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Showing posts from October, 2008

October 2008: Monthly Post Recap

Preparing a Novel Manuscript (Typescript) to Submit to Editors or Literary Agents

This is a guest-post by professional writer and editor, Ms Lillie Ammann. Read below to know further about her
You've finished your manuscript. Now you're ready to submit it to an agent or a publisher. But is your manuscript really ready? Let's assume that you have honed your craft and the quality of your work is superb. What can you do to increase the odds that an agent or publisher will offer you a contract?

Aspiring authors are understandably eager to submit their masterpiece to an agent or an editor at a publishing house. But before you pack that manuscript to ship or click-send an e-mail message, take a little time to improve the chances of catching the agent's or editor's attention.

Edit the manuscript one more time

If you haven't read the manuscript aloud, reading aloud helps you catch awkward phrasings, omitted words, and other mistakes that are easily overlooked when reading silently. As writers, we tend to read what we meant to write, not what is actual…

How to Create a Mobile Edition of Your Website/Blog?

Here is a message I received from a reader, Sarath Ganesh: How to convert my site into a mobile one?
Please tell me
OK, Ganesh, here in this post, I will explain this in detail. Having a mobile edition to your website/blog is always good, as it will be effectively served to a large group of mobile internet users.

Way 1: Google Reader Method

This is the simplest way to enable your mobile website. Just input your site’s feed URL here: http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/feed/[the complete URL of your feed]

Your mobile edition will look like: http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/feed/http://feeds.feedburner.com/cutewriting

This method to create mobile edition is my recommendation, as it is simple and straightforward. The Google reader has high availability as well.

Way 2: Google Mobile Optimized Site Creator

Google has a special service to create a mobile optimized site here: http://www.google.com/gwt/n. Input your site’s URL and it will automatically create a mobile-optimized edition.

Way …

Grammar Tip: I Vs. Me, Who Vs. Whom, and Starting a Sentence With So

My reader, Monica Borden yesterday enquired through a comment:I've been a subscriber for just a few weeks, and have not taken the time to read through your archives. Would you know off the top of your head if you have a post or posts that address the use of "who vs. whom" and "She and I" and when you can use "me" instead of "I" when referring to oneself? I am also interested in knowing what words are improper to begin a sentence with. I see writers beginning sentences with: So... and my gut tells me you should not do that, is that correct?I will give clarifications on those aspects of grammar in this post.

I Vs. Me

I will address this first. As you said Monica, there is a post in the archives addressing this: Some English Errors to Avoid. By the way, Monica, you could have easily found this from archives, had you used the search feature.

You can read in this post quite a few other grammar aspects as well.

Who Vs. Whom

This is almost similar to…

Search Engine On Page Optimization Guide: Major Factors in On-page Website Optimization That Can Decide Your Site's Ranking on Search Results

On-page website optimization is as important as the off-page techniques, such as building links to your site and doing social media promotion. On-page search engine optimization includes these factors: content optimization, title and Meta description optimization, keyword research and analysis, outbound links, the HTML code of the website, internal link structure, update frequency, etc. We will see all of these factors in detail in this post.

The Blog Content Optimization

First and foremost thing in on-page website optimization is of course the content optimization. Google webmaster guidelines tells all webmasters to prepare content for readers, and not for search engines:Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as "cloaking."There is quite a bit of speculation floating in the blogosphere as to how to copywrite for SEO. People say…

SEO Tools: Basic Website SEO Analyzer Tool to Analyze Meta Tags, PageRank, Page Size, and More

Here is a tool for you to analyze your page’s SEO. The tool provided by SEOCentro.com analyzes various aspects of a website, including PageRank, page size, Meta tags, keywords, links, etc. It can give you a very basic all-in-one report of your website. Bookmark this page and use it to check all your pages.







Meta Tag Analyzer



Check your meta tags!


example: http://www.host.com.

URL




Spider Robots
GoogleBot
Yahoo! Slurp
MSNBot
(optional)

User Agent * (optional)




Please enter the access code as displayed above.

Access code






Online Meta Tag Analyzer
provide by SEOCentro.



Link to this page: Copy-paste this code to your website:<a href="http://cutewriting.blogspot.com/2008/10/seo-tools-basic-website-seo-analyzer.html">SEOCentro CuteWriting SEO Analysis Tool</a>

NaNoWriMo Afoot: Some Tips to Win This Novel Writing Game

As you read in my last post, NaNoWriMo is a fun novel writing game. It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the month is November. Aspiring writers cannot afford to miss deadlines, and this writing game is quite a bit about keeping deadlines. Completing 50,000 or more words of pure fiction in 30 days’ time is sheer fun ride. Here I have some tips to equip you for it.

