1. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    Writers: your equipment

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Aprella, May 10, 2013.

    I'm not sure if it should be here or in the lounge, if it should be in the lounge, sorry!

    Every writer works in different ways and with different tools. I was wondering what do you guys and girls use to write a story? Do you use pen and paper? A gigantic cork board or a fancy writing program? And why?

    I shall start. I use a notebook to scrabble ideas in and some minor scene when I have no access to a computer. While I love writing in a notebook, I find it rather hard to change things in a text since it becomes a mess rather quickly. Especially since I have a terrible handwriting. I used to use word for writing, but it became too cumbersome. Every other chapter was in another file and I had a map for research. Opening up everything at the same time wasn't very practical. Now I use Scrivener (for Windows) and I love it! Everything I need is there! All my research, plotting, characters and writing in one single project! It's also very handy that you can save sites into the program and browse them from within Scrivener! I am a very messy and chaotic person, but I manage to organise everything a bit with Scrivener!
    While I think Scrivener is ideal for me, I am still curious what other writers use for their writing, plotting etc.
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Mainly Word 2010 and sometimes the note pad app on my phone.
     
  3. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    Pilot pen and a 5x8 pad of paper then I type it on my computer.
     
  4. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    OpenOffice 3.0. Sometimes I scribble notes on a scrap of paper.

    Nonfiction stuff (work) gets the 'ol whiteboard treatment too.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Pen and notebook if I'm writing in bed (which sometimes happens). I also carry a pocket-sized Moleskine notebook around wherever I go so that I can jot down ideas, draft scenes, etc. when I'm away from home.

    I used to use Word on the computer, but two or three months ago I became an enthusiastic convert to Scrivener. I hardly bother with Word now. I probably haven't even opened Word in over a month.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Imagination.
    Imagination.
    Something to write on.
    Something to write with.
    Imagination.












    ...and a few dictionaries and other reference sources.
     
  7. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    I used scrivener for a bit, but have gone back to libreoffice writer (Ubuntu's version of word). It is a good WP, although, annoyingly, I can only get it to spell check in USA English, not British English. I can not and WILL NOT spell colour without a U!
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Please don't use the thread to endorse specific products.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Everybody assumes this. You might as well have listed oxygen.
     
  10. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Whatever pen I fancy at the moment and a composition book or open office 3.3. The upside of typing it is I can go for much longer before I hurt my hand.
     
  11. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    I understand the reasoning for the stance of this forum on not endorsing any particular products, as that of course could easily count as a form of advertising.

    But do we have to draw the line in such a way that no discussion of any product is allowed? There are many reasons to talk about a piece of software or hardware that aren't in any way endorsement. For instance, I use Microsoft Word and Notepad++ in relation to my writing work as well as using a whiteboard and MS Excel for planning threads and the like, which are things I use as per what this thread is about, but none of them is perfect and I wouldn't ever be trying either via direct or indirect methods to cajole other people here to use them.

    It's probably true that a thread such as this might take a little more checking by the moderating team to ensure that actual endorsements don't occur, but that is something that happens from time to time, surely?
     
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  12. Michael O
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    Michael O Contributing Member

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    Well.............Imagine that!
     
  13. Michael O
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    Michael O Contributing Member

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    u twit
     
  14. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use Scrivener as well. I went looking for an inexpensive software with a simple/clean split screen feature and it was the first one I came across. I downloaded the trial and was happy with it, so I've stuck with it.
     
  15. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Same, but for non-fiction stuff like blog posts and articles I have a number of A4 notebooks to brainstorm/write titles, then I type them up.

    Fun fact: You're better off brainstorming by hand than on the computer - you write slower, so you get more ideas.
     
  16. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    for me, a fountain pen is my main thing, and paper, i prefer notebooks, but i can write on lined paper, especially if its an idea that i cant expand in any way at that point in time...
     
  17. Sue Almond
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    Sue Almond Member

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    I used to have a lady in my writing group who wrote with a white biro on black sugar paper.She said she thought the 'ink' flowed more freely than ordinary ink and as she had arthritis it put less stress on her fingers and wrist, so was more comfortable! I don't know where she found a white pen but have speculated, in an article about this very topic, the importance of working with whatever suits you, that she might have been using a correcting pen!
     
