Believe it or not, I’m already preparing for Nano. You see, I had this dream, and I figured it might make a good story… then I read this book on writing (You’ve Got a Book in You by Elizabeth Sims), which inspired me to drag out my Alphasmart 3K and begin typing up notes on the idea… and now I’ve got about 20 pages of notes that I have to move into Scrivener (writing software), so that I can try to make the whole thing work. This random wild typing of notes is giving me lots of ideas, but of course no plot yet. But, hey, I have until November! The good thing is that for two weeks I’ve spent my lunch hour reading and writing rather than playing games.

One of the things that I took from the book was having “conversations” with my characters. Not interviews (I tried that, it doesn’t work well), but just conversations. I am finding out all kinds of interesting things, but also one funny one – so far, every character I’ve “talked to” has described my hero as a jerk. A nice guy, but a jerk. hee.

Recommendations from this post:

  • You’ve Got a Book in You by Elizabeth Sims – I have a long, long list of good books on writing, many of them just as inspiring as this one. But this one has a breezy, fun, can-do attitude that’s perfect for Nano.
  • Alphasmart 3000 – I’ve been using this little piece of equipment for many years. They no longer make the 3K – it was superseded by the Neo, which was in turn superseded by the Neo 2. This is a word processor and nothing else, beautifully simple. No games, no email, no distractions! That nasty ol’ Inner Editor is sidelined because you can only see a few lines at a time in the screen. Also, this is a very lightweight machine (I can hold it up, in its case, with my pinky), and very rugged. It also runs about 700 hours with a few batteries. (That’s not a typo.)
  • Scrivener – This writing software program is arguably the best on the planet. It’s an incredible bargain, even at $40. It’s a powerful and flexible tool for organizing your writing and preserving your ideas. I won’t go into detail, because the website does a good job of that, but I will say this – this program does so much that the learning curve is a bit intimidating, but there are lots of great videos to teach it. Now that I’ve begun to master it, I don’t know how I’ve done without it. And it has a cool-looking corkboard!

 

 

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