Thursday, September 1, 2011

Writtle me your writing tools

Hi, everyone! Here's another fun fact about me, if I don't get up at the crack of dawn, I feel and am pretty worthless for the rest of the day. Today (and yesterday) are some of those days. I'm in zombie mode. I couldn't even read yesterday. Like I said, I was acting wooorthless. Lol. But, I couldn't stay away from the blog and all you awesome bloggy friends for a second day, so here I am.

The other day, I got to turn the tables and ask you all to give three fun facts about yourself, and I loved the turnout and the answers (thanks, everyone!). Today, I want to do something similar but with a writing focus. I want to talk about everyone's writing process.

When I write, I normally get struck with an idea, and I write it down immediately in the "brain book," where I keep everything from tshirt ideas I come up with, my poetry, my lyrics, titles of cool songs I like, phrases, quotes from people, doodles, you name it. From there, I normally sit on the idea for a while (not literally), and then when I can't take not having worked on it anymore, I use one of several tools:

I use an Alphasmart 3000 (LOVE it's portability. Less pressure to get out words, and for some reason, I write a heck of a lot better with it…hmm…)--> main tool now btw

Or, I used Q10 on my baby laptop, also known as a netbook, an Asus EEE 1005HA (click for pic), I believe. It's also pink, in case you were interested.

Or, if I'm feeling funny, I'll use Write or Die, but I haven't in a while. Ironically, I stopped using it when I bought my own copy of the program that I could use offline. I'm funny like that apparently.

I edit by pasting everything in good old Word OR Open OfficeWriter, depending on if I'm using my good old oldie laptop (Toshi) or my newer netbook (respectably).

Woo, I think that's everything. So I go from pen to alphasmart, Q10 (which I love for the keyboard noises and for it's being free), or Write or Die, and I edit with a traditional Word or Word like (but free)program.

Thereby, technically everything I use to write (program wise) could be used/gotten for free. I love that.

Now it's your turn, how to get the idea down AND THEN, what do you use to turn that idea into a full manuscript (tool wise)? Let me know below. I live off hearing how other people do things :)

P.S. I've linked all the titles of programs I've used to the sites where you can get them, just in case you were at all interested! :)

Now to leave you with a song to write by, "Circle the Drain" by Katy Perry. I HEART this song. I really do. It sounds 80s rocker to me, and if you haven't heard it, don't just write it off because it's a Katy Perry song. I'm almost always against her radio stuff, but I love her album stuff something crazy. (or I liked the radio stuff until it gets played out on the radio, rather).

Oh, and in case you were really curious, I wrote Glittering Ashes by first writing down the idea (of the whoooole series well into the future), wrote it using Q10, and edited using Word and Open Office Writer.


  1. Thanks for the tools! I normally just use word, but I'm seeing the benefits of other tools. I'll have to go check them out now. Like the song, and I'm not generally a Katy Perry fan either.

  2. Very interesting post and I'm enjoying the song! I'm boring when it comes to my tools- I generally write initial ideas in a notebook aptly titled 'evil plans and stuff' before heading straight for Word. I am now very intrigued to look at all of the tools you mentioned so thanks for bringing them to my attention. :)

  3. I, too, LOVE the Alphasmart! Bought it for my daughter to learn how to type, and now I keep it in the car so that when inspiration hits - I'm ready! :)

  4. I use word and a pencil and what ever paper (or paper like product) I can find. I also have this sticky note program on my phone that is pretty cool.

  5. I storyboard with pen and paper first and then flesh out the outline chapter by chapter on Word and then I write.

  6. OMG I used to use an Alphasmart!! Wow, so much nostalgia right now seeing those again.

    These days I use a mix of OneNote and Word. I tried Scivner once, just wasn't for me.

  7. Wow, you have so many tools! I keep a journal for each book idea that I use for brainstorming everything--I brainstorm much better with pen and paper. But I write everything in Word and print it out to edit it. I'll have to look into Alphasmarts--they're so cute!

  8. Fellow Campaigner here . . . and wow! I'm so impressed at all the programs you use. I'm a Word and pen and paper gal. I write down ideas in my nearest idea book (I have several) then I let it sit or I think about it and brainstorm ideas, bounce them off my husband and when I can't hold it all in, I start to write. Usually I write a chapter or two before I do an outline.

    Anyway, I look forward to getting to know you through the Campaign!

  9. Hi, Kelley, did you write most of Glittering Ashes in the early hours of each day? It's always interesting to see when authors carve out time to write.

  10. I feel out of place coming here. You guys seem so with it in terms of technology vis-à-vis writing.

    As a humble non-professional blogger who does not write if he can avoid because it seems like too much effort to be fun, I merely use Word 2007. It checks my spellings and everything.

    Listened to your Katy Perry track and sorry to say I'm not sold. I think I don't get her.

  11. Kelley, I'm a sucker for writing software, but I always use Word. I've downloaded free versions and bought a couple of programmes which I never do anything but play with. The last thing I absolutely had to have was Liquid Story Binder, but I haven't used it since, well, since I bought it. Word is just too easy and wonderful to use or maybe I'm just simpleminded. Either way Word works well for me.