Make sure you register at NaNoWriMo website before 30th this month.

1. Plan Ahead

At this eleventh hour, planning ahead may seem awkward. But time is always valuable. You got three days to go before the competition actually starts. You can decide your plot, characters, schedule, time when you sit to write those 2000 words daily, maybe watch a few films or read a few short stories to gain some ideas, or read some related non-fiction as part of your research.

You should make sure to write at a fixed period every day. This should be decided in these three days.

These three days and the thirty days coming after that a…

Punctuation Tip: The Question Mark?

Are these good:

How awesome!?
Oh my goodness!?
Did he say, “did you find him”?
We will see how to use the question mark correctly in this post.

Question mark basically, as you well know, is used to express a question.

Examples:
Who is the current chairman of Microsoft?
What does the governor general of the UN do?

In case of direct questions only should you use the question mark. In the following cases, question mark should not be used.

Examples:
Wrong: My friend asked me where I was going?
Right: Neena asked him where he found the stone.

Using Question Mark With Quotation Marks

Question mark, as opposed to the period or comma, may be placed inside or outside the quotation marks. If the question is part of the quoted element, the question mark should be inside the quotes. Otherwise, it should be outside.

Examples:
He asked me, “Why did you go there at all?”
Did John say, “I love you”?

Another punctuation mark that behaves just like this is the exclamation mark.

Question Marks on Titles

I sugges…

Deepavali (Diwali), the Festival of Lights: India's National Festival Is Today!

Today, India will be lit with oil lamps all over. Today is Deepavali. Though it is generally a Hindu festival, we don’t make a religious distinction here, and Deepavali is to us, a National festival.

Deepavali’s legend dates back to the Indian epic, Ramayana. It is the day on which the human incarnation of God Vishnu, Rama, comes home after an exile of fourteen years in the jungle, during when he slayed the rakshasa (demon), Ravana. The people of Ayodhya, the country of Rama, celebrated the homecoming of the prince with lamps lit all over the country. Deepavali takes it name thus:

Deepa: Lamp
Avali: A collection of lamps
However, in only certain areas here, we still celebrate it with lamps. Most of the people celebrate it by blasting firecrackers (there is no legend of that). My recommendation is to celebrate Deepavali by lighting lamps and not using firecrackers. At least the noise pollution will be reduced! Sadly, the firecracker tradition is so deep-rooted that now rarely do people …

How to Remove Duplicate Content From Your Blogger Blog Posts to Avoid SERP Penalty

Duplicate content to an extent may not affect your blog’s search engine rankings. However, there are quite a few times when it can go out of control and start to hit your rankings badly, even without your knowledge. Here are ways to curb it.

What Is Duplicate Content

Do you have a blog in which you post regularly? Do any two different URLs in that blog have the same content? Then it is duplication. In case of self-hosted blogs, various features like print preview pages, monthly archive pages, category pages, etc., can cause duplicate content. In such cases, normally search engines rank one of the pages lower. However, in extreme cases, when your blog has a number of pages with the same content, the blog can be penalized.

Google puts it:
In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we'll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the …

Vocaboly: Vocabulary Building Software Application for All Learning Levels

Today, I would like to invite your attention to a software program that really helps build your vocabulary—Vocaboly. With more than 12,000 words already in it, Vocaboly is perfect for examinations like GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, GRE, etc.

To the list of 12,000 words, you can add newer words as well. It’s simple interface helps you learn new words well without relying on complex graphics.

The tucows-award winning program comes as a low-priced, free trial version. You can download the trial software from here: Vocaboly trial. The full version is priced at $39.9.

Main Features

The major features of Vocaboly are these:

Big Vocabulary: Vocaboly has 12,000 words with phonetic symbols and pronunciation.
Word cards: Flash cards that help you learn words faster.
Word difficulty level: Each word has a difficulty level, from zero to five.
Multi-user support
Word ticker: Which displays the words automatically
Recall: To recall meanings of individual words
Spelling: Which spells the words by meaning
Listening test
M…

Enable Individual Meta Descriptions to Different Blogger Blog Posts

A blogger should well understand the importance of enabling Meta description tags to their blogs. In self-hosted blogs, this is pretty easy as it is a matter of editing the head content. However, in Blogger blogs, you can normally edit the Meta tags only for the home page, and not for individual posts. If you enable Meta tag on home page, it will be duplicated over all your posts, causing you to have duplicate Meta tags (Google Webmaster Tools can indicate this). Here is a trick with which you can have individual Meta description tags for each of your posts in Blogger.

