Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A visit from Cassandra Moore

Artists use pencils and paints. Sculptors use their fingers and clay. But it wouldn't seem like a writer would use much more than a pen and paper, would it?
Not so! Writers use a lot of tools to organize their ideas and get them out for general consumption. Pen and paper is important to some, and others don't touch it. Here are my tools of the trade:
1. A spiral notebookMead Five Star, if you please. Usually five subject. It's got pockets for storing loose notes that get scribbled on envelopes, a sturdy plastic cover that doesn't rip or bend much, and is stable enough that I can write on my knee if I want to.

2. PensPaper-Mate Profile has a nice flow to it. It makes my handwriting almost legible. Almost.

3. Power StructureThere are a lot of writing programs for your computer out there. Some of them almost write the story for you, some are very bare bones. I've found that which one you like is really subjective. Power Structure works out for me, although I've been looking into some cheaper alternatives. Still, I can't deny that this helps keep my plots and characters organized.

4. A wikiPower Structure's great for plots, but it's not great for world building. For that, I use a wiki. Just like Wikipedia, but with my own content. I have character profiles, story synopses, notes, you name it. I copy and paste descriptions from my stories into it to keep track of what I've said about who. This is a really terrific tool that I just discovered, thanks to Moira Rogers.

5. MusicWriting without music is torturous to me. Give me my iPod, or the playlist on my computer. I sometimes have specific playlists for specific situations, like writing steamy scenes or fight scenes. My main playlist is 193 songs long (that's about 14 hours of music).

6. Colored paperclipsThis is about as organized as I get.

7. Messy deskIf it's too neat, how can I think?

8. Pretzels (or black licorice)I don't smoke. But I've been known to sit around, writing a particularly tetchy scene with a pretzel stick hanging out of my mouth like a cigarette. Sometimes, I have good black licorice. Mmm.

9. FirefoxI sometimes have three tabs worth of research material open at a time. Included in this are the online dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, and Wikipedia. Also, Google Earth and Google Maps.

10. PeopleNo one writes in a vacuum. I have my husband, my critique partners, my good friend, and other authors to bounce ideas off of, get told off by, and generally get help from. I use Pidgin to access multiple messaging services

To Learn More about Cassandra visit her at www.cassandra-moore.com


Vivian said...

Great tips Cassandra. Thanks for outlining some of your favorites. I'll have to check out the wiki idea. Never thought of that.

Good luck. I love this blog idea Terri.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Great ideas to keep organized and on track.

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews