Choosing which writing tool is going to be the most helpful really comes down to three things: place, time, and purpose. Think of it as a choose your own adventure. Inspiration strikes you as you are:
- In between meetings at work
- Waking up on the weekend
If you chose 1…
You leap up from the conference table, stunning Stan, the only other coworker who hasn’t already scurried back to the break room. “This is it!” you think, “I’ve been waiting all week for:”
- Ideas for your story arc and/or the development of your characters… Go to II
- This one, brilliant sentence… Go to I
- The motivation to edit that scene that seemed perfect (at 2am)… Go to III
If you chose 2…
You leisurely make yourself the caffeinated beverage of your choice and consider your amazingly empty day. I mean, you have at least two hours —maybe even the whole morning—to do whatever you please. This may be the time to:
- Write that scene that’s been rolling around in your head since last Tuesday… Go to II
- Rework a critiqued section of your manuscript… Go to III
- Map out a character’s life… Go to I
If I have a quick idea, sentence, or see something cool, I like to use my phone to capture it. Evernote is a great tool for that because it’s a multiplatform note-taking program that allows me to take notes on my phone and then access it from my computer or tablet.
II. Pen & Paper
If I am writing a scene for the first time, especially if it doesn’t belong right where I left off on my overall manuscript, I use pen and paper. As a compulsive editor, I need to avoid the ease of the backspace button or else the scene never really gets written. Paper is also the best medium for brainstorming (cue the arrows and brackets), timelines, and the initial stages of world and character building.
When it’s time to edit, polish, and add transitional and contiguous scenes, computers are marvelous. Notes can easily be added and it’s simple to manipulate the placement and nuances of the text. Computers are also helpful for quick research as long as you can resist the rabbit hole.
Care to share what you like to write with?
Help a fellow writer and post below—I want to hear from you!
Abigail signing off!