Posts Tagged ‘writing tools’

Music? I thought we were talking about writing.


Yes, we are, but many writers find it beneficial as well as enjoyable to surround themselves with the music of their choice as a background to their writing time. Of course, preferences vary greatly. I’ve heard of a writer who rented a small, windowless room in which he cloistered himself while working. No sound. No sunshine. No distractions. I’d go screaming mad in short order, but to each his own.rock concert

I’ve also heard of writers who play loud, heavy metal type music in their writing space. I would be brain dead in minutes, but again, we have different personalities and preferences.

Some writers love to write in coffee shops, which offer their own background music and chatter. In fact, there are apps available to bring the sound of the shop into your home office. I’ve tried https://coffitivity.com, but I don’t write well in coffee shops (as I stated in my November Tools of the Trade column), and once the repertoire begins to repeat, it becomes distracting.1383822123h9xfh

My personal preference is to have an oldies station or playlist playing fairly quietly on the Bose in the other room so it’s not right in my ear. My middle daughter would shudder at this!

Whatever surroundings you work best in, music can prove to soothe the senses, inspire ideas, excite your creativity, and otherwise encourage writing. You can create your own playlist, follow a certain site or download an app that plays whatever you want on any particular day.

Here’s an article about music to write by. See what you think. http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2012/11/15/music-to-write-by-10-top-authors-share-their-secrets-for-summoning-the-muse/\

One of my daughters loves http://8tracks.com, but it may take a while to discover the right fit for you.

I find there are a lot of dark sources out there too, so be careful and figure out what works for you. Of course, at this time of year, there’s always Christmas music. Fa la la la la…

Christmas Carolers



I do believe that music can be a strong inspirational element for writing. When I read a portion of one of my novels, I can often hear in my soul the music I played while writing it. So give it a try and see if music doesn’t motivate and inspire your writing.

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Please note: the blog below is written from personal experience with this program and is published here for the benefit of other writers, not for any monetary gain.



Scrivener Logo

I first discovered Scrivener (Scri-ve-ner) a few years ago on one of the listservs I subscribe to. It was touted as a great tool for writing, and at the time, I was in procrastination mode. No better delay device than a new program or tool to study. So I signed up for the free introductory month. While it did cost me some learning time, it was well worth it, and I bought the program shortly after.

Scrivener is a writing software program designed by a company called Literature & Latte.

Literature & Latte

According to the site, “Literature & Latte was founded in 2006 with the sole purpose of creating software that aids in the creative process of writing long texts.” There are templates for fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, poetry and lyrics, etc., and it’s available for either Mac or Windows.

To my understanding, the most basic difference between Scrivener and other writing programs is the perception of composition. Scrivener does not function in pages but in components.

Each component in a project can be titled, moved, edited, color-coded and viewed in various modes. The options are extensive, as are the applications. Also, the writer is able to assemble all information pertaining to the project in one place. I can be writing a scene, then click on a card that gives me the synopsis of that scene, then click on a character or setting photo, then include a live link to a website I wish to revisit. And if I’m really in procrastination mode, I can vary the color of my screen or change the font or…. Delicious decisions for a visual writer.

But this is just the composition mode. After my project is complete, or whenever I wish to print out a copy, I have more choices. For example, I can compile all the scenes from one point of view and print them, to check the timeline or flow of that narrative. The compile feature is something I’m still learning, but the capacity is there for me to format my story for e-book or print version.

My greatest learning helps for Scrivener have been the courses offered by Gwen Hernandez.Gwen Hernandez Her courses are clear, concise and interactive as well as economical. At this writing the basics course is set at $25 USD. The course includes print-outs, opportunities for questions and comments, and screenshots for clarification. Gwen has also published the Scrivener for Dummies manual.Scrivener for Dummies

The Scrivener program is relatively inexpensive (I paid $40 USD), and I’ve found  the updates are usually free if I stay current.

I write these things today because in the recent past I’ve read and participated in discussion regarding Scrivener. Since it’s been such a great tool for me, I like to recommend it to other writers. But please don’t look to me for expert advice. Go to Literature & Latte, or to Gwen Hernandez for hands-on learning and practice. It certainly makes the writing experience more organized, efficient and fun.


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