Monday, November 15, 2010

More Than a Pencil

I'm close to finishing the next draft of 'Stigma', but I've changed tools to complete it. 

One of the reasons I've always been attracted to writing as an art form is the fact that you need nothing more than a pencil and piece of paper to create.  Of course in this day and age, with computers, slates, smart phones and all the other electrical peripherals available, I would be a fool to rely just on paper. That said, I've always used simple word processing packages such as Pages (Apple) or Word (Microsoft) to write. Now however, (and perhaps this has something to do with being abroad for a year and paranoid I'm going to loose some work) I find myself relying on software 'solutions'.

This month then (or until the free trial expires) I'm testing Scivener to see if it meets my needs. I chose Scrivener due to a recommendation from William Gibson on Twitter (@GreatDismal) and the fact that the next project will be quite research intensive and have multiple characters that I need to keep track of. I'll let you know if I keep it on or revert back to Pages next month.

For keeping all my research notes together I use Evernote. This is a simple interface that I have on both macs, my Iphone and Ipad, so I can always review any note I make and add things on the run. I use a similar folder structure as my writing folder on the mac so I can match research to ideas. I also use Instapaper (again across all devices) as a way of trying not to get too distracted whilst writing. Anything I want to read later I save via a simple browser button and then try and remember to sync before I go out. If it's something I want to share with a wider audience I post it to twitter, again via a simple browser button interface.

Finally, I always have a small moleskin notebook (plain pages) and a good pen on me, because tech always lets you down eventually.


This blog is now also being hosted by The Guardian on the Literary Edinburgh pages. There are some interesting and established writers on board. Guardian Edinburgh Beatblogger, Michael MacLeod describes it as:

"The Literary Edinburgh blogosphere page aims to showcase some of the city's blogging writers. I've been in touch with authors, poets and scriptwriters across the city to find out what they blog about."

I look forward to being a part of the bloggers on board and finding out what fellow writers are up to.

No comments: