Wednesday, July 18, 2012

For the Novice Writer: Using Google

Where Is It?

People use the pc like they do a typewriter - to create text and little else. The net opened the world to those who know how to access it. Learning the details takes time, but you can learn.

I suggest you make Google your friend. Here's the URL (uniform resource locator) if you need it. You'll see it in the bar at the top of your screen. Anything you need to know can be researched from the Google website. It's the world's biggest help menu. If you want to know "how to use facebook" - type that in. Using quotations around a set of words tells Google to look only for that exact phrase. If you type in how to use facebook (no quotes) then it will look for the phrase first, and then show you everywhere the words "how" "to" "use" and "facebook" are found. Actually ... it will skip "to" because it's like the, and, in, out, etc. Too common to be a useful search term. But say you need to know how to format a manuscript. "manuscript format" formatting manuscripts or manuscript formatting are all things you can type.

Other Tricks

Click on the Images button and you can then drag an image to the search bar to search for a similar image. You can also type in the name of an item to find images of it. Try typing in the name of a character in one of your books. You'll be surprised what you find. Go to the bottom of the page and click Advanced Search. This lets you set additional terms. 

Google Account

I would suggest you create a Google account. This will give you an email, let you set up a Blogspot blog, help you get a Picasa image account, and more. If you have a Google account, cool. If not, go to the Google homepage, and in the upper right you will see "sign in." Click that; create a username (I always use my author name so every place is consistent). Create a password that you can remember.

I use an index card box with alphabet tabs, and keep each password on a 3x5 card. That way, I don't have to be logged in to my pc to read them. I put the site URL on the upper left, then underneath that the user name, password, and in the upper right, the date created. I file them by the site name. I can't say I've never lost a password, but because I consistently do this, it happens once a year or so, rather than all the time.

Once you create the Google account, you can set up your search preferences. I would suggest you tell it to open new results in a new window (or tab). This way, if you are searching for an item, and click to open an article, when you finish reading you can close the window and your search results will still be there. You can go to the next item. It saves you a lot of hassle not to have to go back a page or six or twenty if you start clicking forward in your article. Be sure to save your preferences.

Google Queen

People say I'm the Google Queen. I doubt that, but when people ask me a question, most of the time I can find the answer I Google. You can too, now that you know how to look.
Kayelle Allen is an award-winning, multi-published author. Her heroes and heroines include badass immortals, warriors who purr, and agents who find the unfindable--or hide it forever. She is known for unstoppable heroes, uncompromising love, and unforgettable passion.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

Google can be a writer's good pal... as long as the cyberminions don't start getting up to no good!