Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Blog Conversation about Aids for Writers . . .


Writing Aids Our last conversation—How and Why Writers Write—ended on Friday, July 27th, because it received no comments. If you go to that last link you can access all 5 of the posts in that discussion…

So

Here we go, talking about aids for writers—actually, anything that helps a writer write :-)

If your a writer, you probably use at least a few writing aids; and, you’ve more than likely tried out even more…

If you know a writer, you may have seen many different aids—on their desk or in use…

I suppose it starts for most with a pencil and/or pen; then goes to a small cluster of instruments for getting the words down on the page; then, come the different notebooks; and………

I came across a humorous yet edifying article entitled, Stationery Packing List for a Writer’s Conference. Worth reading…

Then, come the book-aids: dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedias, even books about “how” to write (though, many writers will say there are no “rules”; but, my favorite fiction author does have a short list… And, her most famous rule is,“Follow no rule off a cliff”).

And, there must be writers who’ve started their craft on computers of various types (plus, on Wattpad, most of the folks write on their phones…)… Then, there are all the various digital aids for writing…

Long before I even thought I was a writer, I spent hour after hour inside encyclopedias, swiftly moving on to novels…

Many authors consider the act of reading a major aid to learning their craft—reading the kind of writing you want to do; and, if you’re not sure what you want to write, reading “everything”…

And, if the writer is a self-publisher, there are whatever aids that process necessitates…

Personally, I’ve gone through the stage of trying out scads of digital aids during my “apprenticeship”; but nearly all of them have slipped into the fog of the past…

Now, I read, a lot; and, I have an app on my computer that has 4 dictionaries and 2 thesauri; plus, every so often, I check the Etymology dictionary

Finally, I do all my composition in a simple .rtf word processor, use Google Docs if I need something like a Word.doc format; and Calibre for various e-book formats…

So

What writing aids do you use…?

And, if your not a writer, what do any writers you know use…?

Plus, if you can’t yet call yourself a writer, what aids are you using to become a writer…?

But, please don’t feel like no one would want to know which aids you (or, a friend) may use to help with writing—sharing it in the comments could, very well, help another writer………
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6 responses to “Blog Conversation about Aids for Writers . . .

  1. martinaseveckepohlen July 31, 2018 at 9:28 am

    I usually write on my laptop nowadays. When I started as a writer I scribbled on paper, but I gave that up as it’s simply too much work to transfer the text into a digital version – although this process was a step in revision. But I still make notes on paper, mostly because I stil haven’t found the best way to organize notes. Evernote is alright for keeping track on revisions, though.
    I try not to sit at my desk when writing, which means I have to get up when I want to look up words in my printed (!) dictionary and thesaurus. I return to my desk when the revision stage starts, and then I have my dictionary close at hand. I prefer the printed and the online version, the app is uncomfortable to use.
    I have some books about writing. Some are useful, some not (to me). I believe in learning by examples, therefore I read a lot, and in learning by doing, therefore I write. It does seem to work for me ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexander M Zoltai July 31, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Very comprehensive, Martina; and, you’ve let the conversation continue…

    Like

  3. Alexander M Zoltai July 31, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    This is not my comment—Wordpress has goofed—luckily, the commenter sent me her comment in an email :-)
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    I’m not going to dwell on what I used to do decades ago, which is writing by hand… Once I was introduced to Wattpad, I was ‘re-hooked’ to writing—then I discovered Scrivener. It is now indispensable to me, it helps me organize my writing, and makes navigating and locating old scenes for cross-referencing and consistency very easy. There is so much more it helps with, but that was the immediate takeaway when I started using it: keeping track of all my scenes.
    Then there’s the Grammarly plugin. I particularly like the fact it explains why something might be wrong, and thus I learn from my mistakes. I use the free version and wait for when they offer discount to subscribe to the full capabilities for 3 months when I need to.
    Another app I plan to subscribe to when I’ve completed my novel and am ready to do some serious editing and revising, is the ProWritingAid editing tool. I tested its free 500 words-at-a-time limit editor, and its functionalities are impressive, starting from analyzing my writing. Actually, I won’t need to subscribe to Grammarly when I’m using this app.
    I might also try MasterWriter… perhaps. I came across it recently and am glancing at it out of the corner of my eye… It helps to expand the vocabulary.

    https://www.wattpad.com/user/kemorgan65

    With Regards
    Annika

    Like

  4. Jane Watson August 1, 2018 at 2:55 am

    I try to read a lot, I stare at the wall a lot.

    I use Scrivener for writing the whole novel, sometimes Ulysses for short stuff ( a change is as good as a holiday), Inspiration, Tinderbox and Scapple for planning. I often use Dragon by Nuance for voice dictation – it could type up Magna Carta without a mistake. I diffuse essential oils, listen to various tracks on iTunes. I meditate using Insight meditation app and I meet other writers in a virtual world to hang out together and talk about writing. They ‘aid’ me.

    I don’t like being disturbed by noise so I often wear a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones, which block out all other noise especially noisy televisions even if you don’t pipe music through them. They are magical.

    If I ever win the lottery I intend to get one of those cute little garden sheds where I can work far away from the bustle of the house and ignore everyone else… :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alexander M Zoltai August 1, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Your comment will soon join the others on the next installment of the conversation, Jane :-)

    Like

  6. Pingback: More Conversation about Aids for Writers . . . | Notes from An Alien

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