  18. Bagabon
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    Bagabon Banned

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    I still prefer ms word, or any other word processor. I tried out the pen and paper thing a couple of times, but my handwriting is terrible. I just like to print what I write and edit it from there, rather than in ms word.
     
  19. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    MS Word. I don't like it much, but I'm used to it so it gets the job done. I also use a notepad app in my phone to jot down notes. Sometimes I use a voice recorder app to record my and KaTrian's planning discussions if we're out on a walk, but I hate how my voice sounds on that recorder so I avoid that to the last.
     
  20. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    id like to add to mine, that sometimes (like tonight) things are flowing better in a coloured pen (Purple is tonights colour) sometimes i need to let something out my system that can only be done with a particular writing impliment.

    One thing i have noticed is that some of my better ideas started out in pencil, i dont know why this is but it seems to happen like that....
     
  21. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I use MS Word. When I'm not in front of my computer, I use index cards.
     
  22. inkyliddlefingers
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    inkyliddlefingers Member

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    I always hand write as much as I can before turing to the PC. I love the organic process of brain-arm-hand-pen-paper creativity. I find typing too clinical, cold, distant and it inhibits my creative flow as I am always messing with spell checker, changing the format etc etc. Whereas, when I write I don't need to worry about any of that until I begin to type, which is the 'processing' side rather than the 'creating' side, of the whole thing. And I hate it when the computer turns off and I haven't saved it recently (we have loads of power cuts here). Or, I inadvertantly hit a button and lose a chunk I'd spent three hours getting perfect. Somehow handwriting is less frustrating. Well, it works for me.

    I never write with anything except fountain pens. For a start they are much less likely to give RSI. Several studies have concluded so. I have between 6 and 10 inked up at any given time, all with different coloured inks. (I've been collecting fountain pens, and inks, for years). This way I can write out chapters or sections in different colours, and annotate/change words and phrases in contrasting colours. Also, having chunks written in different colours is a great visual reference when I come to type it later (Now, where did I get up to yesterday? Oh yes, it was the turquoise section...)

    I use only good quality A5 notebooks for my writing and have several on the go at once. I feel quite strongly that if I buy the best equipment I can afford, I am attributing value to my work. Cheap stuff somehow makes me feel less confident about it.

    One notebook goes everywhere with me and records all manner of snippets I think worth logging for future use. Another stays by my bed as I often have my best thoughts in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep. I have another for 'free writing' which I try to do as per Dorothea Brande's advice, every morning before the business of the day intrudes. Then, I have various notebooks filled with stuff pertaining to stories I am working on. Every time I begin a new novel, I choose two note books; one for the first draft (always hand written) and one for research and technical stuff pertaining to that particular novel.
     
  23. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i couldnt agree more with what you have put there, likewise i find that even my laptop causes my hands to cramp up, which is rather painful (especially my right hand) though i have a feeling that this may have stemmed from previous fractures/breaks ive recieved to my wrists a few years ago, which does get uncomfortable. which is why i prefer fountain pens as they keep my hands and wrists in such a way that i can spend hours writing and not have a care in the world
     
  24. MustWrite
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    MustWrite Member

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    Although I use Scrivener most of the time, I find my ideas flow more easily with pen and paper. Somehow there is less anxiety in scribbling a snatch of dialogue or a scene down than in typing it. I have some stupid idea that if I type it it's more important to get it down right..
    Does anyone else have a notebook addiction? If I see a nice notebook I must have it. I have more than I'll ever use, probably. And despite my terrible handwriting I love using a nice pen.
    I have scribbled notes down with a piece of burnt wood on a chunk of wall lining [plasterboard] when i panicked I might forget those perfect words..
     
  25. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    I had some problems with writing lately. Everything I wrote seemed bad to me... but I switched to writing in a notebook (which I normally only do if I have no access to a computer) and suddenly writing is 'easy' again.

    @MustWrite: I love notebooks, but since I am a student and have to be very careful on what I spend money, I almost never buy one unless I need it. I got a very beautiful one from a friend for Christmas. Then I have another nice one laying around with random drafts in it. And I have a leather-look one which is I don't use since it's a little to small to write in... I prefer hardback notebooks!
     

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