Monday, September 27, 2010
Do you have any special tools that you use for your writing work? Do you use any special editors, or software just for writers?
Over the past few years, I haven't. My toolbox included only Pilot Gel Pens, 5 subject lined notebooks, and Microsoft Word.
With the Gel Pens and notebooks, I write the first draft. I don't write longhand, or I'd need the NSA cryptographic computers to decipher what I've written. I actually print the first draft. Turns out that I can print very quickly, so I can write 5-10 pages an hour pretty easily. And I can actually read my printing when I get done.
I think the reason that printing by hand works for me, is that I don't have to think about creating the words, they flow off the pen. Although I'm getting better, what I have found it that it's more difficult for me to type the words directly.
When I am editing however, I will rewrite complete paragraphs from the keyboard. It's just easier for me to create the first draft by hand.
Lately I have been exploring some other tools for writing. I have been playing with Scrivener, and frankly I like it. I can see that having a tool that lets you organize all your research in the same area as your writing files, could be very useful. Plus having a corkboard like utility to let you move story elements around at will, seems like a great benefit. I'm thinking about trying it on the next project.
I recently bought a 5 dollar app for my iPad called iaWriter. I haven't used it a lot yet, but I love it's simplicity. I find that Microsoft Word has a number of characteristics that get in my way while trying to complete a manuscript. The auto-correct, grammar checking, and a bunch of other things don't help me, but get in the way more than anything. This new app lets you focus on the words, and you format it later.
What about you? Have you found any writing software that enhances your writing?