Having the right tools for writing always helps the process go smoothly. Tools can be anything. Did you start with your favorite pen when you began jotting down your thoughts? Or what about reference books–I thoroughly enjoy thumbing through them even when I’m between projects, just to get the feel of what’s out there. Do you have your favorite software? Do you support Microsoft Word person or Google docs?
Here’s my list of four top writing tools. I use different tools when I’m working on different phases of writing:
- Beginning a project I start with an Excel spreadsheet. It helps me spread out my thoughts, pace the action, and see glaring holes in the storyline.
- As I begin the first chapter, I rely on the Review tab in Microsoft Word. I leave sidebar comments along the way. Did I leave a hint to a sub-story I want to include later? Can I insert an innocent phrase that will leave devastating repercussions later? All these need to be noted so I don’t forget them later on.
- Delving into the story, I rely on two computer monitors so I can refer to different areas within the project. Have I given too much backstory? Am I being consistent?
- I am a huge fan of shared files. I’m sure there are others, but I use Dropbox. It’s easy. It’s free for my level of use. But most importantly, I can grab it wherever there’s an internet connection. If I come up with an idea while cooking dinner, it only takes a moment to grab the laptop and go. There’s even an app for that!
- Last but definitely not least, is attending writers conferences. These are vital to the writing process. I have met some incredibly gifted writers, and all they wanted to do was share their knowledge. The people you meet may become some of your best friends.
Those are my top five. I have more. I don’t know where I’d be without my ever-present Thesaurus and Dictionary. Another tool I’m beginning to use is Scrivener. And we mustn’t forget the simple tools like your favorite chair, tea, or background music. They’re all important.
We all have our favorite tools, what are yours?