Since adding Meta description to every individual post is rather difficult (particularly when you have hundreds of blog posts), you can make the post title itself act as the Meta description. It will get you individual description tag for each post, and it is very good for the site’s SEO.

Make sure that you have a very descriptive title for each post. That helps to rank high in search results. Follow these steps:

Step 1:…

Google Translation Widget for Blogs & W3C Validation Rules

Translating your blog text can be a great way to attract more users from the world. If you have an internationally relevant blog, and you have traffic mainly from the English-speaking countries, then you definitely have to add a translation widget to your blog. And the best one available out there is definitely Google Translate.

W3C Valid Google Translate Code

The problem with Google translate code is that it doesn’t validate to W3C Consortium’s coding standards. So, it can induce some errors in your page, if you add it directly. Having a valid code definitely helps in terms of SEO. So, here I have edited the code to make it valid:

Copy and paste this code to your blog’s sidebar to have a W3C valid Google Translate widget:<script src=http://www.gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=http://www.google.com/ig/modules/translatemypage.xml&amp;up_source_language=en&amp;w=160&amp;h=60&amp;title=&amp;border=&amp;output=js></script>
Bookmark this page and always come back …

Grammar Tip: Than Vs. Then

At many places, I saw such sentence construction as in:

He has always been smarter then me.
I wanted it to be more black then red.
The reticulated python is slightly longer then the Anaconda.


At the place of ‘then’ in all these sentences, it should be ‘than’. Always, the comparative form uses ‘than’ not ‘then’. I thought I should address this as a separate post so that people may notice it and change.

The Uses of Then

The word then is used to refer to any point of time in the past or the future:
Last year we got married. Then it was easy to find a home.
Next year my friend gets married. Then I should be there as his best man.


Other meanings of then are these:

After something:We have to find Franky first, then John.Therefore/Thus:You said you have do it. Then why don’t you hurry?By the time that:By then you will have reached your home.But on the other hand:She was here, but then she can’t be there too.
The Uses of Than

Than comes mainly in comparative forms, in which one object or process i…

India's Chandrayaan-1: The First Indian Moon Mission

Today brings a lot of happiness to us Indians. Our first mission to explore the Lunar surface has been launched successfully from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, today 22 Oct, at 6:22 IST. The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), the premier Indian space research center is behind this achievement.

Chandrayaan is a Sanskrit word, which breaks down thus:

Chandra—the moon
Yaan—voyage/vehicle for voyage


Chandrayaan’s objectives include as quoted by the ISRO:

Carry out high resolution mapping of topographic features in 3D, distribution of various minerals and elemental chemical species including radioactive nuclides covering the entire lunar surface using a set of remote sensing payloads. The new set of data would help in unravelling mysteries about the origin and evolution of solar system in general and that of the moon in particular.Realize the mission goal of harnessing the science payloads, lunar craft and the launch vehicle with suitable ground support sys…

Buckle Up for This Year's NaNoWriMo!

Have you ever started a novel and gone short of accomplishing the task, cowed away by the sheer pressure and apprehension on the quality of your work? If so, NaNoWriMo is for you. This is the short for National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a one-month long novel-writing program starting on November 1 and ending on the 30th. So, be sure to register free for the program before Oct 31.

Within those thirty days, you need to finish a novel up to 175 pages (50,000 words). The specialty of this program is that the quality of the work doesn’t matter; only the quantity does. You can submit any crappy novel of 50,000 words, if you want to win the game. It’s a program that exists there only to remove fear and apprehension from the minds of writers.

Since 1999 NaNoWriMo is here, allowing people to participate. Now, almost 300,000 participants have won the contest.

NaNoWriMo is only a jovial contest, without any prize. The only prize you get is an online certificate of your successful complet…

20 Beautiful Professional Blogger Templates You May Want to Use

Professional blogging definitely requires you to use an elegant, versatile template. The importance of a template doesn’t stop at just the looks. You have to plan well ahead as to how your blog should look and perform. This planning should include: Where the content will appear, link list at the top, link list at the bottom, size of the blog, placement of widgets like archives, social network icons, advertisements, etc.

Concerning the prettiness, there are two types of templates—professional ones and aesthetic ones. The professional templates are more user-friendly, giving access to all blog’s features more easily, while remaining very eye-candy. While the aesthetic templates are rich in beauty and multimedia elegance. If you ask me, I would suggest you use a unique professional template—clean and elegant.

Using an aesthetic template with quite a bit of graphics and Flash content has certain disadvantages. The blog size will increase, Search engine indexing problem (search engines do…