06 July 2009

Guest Post: What Are Your Writing Tools?

So, while away living it up overseas (O:)) I've arranged for a few guest bloggers, huzzah! Today I'd like you all to meet Danyelle, who blogs at Myth-takes and also at War of the Muses, and is our coordinator and General In Command over at Book Faire. Round of applause for Dany, please! :)


What Are Your Writing Tools?

Every writer has them, yet no two writers use the same tools in exactly the same way. Kind of like snowflakes. ;-)

I'm curious. Just as no writer uses the same tools, no writer has exactly the same method of crafting an idea into something approaching art. A raw idea transformed into something beautiful that touches another person, and leaves a bit of themselves behind.

Do your tools affect the way you write?

My methods of writing have changed over the years. I began with a pen and some paper. When I wrote, I covered the paper with myself. I could never imagine writing on a computer. How impersonal computers tend to be! My Muse didn't function the same when I wrote on the computer vs paper. For a long time, paper won out. But then life became a lot more hectic. I no longer had the energy to write things out by hand. There was a brief period where I got used to typing instead of writing, but it was worth it. Now, the words can keep up with my thoughts. Almost. Looking back, I have no idea how I wrote with pen and paper for so long.

One of my tools is obviously the computer. And even that has changed over the course of the years. I've gone from typing away at a desk, to typing away on my laptop. At this time in my life, I need to be mobile, and the laptop meets that need.

Another one of my tools is Peace and Quiet. I can't write with a lot of background noise and movement. They cause a disconnect with my Muse and I'll find myself surfing the Internet instead of writing. Which brings me to another tool--switching off the Internet. I've found that I'm much more productive if the temptation to procrastinate through surfing isn't there. And it's something I can reward myself with once I've met my word count goals for the day.

Which leads into one of my greatest tools: goals. Having daily word count/revision goals gives me a sense of accountability. It gives me something to reach for when the Muse has decided to take a break or gets distracted. It gives me a sense of encouragement as I watch the story grow. It also helps in the discipline department.

Another great tool are my wonderful Betas. They're honest, yet encouraging, and help me capture the vision of the story. They take what I've done and make it shine in ways I never imagined it could. Betas are worth their weight in gold and chocolate.

My final, and most important tool, is my characters themselves. Without them, there would be no story. No fire urging me to write on. Nothing to look forward to when I switch the computer on. And no conduit with which to explore myself and the world around me. For me, characters are the key aspect to my writing.

Question: What does your writing swiss army knife look like?

7 comments:

beth said...

My emergency back-up tool: a legal pad. For some reason, if I get stuck, the quickest way to unstick me is for me to leave the computer and desk, go somewhere quiet, and use a legal pad. And it's gotta be a legal pad--none of this fancy bound-on-the-side jazz.

Yunaleska said...

Like Dany, I can only use a computer to write - I love my laptop :) I've got a mini laptop which I use for writing drafts, leaving my slower, larger laptop for edits.

I can actually write in most circumstances - quiet or noisy. I'll snatch what I can, when I can. Although when I'm tired nothing happens cos my Muse curls up fast asleep :)

Gay Degani said...

What a great topic. My tools include my computer, spiral notebooks, and a gross of PILOT G-2 .07 gel pens. I also have my handy list of questions I ask myself when I begin each draft of a new piece.

ElanaJ said...

I write on both the computer and in a 6x9 notebook. But the notebook must be decorated with cute paper and ribbons and have colored paper. Or else.

Jessica said...

Mine is dull right now. Bleck.

Cute interview! I don't know how you did pen and paper either. LOL In high school I almost fainted with joy when my uncle gave me his electric typewriter. :-)

Robyn Campbell said...

Pen and paper? Hmm I forget how to write with a pen or pencil.:) I love writing on my computer, but I need a laptop! *she stomps feet in front of hubby and looks at him with those 'eyes'* :) Great post.

B J Keltz said...

Papermate Profile pens (blue), spiral notebooks and large journals, and some solitude, even if it is in the middle of a coffee house. I doodle, conceptualize, and prewrite on paper. When things heat up and I need to get words down faster, I go to the computer and my split keyboard. :) When I start noodling on the net, it's back to paper and solitude, lol.

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