Writing a book over the phone

Mount the phone on the seat in front in a clear plastic bag. I use the message ease onscreen keyboard instead of a Querty one.

Step Two: Idea!

Once you get used to it, its much faster then redular onscreen keyboards. I load up Lesser Pad and use my phone in landscape mode. Apart from that, you need to wrestle with your on-screen keyboard. I've been using Hacker's Keyboard with the dictionary addon lately.

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It's not the most customizable thing out there but it has three different layouts, and working arrow keys I have the worst luck trying to steer the cursor by touch alone. Still trying to feel my way around with it.

Only bad thing is that backspace moves with the different layouts! Just keep trying to practice with typing this way and you'll kinda get the knack, though it'll be slower than using a real keyboard.


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You could always try to carry a portable Bluetooth keyboard with you, but I dunno how feasible that'd be. I'm still going to experiment a bit with on-screen ones, but it's an "any port in a storm" kinda situation for me. Edit: Guess I'm the only one who doesn't keep their data turned on all the time. The joys of prepaid!


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  • I am constantly writing on my IPhone and have found Scrivener for IOS to be a great tool for writing mostly first and second draft , managing the story, and keeping track of notes and resources. There is a plethora of abilities and it is user's choice on how to organize the story. I suppose lost importantly it allows me to transfer everything over to the windows app and continue where I left off. Two pictures to give you an idea how I set it up. I make a chapter and start writing. Then I make a note after each chapter which I fill with ideas for the chapter, where I want it to go, any plot holes I need to rectify, etc.

    I just write in my notes app on my iphone, then copy and paste it into the master doc when I'm back home after work. Nothing fancy, but it works. I really love writing this way. There are less distractions since it's harder to just mindlessly browse the internet. I also type slower on my phone, which gives me more time to think about what I'm writing, while I'm also less likely to go back and change what I've written since it's more of a hassle.

    Some of my best writing has been done on my phone. I've gotten a lot of writing done on my phone while on the bus. It's amazing what 15 minutes of writing per day will do when you do it 5 days a week. Surprisingly capable little app, syncs with my online storage.

    I use the Google keyboard for Android and do gesture typing swiping? Not as fast as typing, but faster than texting. I will often write on my phone just using the native Notes app. It's a workable solution for when I have downtime but am not at my computer. Predictive isn't worth having on for me when I'm writing and I've never liked voice to text so I just stick with typing.

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    I email it to myself either when I have to stop or when I get home and want to add it to the document. I also have an iPad and a bluetooth keyboard for when I'm travelling and don't want to take my laptop but will be doing more typing than is comfortable on my phone. Just a few sentences every day. Took two years. Tenty-one torps left, ser. Thanks Weapons. Modesitt, Jr. Come here! Skips mobile phone was vibrating. He took it out and flipped it open. Susan appeared in its small screen. I'll meet you at 8, the note read. On the wall was written: ACAB. The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion , and it shouldn't.

    In some books, such as my edition of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight , italics are used for internal thoughts, but the tradition is to not mark up thoughts. Please note that these conventions apply to fiction only. The conventions in non-fiction are different. From these general guidelines you can deduce that the "convention is to use italics for An example with both voices from a telephone and internal thought could therefore look like this:.

    I wonder who this is, John thought as he picked up the phone. Hello John, it's your mother, the tinny voice quacked from the broken speaker. I need a new telephone, John thought, and turned off the speakerphone function. I know you're busy. Since telephone conversations are basically passive scenes, they are used to impart new information that is needed for the story line or to create conflict.

    Chitchat is not part of the conversation. Begin the conversation at the meat of the discussion. For example, if the phone rings and the main character answers, use a transaction, such as:. Once the information or conflict set-up ends, don't drag on the call just end it with a line such as:. Structurally dialogue goes in quotes and you don't vary from that unless it's very beneficial, intuitive, and your audience will accept it.

    What POV is your novel written in? What is the point of the conversation? Are you: looking to drop information, trying to develop characterization, ramping up conflict, offering a panacea, or something else? The point of the conversation and it's greater position within the book will tell you how much information is needed. What is the pace of the book at the time that you are having the conversation and what is this conversation going to do to that?

    So you likely will have that inner monlogue italics going on if its engendering a lot of thought.

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    And it's possible that the narrator will "space out" and miss part of the conversation. In which case the reader only hears the bits of the conversation that the narrator pays attention to. In this form you likely do want all 2nd party communication in quotes. In which case they might only hear the person on the phone on the end that is observed. This gives you the opportunity to hide what's going on, but to see the outward effect on the person who had the call. You also have further ability to narrate, pause, and introduce subtext.


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    The omniscient 3rd or even the cinematic could essentially perform that "split screen" view you sometimes get in a show where you can see both kids in both bedrooms talking and doing their various things. But, you can also keep the dialogue on the otherside of the phone hidden by having the narrator more interested in describing something else. If you're close 3rd, this could be the same function we saw in 1st, an examination of how the conversation affects the speaker. Or, maybe the narrator, is more focused on the killer that's hiding in the closet or outside the window; so the phone conversation is only given the barest treatment.

    If your conversation is trying to provide information, you likely are using the phone conversation as an info dump. This can and should be done when info needs to be supplied quickly, but its also a trap as, done to often, it becomes a bore. Usually these types of scenes need to be short to avoid the pitfall and are better if the information is provided in a new way excepting the case where your characters are way too interesting and can make phone conversations between themselves interesting. If you are trying to ramp up tension, then its possible the information imparted does that job, but its also possible that withholding something will give the reader a tense little puzzle to solve that imparts more to the story than you can by telling.

    A phone conversation is a good way to slow the pace of your novel, so it might be good as a sequel following action to release, but not alleviate tension research: scene-sequel for more info.

    How to Write a Book on Your Smartphone

    If you're trying to change the relationship of characters then the characters will push eachothers buttons in good or bad ways and the focus will be how those button presses change the conversation and the dynamic between those characters. There's no right way for the generic phone conversation, but you can turn these "knobs" on any conversation to create the conversation your story needs. For further information you may just want to look into how to write good dialogue.

    At the end of the day that's what a phone conversation is and you write it, largely, as you would write any other piece of dialogue or plot element: There should be a conflict. You should determine if it's resolved or not. And then you should make something worse in someway by the end of it. Given cloudchaser's post on the use of italics, you'll note that neither thought processes nor dialogue should use italics by convention.

    However, two sections imply you may still have cause: You can italicize these words from the phone if you wish as it would fall under "far away" depending on your circumstances or "from a device". However, in both cases you still use quotes. If you have decided to display the text as heard from the 2nd party, then your structure can correctly italicize or not italicize the text.