What I Can't Write Without...

I suppose I could write with anything--just give me a moment of time and I'll tell you a story--but there are a few things that make writing far, far easier...

First and foremost: Scrivener. I honestly don't think I could write a novel without it--or, at least, it would be far, far more difficult.

Scrivener is, essentially, a writing program that is built for novel writers. It took me awhile to get used to Scrivener, but here's what I use most:

  • All documents in one location: I'm writing a new trilogy right now, and I plan on keeping all my eggs in one basket--or, rather, all drafts of all three novels in on Scrivener file. Everything is right there in one place. No more lost plot threads or confusing between drafts!
  • Character, setting, and tech sheets: I'm also keeping track of the characters, setting, and technology I invent for the novel--mostly so that I don't forget what Easter eggs I put in, but also so I can easily reference articles linked to each one, so I can compile a website for fans, and so I can keep track of who knows who and how. It also helps me to keep track of what's real and what I invent, in terms of the setting and the tech. 
  • Revision mode: I just discovered this feature, and adore it! Basically, in Revision mode, everything that I write new in the document is in a different color that I set. It's like Track Changes in word, but it doesn't crash. 
  • Split screen: My editing tends to be rewriting, so I have one draft in one window, and the next draft in the other one. Then I can easily cut and paste the new document, rewrite, etc.

Another resource I've been loving is Reddit--specifically the /r/YAWriters subreddit. Reddit is basically a bit forum for people to go to in order to ask questions, get answers, discuss anything, and more.

I've used Reddit a lot for research--my novel takes place in an area that I'm somewhat familiar with, but I've needed to get some extra info on it. I also go there when I'm looking for an opinion on writing. It's basically a giant water cooler for all us writers who don't go out in the sun.

Look, I swear it's not all just killing time!


Okay, truth time: a lot of what I do on tumblr is waste time. BUT. This is a great way to quickly refill your well. If I'm feeling drained, I pop on tumblr for a bit, and usually, I've either laughed, found inspiration, or just let my brain rest enough to get back to work within an hour.

Maybe two.


Or three...


Ken said...

Thanks for the hint! I've been using Scrivener for a while, and never knew about Revision Mode!
The longer you use the program, more little secrets, tips and tricks pop out!

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