The Blogging from A-Z Challenge continues today. Throughout April I’m posting about my life as a writer, including my inspirations, frustrations and celebrations.
Today, I’m sharing some of the tools that I use for writing.
Pens! Most writers have hundreds of them and I’m no exception. I have ball point pens and rollerballs in various colours for when I want to get my ideas down quickly. My favourites are Parker Jotters and Uni-ball UB-157 Eye Fine Rollerballs.
I come up with my most creative ideas when I use a fountain pen. There’s just something about the smooth indigo ink that gets my imagination flowing. I have a classic Parker fountain pen that I’ve had since high school, but I like to drool over the luxury pens by Montblanc, Manuscript and Faber Castell.
I find Microsoft Word the easiest word processor to use because I’ve been using it since forever so I know where everything is! I use the smart headings and the navigation pane to easily jump between chapters and the ‘track changes’ feature is useful when editing.
I’ve been using Google Docs more often lately, mainly because it’s handy to be able to access my WiP from multiple devices without having to use a memory stick or emailing myself. It’s also good to have everything backed up online in the event of your laptop meeting an untimely end.
I’ve used Scrivener for writing novels before and it has some great features. You can visualise the structure of your novel with ‘post-it’ style cards on a cork board and you can attach notes and images. Since my old laptop died, I unfortunately lost the software though, so I haven’t used it in a while. But I’d definitely recommend it.
I use Trello to organise just about every aspect of my life, and that includes my writing. You can assign due dates and create checklists for tasks to keep you on track and you can also link Trello to various other apps such as Alexa, Google calendar, emails and so on. It’s also fun to attach backgrounds, labels, stickers and images to bring your ideas to life.
I have a separate ‘board’ for each WiP where I create ‘cards’ for each chapter, setting and character with summaries and pictures. I add all my new ideas there to refer to later. I also have a board for general writing notes where I keep a list of competition deadlines, an editing checklist and links to useful articles and blog posts.
I like to search Pinterest for images to inspire my world-building and character development. You can find some amazing photographs and digital artwork there. I keep a different board for each WiP so I can easily find everything.
Before you go…
What tools do you use for writing and planning? Do you prefer good old-fashioned pen and paper or do you like to experiment with tech tools?
At this moment I have Word, Excel, Google Chrome and Aeon Timeline open. I also write my novels in Scrivener but shorts in Word. And my dusk has a mug of pens of all breeds plus pencils.
I prefer pen and paper — and Word, of course. I’ve had too many tech failings in the last couple of years to truly trust technology (besides, I watched the Terminator movies a time or two too many, so there’s that). Just last week, I realised I lost an entire short story collection I’d been working on because the hard drive I used to back everything up had malfunctioned and so had the flash drive I had used to the same purpose and my Cloud had gone haywire, too. Grr. I still have notebooks with handwritten notes (on character, plot and setting) so I can always write those stories again…
Ronel visiting with the A-Z Challenge music and writing: Sweet Country