Modernizing My Writing Process. Maybe

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I’ve never been one for special “writing tools” when writing a book. Don’t get me wrong, I collect journals and notepads as though they might one day find themselves in  a museum, and every fresh new first page has its own kind of magic.

But when it comes to putting a book together, I need my computer, Word and Excel because I am a geek and I like to keep track of my writing metrics. And I like to call them “writing metrics.”

I’ve never tried Scrivener, though I know a lot of people swear by it, but it looks to me like it has a steep learning curve without necessarily added benefit for me. If you’re a Scrivenerer, please feel free to educate me as to why I should be using it.

But as a NaNoWriMo winner (she said casually while buffing her nails on her glamorous sweatshirt) I get a discount on this Aeon Timeline software, and I actually think that I might use it. I tend to keep several documents going along side a manuscript, and it seems like this might help. There have been many times I wanted a timeline, but the templates available for various programs don’t do what I need them to do and I resort to paper and pen. And given my handwriting, it’s not necessarily the most reliable method.

I  could, of course, make do with a quill and some vellum. Well, not vellum because of the source, since I won’t eat veal, let alone write on it. Or a pen and paper. I guess if I really wanted to stick with tradition, I could just use stone and a chisel, but that might make editing a little tougher.

I’ve said before I love living in the future, so why not embrace that with the way I write? Free trial, here I come.

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).

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4 thoughts on “Modernizing My Writing Process. Maybe

  1. Jon

    I agree with you about Scrivener: I downloaded the free trial and it looked like a lot of faff to me. The timeline thing is very tempting though, especially the bit about creating Fantasy Calendars …

    • I played around with it yesterday, I think it will be very, very useful. I could see how great it would be if I had used it all along for the on I’m writing, though at this point it’s probably more work than it’s worth to put everything in.

      I think I’m going to get it.

  2. I prefer to ‘create story’ on the keyboard, but if/when I ever get stuck, I have found that the best way for me to ‘write myself out of a block’ is to grab paper and pencil. I don’t know what it is about having these old-fashioned instruments in hand, but they work. At least, for me.

    I simply begin by writing down whatever plot or character question I am stuck on, then – not worrying about spelling, grammar or even legibility – as fast as possible, I write down my train of thoughts. In about fifteen minutes or three pages, the answer to my question pops out.

    Therefore, I agree with you about all those ‘bells and whistles’ programs and while I do ‘modernize’ by using a computer, etc., my old standby for jams is still the paper and pencil.

    • That is a really great suggestion. You’re right, there is something about the tactile quality of the paper and the weight of the pen. I will absolutely try that out the next time I am stuck (which will probably be soon, it always happens!)

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