Site Transformation: New Tools. New Ideas.
If you’ve had a chance to look around the website, you’ll notice new posts are up. There are two video posts, a new format for the site altogether, and 18 articles are now updated. Initially, there were ninety-three articles on this site, but now only 58 remains and more are likely to be reverted to draft status. It’s important to get to the point where everything is current and actionable, so anyone following trying out a tip for themselves doesn’t hit a dead end. I also have a list of 50 more articles to add to the rest of 2018. A lot of it comes from combing forums and online conversations to log the questions writers are asking about craft, marketing their novels, and how to get published.
I also have a goal to compile the best of the most popular posts in a 2018 Year Book for Fiction Writer Pro fans to download. Becoming the ultimate writer’s resource involves a lot of steps.
Expenses Update – Yoast. Google Screencast.
$89 Yoast Upgrade
This SEO app will help boost the site’s visibility to search engines, so when a writer types a related question into Google or Bing, FWP has a chance of being the answer that pops up.
$24 Google Screencast
Google Screencast lets you record your desktop for training as well as web video using your computer’s camera. If you’ve used WebEx or Adobe Connect, it is very similar but with unique Google integration. The Chrome plugin saves video files directly to your Google drive, and from there it’s a few clicks to have it edited and uploaded to YouTube.
There is a free level for this tool, but it adds a watermark. For the $24, you get the watermark removed and also a simple video editing tool.
Having worked in the video production field all for a long time, I’ve had the opportunity to buy lots of software. $24 is a fantastic price for what this tool that’s easy enough for anyone to learn how to use it and make great videos.
Progress Summary – New Posts. Old Posts.
- 93 Posts at the start
- 33 Reverted to draft status, deleted a few
- 18 Updated
- 3 New Posts
- 40 More to update, fixing broken links & missing images
What’s Next for FWP?
I’m also a fan of his podcast, and last week’s guest, Whitney Johnson started a train of thought that is changing some of what this site will become. Don’t worry, I still plan to make it a writer’s resource with actionable tips, but it can also be more.
Whitney Johnson specializes in disruption. She built her career and a business around helping people identify where they can come into the marketplace, industry, or niche to disrupt it and in turn create success for themselves. She made interesting points about differentiating between Market Risk and Competitive Risk.
Competitive risk is when you create a business venture, or you’re going into a market where there is already an established customer base, as well as other businesses or entities in that space looking to serve that audience. Market risk is when you create a whole new way of doing something or create a product that fills a need that isn’t being addressed yet by anyone else.
Listening to that, I realized FictionWriterPro.com sits in the Competitive Risk model, an entry into a business arena where there are thousands of websites out there attempting to do the same thing. The only difference is I am going to forums and social media looking for the questions that writers have and, in turn, creating articles and videos to answer those questions.
But the podcast has me thinking, “How can I become more of a disruptor and in turn reach more people and do something that is going to benefit those who come to the site? What does their journey look like, and am I helping them achieve their goals?”
Videos stand out in this space but are not wholly unique. It’s natural to use video for product demonstrations or to teach a process. Can video be impactful to teach writing technique? Joanna Penn does a fantastic job with the videos. She’s personable, and she puts things into a context that writers can understand no matter where they are along that publication journey.
We are all on a learning journey to become better writers. Ideally, that should be our goal for our entire writing career. So what can this site do that is different? Let’s go back to the podcast and talk about competitive risk which seems like a good bet because you already know your audience is there. But, Market Risk is what Johnson describes as the disruptor.
I’m developing an idea for a writing product – something I wish I had, but it doesn’t exist – yet.
Someone has to start.
The idea came initially from a WIP and the concept may sound a little bit familiar to you. Imagine if you had a room you could walk into and within the walls, there are microscopic pinholes that control temperature, airflow and smells to create a virtual sensory environment. And then you have projectors that create anything your imagination comes up. You give voice commands to conjure images, and then the associated sensory input you’re describing. The floor moves around in multi-directions so that you can walk in this space and interact with the things that you’re creating.
The experience is more than virtual reality. You’re not wearing VR goggles, you’re in a physical space creating your story. It’s like dictation on acid. If this sounds a little bit like a holodeck you would be correct.
The technology to create it exists today. There’s no waiting for the future because it is already here. It may not be mainstream the way it reads in fiction, but in ten years how much of this will be an accepted norm, a daily part of our lives?
Artificial intelligence is fascinating, and if you wonder about its ability to impact our lives, read this article about a project at Facebook last year which the company was forced to shut down when the AI invented their own language.
I envision a perfect mashup of Scrivener, Grammarly and Dragon Naturally Speaking rolled into a product with another layer of intelligence that can help writers weave details into scenes and full novels.
I’ve outlined the concept with essential feature requirements and advanced requirements. Building a product is not unlike writing a novel. You need to get your rough draft worked out before you add the finishing touches that make it a great user experience. That starts with building the beta version of the app and using tests and user feedback to make it better.
In the podcast, Johnson made another interesting point. “When you’re building something new look at what you don’t have enough of and turn that to your advantage.”
Looking at the website, the approach I’m taking, and where I want to go, the missing resource is traffic. I need more people coming to FWP to see what’s here and share feedback for it to grow.
Making low traffic an advantage means I can freely experiment with the type of content I’m creating, and it’s delivery. It will also give me time to develop the initial beta of the app, which will launch first on Amazon Alexa. The concept can then move to other voice-activated platforms until it’s eventually a stand-alone program.
Writing with voice dictation keeps your thoughts on the story and lets you close your eyes and describe the action and setting. Smart tools to help weave prewritten descriptions would layer in the texture and details needed for strong reader engagements.
What kind of writing assist do you wish you had? Please share your thoughts and share this article with other writers.