Monday Warm Up: Helpful Writing Tools

Posted 8 October, 2012 by DLWhite in Exercises, Writers Write 0 Comments

Note: There was no 30WriteNow post yesterday. Today’s will be coming sometime before midnight and if I can make up yesterday’s I will. 

I’m trying to get back into regular posting. Fingers crossed, man.  Here’s the Monday Morning Warm-Up (as always courtesy Jo Knowles):

MMWU: What’s the most helpful tool you use in revision or in creating first drafts?

So, I have to admit that I don’t use a lot of ‘tools’. I know they’re available, but I just haven’t got into the habit of using them. I have an account at Evernote, that I’ve made a few notes in, but I wouldn’t say I depend on it to write. I’ve tried Scrivener as well but found that I don’t really organize my thoughts in chapters and beats likes that. It sat empty until I deleted the program. I write linearly. I don’t write scenes as they come to me, though if I think of something that needs to happen later on, I write it down so I can remember it when I come to it. My process may not be the best (considering I have yet to finish my novel), but trying to change what I do to match what everyone else does isn’t something that works for me.

For me, a first draft is a rough outline and just WRITING. Spewing words, using the wrong words, the wrong tenses, all the “justs” and “ands” I go back and delete later. It’s not stopping to look up the name of that restaurant in LA you heard about that serves awesome vodka gimlets… it’s placing markers for sex scenes [insert sex HERE] and moving on to just be DONE.

Writing is editing, I hear all the time. Anyone can write. Really. the beauty is in the editing, the rewriting, the adding and deleting and polishing and coaxing the story.  The time for me to use fancy tools, if I were to use them, is after I have a draft done, or nearly finished. I take what I have and create an outline of how everything went and then line things up to that and delete what doesn’t fit.

I’m a pretty simplistic person, though. About the only tool I REALLY use is Dr. Wicked Write or Die. It’s the best way for me to just write without distraction, to get the words out and not worry about anything. Another tool like this is Pomodoro. This is nothjing more than a cute little timer that you set, and while it’s going you, do nothing but that activity you’ve set yourself to do. Whether it’s writing or data entry or riding the bike, it gives you a set amount of time to get things done.

I’m all for using tools if you need them, to get things accomplished. What are your favorite tools?


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