Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Few of Our Favorite Writing Tools!

A short while back I made a request for members to send in some of their favorite writing tools, such as websites, writing software, and books.  I put together a list of  our fav.'s and hope this is helpful for new and experienced writers!  

·         Scrivener- Scrivener is a program for Macs or PC’s that helps writers structure and edit their work!  It’s only $40 but there is a free trial option that you can use for a while before committing.  Things that are most useful about scrivener are the note cards or storyboard, character sheets, full screen editing, the ability to scroll to the different parts of your manuscript quickly, and the screenshot mode but those are just a few of the features.
·         Writer’s Digest- The magazine is full of useful information but the website is also spectacular.  There is everything from author interviews, Agent information, publishing news, grammar lessons, writing prompts to writing contests and conference information.
·         Twitter- Twitter is a great (and quick) way to learn what is going on in the writing industry.  Definitely worth the few seconds to sign up and once you do, consider adding (or following) these accounts:  writer’s digest, writer unboxed, Jane Friedman, P. de hemricourt, Chuck Sambuchino, Brian Klems, and any agents that you might want to query!
·         Snowflake Pro Software-  Snowflake Pro has an advantage for those who want to get a concrete story outline together.  This software allows for capturing really specific details about your characters.  It costs $100, but the creator of the software has a deal where if you buy a copy of his book “Writing Fiction for Dummies” currently $12.95 on Amazon, you get Snowflake Pro for 50% off.  Just make sure you buy the “Writing Fiction for Dummies” book by Randy Ingermanson.
·         Wordpress:  Similar to Blogger but Paul like the functionality of it better.  You can get all kinds of plug ins for things like auto-responding, building email lists, tracking links and the like.  This software is free, and you can have a blog hosted on or on your own server.
·         Author Sarah Selecky-  Free…When you sign up, she sends a brief writing prompt consisting of a couple of things that you have to write a short scene around, you write for ten minutes in longhand!  Ten minutes is a small amount of time to dedicate to the practice.  Dennis’ thoughts on the process are that it’s very different when writing longhand instead of typing.  When he types, he tends to go back and correct typos which interrupts his creative process.
·         Books the group recommends:
  1. 2014 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
  2. Reading Like a Writer by Francis Prose
  3. How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman
  4. Time to Write by Kelly L. Stone
  5. Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield
  6. Stephen King/On Writing:  A Memoir of the Craft


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