  12. I write down all my ideas in a Moleskine notebook, and once I'm ready to write, I write in Q10 (which I love) and transfer everything to MS Word. I wrote one of my novels entirely in MS Word, but I usually like Q10. I also used to use yWriter (which is free), but I don't anymore. I used Scrivener when I wrote on a Mac and now I'm waiting for the Windows version to come out. :)

  13. i really enjoyed the first chapter of glittering ashes. i'm a sucker for first day of class, or high school classroom moments. if i had a kindle, i would buy it. when i get one i will:)
    i write in a word file that contains all kinds of notes and junk and drafts. i've been writing at different times but am attempting to establish a routine these days in which i write in the morning more consistently. i'm more creative early.

  14. Hello Kelly, just wanted to let you know I gave you an award, go check it out in my latest post. :-)

  15. ...I'm dreadfully boring. lol

    Notes in Notepad.
    Writing in Word.
    Difficult scenes in Textroom.

    I hope all is well! :)

  16. I also feel worthless if I wake up late :)

  17. Oh that's so cool! For poetry I have to write down a few stanzas on a piece of paper but I can't finish it until I type it up. When I get a good story idea, I always use Google Docs because I'm a big google fan :)

  18. So funny because I usually hate early mornings but lately I've been waking up earlier than normal to get writing done before work. Now, when I don't do it, I feel kind of worthless.

    As for my process, I'm a big Scrivener fan. :)

  19. Hi, nice post. fellow campaigner. Stolen was an excellent book.

  20. I am the worlds most detailed planner. I read a thing many years ago about using all your best ideas and not keeping them for a sequel. If the first book does not do well, there will be no sequel. So, if I get an idea I try to work it into the book plan.

  21. Interesting tools. I had no idea so much was available. I use OneNote for all my idea/outlining stuff and then I use word for the writing.

    One thing I do in word is keep the navigation pane open, and I make a header for each scene and chapter so I can jump around quickly.

  22. Write a few lines of an idea in a notebook.
    Some time later write a few pages of outline.
    Type the thing in open office, saving as a word doc. (I miss my ms word :-()
    Start editing.
    Begin process again.

  23. I can remember most of the ideas I get from writing and let them sift around in my head until they're thoroughly matured enough to come out in writing. Sometimes I'll longhand it, but most of the time, I write it on my laptop and keep a copy saved on a flashdrive in case the computer dies, which has happened to me before. Eventually, I either give up, start over, or actually complete something.

  24. Hey Kelley! New follower here. Found you through Jeff King (Author's Union). He featured me there today right along with your blog. I love meeting new writer friends!

    I never knew there were so many ways in which to write. I just use my PC (an old dependable Dell) and Word (also old circa 2003.) It all serves me pretty well, so I have no complaints. When I get an idea or something pops into my head and I'm not at my computer, I jot it down on my iPhone. That's about the extent of it for me. Nothing too exciting, but it works. But oooh, I am expecting my new HP TouchPad any day now! Might have to try Open Office with that one.

  25. I'm pretty simple. I jot down notes and ideas in a notebook or on notecards. Then I crack open my laptop and get to work in good ole Word.

    Campaign buddy waving.

  26. I'm exactly the same way! I need to get up and get started early, or I'm rattled the rest of the day. I'm a netbook plus Word kinda girl. That's as technie as I get!

  27. I used to write in my head, remember whenever I found a pen and a piece of paper then write it down. Never had a chance to write any thing big or anything that had continuem. Writing is still cathartic for me. Hi this is Munir over here at Focus.

  28. J.A. Bennett: Glad you liked the tools and the song. I'm a tool junkie, or I was...

    Charlotte: "evil plans and stuff" isn't boring, and NP :)

    Heather: It is the bee's knees!

    Krista: a sticky note program? Sounds cool

    Michael Offutt: Very methodical. I'm starting something similar

    Steph Schmidt: I haven't tried it. I'm such a cheapskate I've heard great things

    Meredith: I brainstorm better longhand too. They're awesome!

    Janet Johnson: Good system! Ditto :)

    Michelle Fayard: Sort of. I did what I had to do for school first thing (early early), and then I would write Glittering Ashes

    Movies on my mind: Don't feel that way. It's way more interesting if the whole spectrum comments! I like hard to get people

    J.L.Campbell: if Word works, there's nothing to fix. Word feels too academic for me though. I wrote too many papers with it I suppose :) I have to have it to edit though, or the OO version

    Brittany: I <3 Moleskins, but I've only purchased knock offs, and I love Q10 for the simplicity and the typewriter noises

    Ed Pilolla: Aw! TY (it's in paperback now. I just linked to it on today's post) Early morning is my main productive time

    Megan: TY TY, and I did :)

    Carrie Butler: I haven't used Textroom. So not boring. Informative. :)

    DEZMOND: We're kindred bloggers then! :)

    Jess: I like the portability of Google Docs. Good choice :)

    Ghenet Myrthil: Once you go morning, it's hard to stop :)

    ladonna watkins: it SO was. <3ed it.

    Simon Smith-Wilson: That's really good advice

    CherylAnne Ham: That's a good idea. TY!

    Sarah Pearson: lol. I'm okay with OO now, but I used to feel your pain

    Marlena Cassidy: I wish I could just remember things and let them percolate

    Nancy Thompson: Hi! Me too :) I have Word 2003 too! I so wanted the Touchpad as well. Did you get it from HP?

    Alleged Author: Glad you like :)

    Isis Rushdan: Hi! Nice to meet you. Simple but effective, it sounds like

    Talli Rowland: That's techie enough, Talli :)

    Munir: Cathartic writing is the best kind!