3 S.R. Johannes: Rocking Writing Tools

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rocking Writing Tools

Winner of The Familiars Arc is....


Congrads and email your address to me at sjohannes@bilaninc.com.

NOTE: All packages to date will be mailed by Friday. If you have not gotten yours, it should be there next week.

Mary Kole, agent at Andrea Brown is doing a webinar at Writers Digest. IT looks awesome so you should check it out! "Publish your children's, tween, and teen fiction in today's market". for only 79$. Looks like it covers:
  • The essential elements of books written for younger children, tweens, and teens
  • How your kid reader thinks about fiction and what they want
  • What agents and editors look for in terms of pitch, writing, and book premise
  • How to make your hook absolutely irresistible
  • What separates an aspiring writer from a contracted author in this field
PLUS YOU can submit 1-2 pages of your work and all submissions are GUARANTEED a critique by instructor/agent Mary Kole!!! This is worth it alone...


My Favorite Writing Tools

Today I wanted to give you guys some writing tools I use. I could not write without them. Some you have heard of, some you may not have. BTW - I get no kickbacks or anything from these. It is just what I use as a writer.

1) MAC set up -
  • MAC AIR - I have had a couple Macs over the years - Old MacBooks, the new Macbook. I must say my MAC air is awesome. It's so light. You'd be surprised how much of a different 2 obs is when you take your laptop everywhere. It also has back lit keys. Now I never thought I'd have backlit keys but i must say it comes in very handy on airplanes (especially at night) and if I write in bed when hubby is sleeping. Now as a side note, I used to be a PC user. Anti MAC but I have converted. It takes a couple weeks to get used to it but you can get Microsoft word so it did not hinder my writing at all.
  • Wireless keyboard and docking station. Since I wrote so much, the lap top was forcing me to look down alot. This is not good for someone who has bouts of vertigo. So my hubby got me a docking station. When I am at my desk, i dock my laptop so the screen is at eye level and use the wireless keyboard. That way I don't have to look down as much.
  • Mighty Mouse - If you have a MAC (especially the AIR b/c it only has one USB port - you have to get the mighty mouse. I cant explain why. It just makes the MAC easier to use. What can I say - it's Mighty.
  • Headphones - I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old. I prefer to write in my office so if hubby is in charge and I get to write - they are essential.
2) MACFreedom
Freedom is a software that shuts off your Internet access. You basically set a timer and it will not let you back on until the time is up. Even though it is by MAC, you can get this for PC or Macs. I've always had Freedom but didn't use it until recently. It's not that I spend too much time on the Internet. The problem was that if I got stuck in my book, on a chapter or scene, the first thing I do is automatically click on the Internet and check Twitter or Facebook. It wasn't the time I was spending on the Internet, it was that I would not push through the hard points in my book. I was lazy. The Internet gave me an excuse to jump ship when something wasn't working. As soon as I started using Freedom, I was forced to push through hard points and great stuff came of it.

3) Write or Die
Write or Die is a online task master. You can use the online version or the desktop version (so you can turn off your Internet). Basically you set a word count or time period that you are going to write. Then you set up how much you want to be pushed. Basically you are punished if you stop, you can set a grace period and if you stop writing beyond that - it will either, give you a reminder, make a loud noise, or start erasing your words to force you to keep typing. I like to use this if I need to bust out a certain amount of writing in a short amount of time. Like write a chapter when my kids are in quiet time for 45 minutes. The good thing is you set your own goal, grace period and consequence.

4) Scrivener
Scrivener is a new way of working. Instead of working in a long document where you are paging down to find stuff. You basically pull in your document and organize it in chunks - either by chapter or plot line or both. It has a cork board for notes and outlining function. It takes a few hours to set it up the way you want it but after that - editing or revising a book is easy. If you do not think in a linear fashion - this is for you!

5) Tweetdeck - for someone like me who is obsessed with social networking and is especially active on Facebook and Twitter, TweetDeck gives me an easy way to check it all. You can pull in your Facebook news as well as set up groups that organize tweets as they come in. For example, I have Agents, Publishers, Fav Authors, Marketing columns. I can glance at any of them and scan the tweets without taking tons of time in Twitter. If appropriate, I can also update FB with tweetdeck so I don't have to bounce around in different places. I could not be efficient at social networking without it. I'm sure there are others, but this one works for me.

Tell me - what other tools do you find useful?


Lisa Galek said...

Great ideas! I'm going to check out TweetDeck. I spend way to much time checking social media stuff :)

Christina Lee said...

Oh yeah, headphones and Tweetdeck for the win!

And I keep considering ordering Scrivenger, but don't know what's holding me back :-(

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't have a Mac - but will definitely be considering it for my next purchase - so many writers love it!

I do love TweetDeck and can't imagine being on Twitter without it :)

Windy Aphayrath said...

I do love myself some Tweetdeck. I also like the new internet browsers - chrome being my fave - because it doesn't force me to have a million windows open to have the websites I reference to most often available to me. Headphones. Pandora or iPod. Oh, and a door that shuts me into my office without the shrieking 5yo & 2yo is always nice too.

Unknown said...

My blog Sister LOVES Scrivener and as I have a Mac, I'm seriously considering it. I just discovered Tweetdeck myself and love it--and just a month ago, I was terrified of all things Twitter. Who knew?

Tere Kirkland said...

Interesting ideas. I use a free mind-mapping software called FreeMind for plotting. It helps me to organize my thoughts in a neater way since my notebooks often get very messy.

Great post!

Susan R. Mills said...

My goal is to get active on Twitter and Facebook over the coming weeks, so I'll definitely have to check into that Tweetdeck. Thanks for the ideas.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the tips. If I ever get on twitter, I'll check out Tweetdeck.

Elana Johnson said...

Pandora and headphones. They block out the fighting of my kids. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I love Tweetdeck too!

Danyelle L. said...

Scrivener rocks! That's really the only thing I use to write. I export to Word so I can send the ms to betas, but Scrivener makes the writing part easier. :)
*hearts Macs*

jessica said...

Thanks for the info on Mary Kole...I'm headed over there right now!

Also, loved all your tools. Write or Die sounds like a real kick in the pants!

Carolyn V. said...

I love your ideas! They are all good. I also need a good pair of glasses and word check (I love that thing)!

Taffy said...

I love my laptop. I can take it anywhere in the house or backyard.
I want to try Write OR Die tomorrow.
I also like Pandora,Elana!

Christina Farley said...

I have to say that write or die sounds intriguing!