Writing: I lost momentum on my main writing project, a detective novel, due to laziness. Now, coming back to it after months, I have found an appalling mess of jumbled chapters and a mobius spaghetti of half-a-dozen plotlines. You should see the flat- bits of paper everywhere.
Writers Circles: I attended my first writers circle last night thinking it would be a waste of time. It wasn’t and it was useful listening to excerpts of other people’s work, because it is good to read outside your comfort zone. Someone also reminded me about the teeny-weeny grammar book Elements of Style, something that Stephen King mentioned in an essay about writing that I read ages ago but forgot about. It’s now on the shopping-list. Finally, just hearing about other people speeding ahead with their own work was encouragement enough to get on with my own. That, and an existential, mortal dread combined with a Salieri-complex.
Software: By a process of painful trial-and-error, I am now following a series of steps-
- Use any old text editor or word processor for general typing. I use Vim, MetaPad, Q10 and Open Office.
- When keeping track of everything becomes a nightmare, use an outlining or folding text editor for writers. TreePad Lite is one such text editor with two panes. The left gives you a Windows Explorer-like view with branches for things like chapters and the right pane is where you enter text.
- Turn to Scrivener when you have a labyrinthine, Game of Thrones-like plot with a cast of more than ten.
- Use First Draft (the industry standard) to produce your final manuscript.
I also still put pen to paper, but that is for short notes when I am out and about, as it is a literal pain in the neck to carry a laptop.
There have now been12,000 visitors to this blog, so thanks for visiting and now I’m getting back to work, as should you.