Writer Wednesday – Writing tools I use

So I’ve prepped a bit for Camp NaNo and getting The Alchemists of Archangel completed.

Some authors Love Scrivener and there are some wonderful features, that can be very helpful when developing characters, plot lines, timelines for series, etc.  I actually debated purchasing it, but have opted to use Google Keep in conjunction with Google Docs and Word.

I find myself looking back at tools I’ve used in the past.    Here are some tools I use during my rough draft phase:

  1. Cherry Adair’s – Plotting with Post its.   I admit I loved this when I learned it, but I still found it daunting.  The Pantser in me fought it, hard.  I still use a form of it today in Google Keep.
  2. My friend Arden uses an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of Character Profiles and Plot devices, Chapters, etc.   It is daunting.  And I admit I never mastered it the way she did.   Bob Mayer uses an Excel Method as well.
  3. Google Keep – So this is where I use a bit of Cherry’s technique and start mixing in my own blend of stuff (research, worldbuilding, character profiles, setting, and plot)
  4. Source Sheet – I keep a word doc of where I find all my research for the novel.  I also include worldbuilding notes in here.  My outline may not survive the process but this almost always does.  I usually turn in a copy with my manuscript when I begin the editing process, to help the copy editors.
  5. Sex in Romance Website – I don’t use this as much as I used to but it is still a great place when you want variety in your manuscript during a love scene.
  6.  Word Counter – I got this idea from Allie Pleiter’s Chunky Writing Method.   She has some freebie’s on her website for this.  Basically, you are counting words whenever you work on your ms.   I made some modifications to mine. 🙂
  7. Pinterest – Before Google Keep I would create character profiles for my stories.  I actually found looking at pictures beneficial to driving my description of clothes and setting.  Once my book is published, I’ll make the pages private.  The Courtesan of Constantinople is the first book I did this with so Y’all will have to wait. 🙂
  8. Pandora – I love listening to music without words when I’m writing.  Usually, I pick a channel based on the mood of the scene.   I’m sure part of this has to due with the fact that I learned to type to music in school.   Nothing like typing words to the William Tell Overture.

And I haven’t even started on the Reference Books I use regularly…

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Writer Wednesday – A few of my favorite things

A lot of writers get asked what kind of tools they use when writing and editing.  Here are a few of mine:

Books

The Romance Writer’s Phrase book by Jean Kent and Candice Shelton – It’s a handy little phrase book, used for tag lines, body language, etc.

A more updated version would be The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.   I use these books when I’m in the layer process of my book.   I used to use them during the rough draft, but found I got too bogged down with particulars rather than just writing the damn book.

The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer – I have an old copy of this, but found it useful for understanding aspects of the business like Sell-thrus and royalties.   I believe he has an updated version.

And of course I have a Thesaurus, Dictionary and Two Style Guides.

Online Tools

Pinterest – I use Pinterest to store a lot of my pictures for characters, setting, clothes, etc.   Of course you can totally get lost on there.

First Draught – I have to give a shout-out to these ladies, because they cover a range of topics and they talk about everything from craft to publishing.  I love their Vlog!

Jenna Moreci – Jenna is a YA Indie Writer and she has this Vlog where her topics are humorous and based on her writing experience.   I highly recommend this if you are exploring Self-publishing or are a YA writer.

Google Keep  – I sort of stumbled across this recently and use it in place of Scrivener.    I make up all these little notes on characters, settings and scenes I need to write and then I can have it on the side of my Google Doc.   I’m sort of envious of Scrivener, but the feature I was really wanting was to replace my post-it plotting system that I learned from Cherry Adair.

Last week I covered the importance of finding your tribe, and of course my tribes are some of my favorite things.

~Tina

 

 

 

AuThursday – Jannifer Hoffman

Please join me in welcoming Jannifer Hoffman to The Clog Blog.  Welcome Jannifer, we are so happy to have you back!  On to our questions…

Q: How long have you been writing?

I started Ceremony of Deception in 1974 (Yikes) after reading The Flame and the Flower and Sweet Savage Love.  The 1972 Robert Redford movie Jeremiah Johnson inspired it. I did spend 15 years in there were I gave up writing. I started again in 1998 when I did Secrets of the Heart.

 

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why? 

Definitely Ceremony of Deception.  Writing historicals takes a lot of research. But more important after the first two or three drafts I realized I didn’t know anything about writing. I joined a writers group and started taking every writing class I could find. Did I mention Ceremony probably had 25 drafts!
Q:  Which country would you most like to visit and why?

I’ve been on 26 cruises. So I’d have a hard time naming a country I haven’t been to. (Did I mention I love to cruise?) On second thought, I guess maybe Egypt. I haven’t seen the Pyramids. By the way, nearly all my trips were paid for by sewing.

 
Q:  Which author would you most like to meet and why?

Going to writers conferences I’ve met a lot of authors. I loved meeting Jennifer Cruise and Bob Mayer who did a workshop together. I would like to meet Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I even like yellow books after reading “Nobody’s baby but Mine” I guess that’s what inspired Random Fire.

 

I think Bob Mayer is a genius when it comes to explainining the biz and how to plot. 

 Q:  What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

I can sit down and write in the middle of a wild party. I’m a pantser. I envy people who can do outlines. It just doesn’t work for me.  I do have some goals I head toward but they don’t go too far in advance. I read a quote the other day that I love. “Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights but you can make the whole trip that way.” That describes me perfectly. I don’t remember who said it.

 

 Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

Patience and perseverance and don’t quite your day job. And don’t expect to become rich unless you can come up with a gimmick like Harry Potter. It could take a long time to get to where Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, etc, etc. are.  . I can’t believe myself I’ve written nine books. When people ask me how they should start writng I say, “One word at a time.”

 
Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

Frankly, I don’t understand the popularity of the genre. They must be geared for people who are younger than I am. They do sell is all I know. I have one planned for that reason, but I won’t be publishing it under my own name.

 

I understand perfectly…it’s the reason I have a pseudonym.  And I’m always happy the genre is popular.   🙂   

Q:  What is on tap for 2012?

I have one book due in February for a September release and another due in July for a December release.

 

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I have a website:  www.janniferhoffman.com

Join me on Saturday when we read a Sexy Excerpt from Jannifer’s Book, Blood Crystal.

Until then…be Naughty,

Tina