An author of Speculative Fiction, speculates about fiction.

Tools for writers: Do we need them?

So I’ve just got back from meeting with a couple of fellow writers. We descend on The Showroom in Sheffield now and again (we try to be more frequent but it never seems to work out that way) to talk about what we’re up to.

How’s that sequel coming along? How many days in a row have you procrastinated over shiny things on the internet? That kind of thing.

Today’s discussion mostly revolved around writing tools and technology. Pete and Christie are hardcore into their technology. They both use Scrivener, which is a writing tool that let’s you organise your manuscript with all manner of virtual post-its and bookmarks to make moving around your work easier. It sounds great. Anything that makes editing your own work easier is a surefire hit.

But, I don’t use it. For anyone who can remember my previous “planner or pantser” post, I don’t even plan that much.

I get an idea for a story, cook it in my head until it’s nice and brown, then hit the keyboard with nothing but the images in my head and a notebook, just in case.

It’s strange to think that we’re all striving toward the same thing. We all want to write stories. But we come at it from such diverse directions. And I don’t think any of them are wrong. My friends love their gadgets. I’m probably considered a minimalist. We all get the job done in our own way. So why am I so jealous of their ability to be organised? 😁

What’s your method? Let me know if I’m a complete literary mutant or not 😊
Thanks for reading


14 responses

  1. Rarely any planning. Catch the thought, hold it down for a look, then write it.

    Only poetry for me, but not much pre-planning, and not much post-editing.



    July 17, 2016 at 11:05 am

    • Glad it isn’t just me, Frank! What manner of poetry do you do? 😊

      July 17, 2016 at 11:31 am

      • Mainly I consider myself a story-teller , Craig, and primarily in free-verse. I like beginning, middle and end, but I found my voice in a verse format.

        I’ve got a few collections and some random other material online here at the blog site. Take a peek if you feel so inclined.



        July 17, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      • Will do! Thanks mate 😊

        July 17, 2016 at 12:26 pm

  2. Alexandra

    Oh boy, planning? Tools? Have written a kind of ‘reply’ to your post on my blog. Hope you don’t mind.

    July 17, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    • Of course not! Link me!

      July 17, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      • Alexandra

        Erm, I’ll try, not sure how…

        July 17, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      • Alexandra

        Did it work?

        July 17, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      • I don’t think so. I’ll just follow your profile 😁

        July 17, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      • Alexandra

        How do I link you then? I hi-lighted your name and told it to add a link – that’s not right is it? :/

        July 17, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      • Just copy the link from your address bar when you’re on the right page and post it here. Then others can read it, too 😁

        July 17, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      • Sorry. I accidentally clicked SPAM as I’m using my phone and I have thumbs like hammers. Could you post it again? So sorry

        July 17, 2016 at 6:16 pm

  3. Alexandra

    P.S: I use Scrivener as well as Word. Just so you don’t think I’m a complete idiot!

    July 17, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    • No judgement here. I think everyone has their own way of doing things and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      July 17, 2016 at 5:16 pm

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