, so I can take it anywhere and it provides a search capability.

There are only two instructions to use the DailyJournal
1.) Start it.
2.) Type

You don't even have to think of a file name. It does that for you.
It stores your data according to the date. Yes, you can have as many entries per day as you want and it will name the files and save them for you.

Not A Word Processor (More and Less)
You could write your entire book in the DailyJournal. You can format text and all that, but it's really for daily writing and organizing. Then, if you want to you can right-click in the daily journal and tell it to open the entry with your main word processor (MS-Word, OpenOffice, etc.).

I provide the DailyJournal for FREE, More about this below.

Snapshot Functionality
It also provides a snapshot functionality that allows you to grab an image of anything on your screen, even video stills. As long as the DailyJournal is running you just press Ctrl-Shift-J, your cursor will turn into a + (crosshair) and then you drag it to create the area you want to copy. Easy as that. Then you paste the image wherever you want.

Check it out at my web site:
Download the installation package at:

Why Would I Provide It For Free?
Well, I do ask for PayPal donations. See my web site.
2. And also, I figure if you help people then it'll all come back around.
3. Plus, remember my name, Newton Saber, because I'm writing books and I want you to buy them when they're available.

So, check it out and I am sure you'll find that it is a great for helping you remove some barriers to your creativity. If nothing else, it will encourage you to write every day.
It's also a great way to track what you did and when.

~Newton Saber
Check out all my blogs.