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?


Kim said...

I used to be a strictly handwritten kind of writer. But it just takes soooooo long. I love the quickness of typing, but I also tend to fret over phrasing more since it's so easy to just erase and start over.

But for this year, I'll be using handwritten notebooks to keep my notes and ideas and I'll be using my laptop to write the novel.

Right now I'm going back and for between word and google docs to write up, but I'm going to check out some the suggestions you made to see if I like those better.

Marc Wright said...

Ancient laptop of my own (Dell Inspiron 1501) and Microsoft Word 2003.

I looked at Scrivener and the Liquid Binder thing last year or the year before-- free preview versions, both-- and decided that I don't need the bells and whistles. But then, I write in straight lines-- start to finish.

Mainframe - Richard Green said...

I use my laptop running Ubuntu Linux. Open Office and Libre Office are my usual word processors. But since Scrivener is available for Linux now, I should probably take a look at it,

Since I do like the option of working on different computers and having multiple copies, I keep up to date copies in Google Docs and Dropbox.

Denise said...

skidencI'm a first timer.So far a lot of fun.But I have to decide where shall My main Characters go on their long journey? EEKs so many options?

Jennifer Oberth said...

I handwrite all my manuscripts. I'm thinking of using the computer a little bit, here and there. It's cool to know you can switch between different mediums with no loss of story! I went to write-ins for the first time this NaNoWriMo but I couldn't participate in the writing because I injured my hand. But next year, I want to bring my laptop - if only for the writing sprints! (I'm very competitive.)

I don't think I'll every fully get away from handwriting. There's something so...intimate about it. I have a real connection to the words, to the paper. And, as you said, it's far less distracting. When you're typing, you're really checking e-mail, the forums, whatever else. When you're handwriting, you're handwriting. That's it.

Great post!