Wednesday, October 23, 2013

# 10 Day Writing Challenge # On Writing

My 1 - 2 Punch Writing Software -10 Day Challenge Day 7

I'm participating in the 10 Day Writing Blogger Challenge that was created over at Hunting Down Writing.

Day 7: Profile 2 books you’ve read and loved lately-or describe the software and tools you use for writing.

I do love to read and have pounded back quite a number of books this year, but truth be known I've been off that wagon lately because of the pre-planning rush for NaNoWriMo.  Since I'm in that "zone", I'll highlight a couple pieces of software that I love for writing.

Character file using OneNote
OneNote (Windows)- This comes packaged with Microsoft Office, and I had totally overlooked it until a writer friend mentioned it. OneNote is like a virtual scrapbook I can add text, images, music, and video to. I can make outlines, detailed character files, etc as shown here, but most commonly I use it as a general ideas/inspiration notebook. I make a new notebook for each book. I know a lot of folks who use Pinterest as their inspirational scrapbook, and while I love that idea, this goes me one better. I have the ability to group images and unlimited streams of text together on a page (like the character file shown here). Plus if I hear a song that strikes me as great inspiration for a particular book or scene, I can import it right into the notebook so it'll be ready when it's time to write.
Outlining with OneNote

An awesome feature of OneNote is that I can grab images --or just a selected area of an image--right off the net and send it straight to the exact notebook page I want it on whether OneNote is currently open or not. Handy!   

Characters side by side in Scrivener
Scrivener (Windows or Mac) -While I love the versatility of OneNote, sometimes I find it a little too free-range and want something more plug and play. That's why I use Scrivener as my primary outlining/character file tool. The cork board feature is brilliant. It lets me add little virtual index cards in nice neat rows that snap into place. It's perfect for outlining. I can easily move the cards around when I'm working on the order of a scene (or book), but they automatically stay nice and neat. Like OneNote, I can also add images/video and "clip" them right to my notecards, plus I can type endless streams of notes and ideas that are visible when the card is clicked on. There's a split screen function that will let me pull up an image so I can see it while I'm typing. Importing images takes a bit more doing than OneNote, however, and requires the program to be open. Also, I can play music files right within OneNote, and Scrivener doesn't do that.
Outlining in Scrivener

Because each of these has advantages the other doesn't, I use both together. When I REALLY want them to work in tandem, I use Windows 8 split screen mode so I can have the OneNote scrapbook open on half the screen while I work in Scrivener. Best of both worlds! 

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Facebook. She loves talking to people!

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