Friday, October 19, 2012

Nanotechnology (Or: what are you using to write?)

My NaNoTechnologies... Mac, Android Tablet, and good old fashioned pen and paper.
I'm a little bit disorganized, when it comes to my writing. I tend to write in multiple places, in multiple  devices, even multiple formats... it's not unusual to find multiple versions of the same stories in random folders on my computer!

I'm very fond of handwriting; I have at least one novel almost completely handwritten. But in reality, I have four major devices on which I write.
  1. My main computer, my iMac.  On this computer, I usually use Scrivener.
  2. My windows Laptop. I adore Liquid Story Binder on this computer. It's a lot like Scrivener, but has more features. A bit of a steep learning curve, but very powerful when you learn how to use it. I also use Scrivener on this one, synced with my iMac via Dropbox.
  3. My Android Tablet.  I haven't really found The App on this one. I tend to use Evernote, since it syncs with my iMac, and it has basic formatting tools. It lacks word count, though, and I want something a bit more NaNoWriMo friendly, y'know? 
  4. Good old fashioned pen and paper. I absolutely adore fancy journals. To the point if I get a too-nice one, I have a hard time finding the "right" story to go in it! I've found this is the best way to get distraction-free writing time in. It's slower, but the end result is usually better, and there's no NaNoWriMo forums to drag me away. 
This year I'm going to try writing my novel during write-ins on my tablet. In years past, I've lugged my increasingly enormous dinosaure of a laptop (it wasn't a dinosaur five years ago, but well, you know) to write ins for years, and now... I've gotten used to my tablet, and even composing blog posts on it! So I'm going to try and use it for actual competitive sprints. I may even take my mac's wireless keyboard to see if that'll work.

I have apps for outlining, storyboarding, notekeeping. I have looseleaf notebooks for random writing (And I'm always finding them lying around the house.)

Technology is a big part of our writing process... ever since the early days of whacking on a typewriter (oh, how I miss the feel, sound, and smell of my ancient, trusty typewriter), it's been part of the writer's mythos. As technology evolves, so does how we use it.

So what do you use to write? If you do NaNoWriMo (and if you don't, why not? Start with us!) does your process change? Do you do something differently than normal? Or is it business as usual? How has your technology changed as time has moved on?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Taking my pants off

I am a pantser. Every year I have ever tried to plan, I've failed NaNoWriMo.

Why? Well, I love my stories, and I love the journey. I love discovering where they're going. This approach occasionally backfires, though, and I'll get stuck.  I've tried a few times in the past to do outlines.

I like to blame my failures on the outlines themselves, but if I get really honest with myself; I don't think that was it!

So this year, I'm taking an old NaNo Novel, Heaven's Bounty, and reworking it.  I've been completely stuck on it... I had no idea where to go. I love these characters SO much!  But I couldn't figure out what to do with it.

I attended a writing conference last weekend, and had the pleasure of being dragged into into a mini-workshop for Joseph Campbell's "A Hero's Journey.

And in that 45 minutes, I knew what was missing. What to do with my story!

So today I'm writing up the madly written notes into something legible and at least peripherally understandable, and I'm going to start work on a real outline.

It's a little drafty in here, but I kinda like it on the planner's side.

Photo courtesy of Klara Kim