After my editing post and receiving so much feedback, I have decided to dedicate a post to the resources which I use to write, but, in writing this I also came up with a new editing technique I will be sharing with everyone on Friday. It is one that I have paired alongside my original technique, which is something everyone can do if they wish to incorporate this technique into their own techniques. I will be hinting at it occasionally in this post, but details will come along on Friday. Now, onto my resources (with pictures, of course)!
- A Typewriter
They’re old, yes, and they do not have word counters or the fancy spell checks, but they were once used to write thousands upon thousands of manuscripts. Unless you get one of the newer models, which are essentially retro computers. I wouldn’t personally want one because to me it loses the value an old school typewriter has to give. They require a lot more effort as far as a writer is concerned which is why I am a huge advocate of them. They help you learn things much quicker because they force you to look things up yourself and make you look for that dictionary you’ve had since kindergarten. They make a writer more self-reliant. However, not all of them come at a very cheap price. I got mine from my boyfriend’s uncle which is the best way to get them. Find an older family member and ask around. There is usually one in every family, just takes a bit of looking around.
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King (2nd Edition)
This book is an absolute lifesaver. I am a big of fan of lists, especially checklists because they help me feel like I’m getting things done. This book is full of them. Every chapter deals with a set of issues that every fiction writer has ever had using famous works as examples and models. Then, at the end of the chapter they have checklists which you can use to go through your manuscript with. You can find it relatively cheap on Amazon, and you can also just buy the first edition if you’re in a major money crunch. Not much is different between the two editions except for chapter placement and a few word variations.
- Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Samburg and the editors of Writer’s Digest Books (3rd Edition)
Another lifesaver I use. This is best utilized after editing is done, but don’t rely on it too heavily. It has all the bare bones necessary for writing query letters, fiction manuscripts, non-fiction manuscripts, and even the lost art of the “thank you” letter. It’s great for learning the formatting of everything, but there are a few things which need to be tailored differently depending on the person/house you are sending it to. Make sure you read guidelines carefully. This book also has pictures and examples of general manuscripts with helpful side notes. A must for any writer who seeks publication.
Scrivener is a new technology in the world of word processing and picking up speed every day with writers. I absolutely love it. Now, not to toot my own horn, but I’m fairly tech savvy when it comes to computers, but this piece of tech is most certainly NOT user-friendly. YouTube has a fair amount of tutorials if you’re a visual learner, but you will need to find something to help teach you how to use this bit of tech. There is a user-manual and tutorial built into the program, but even it has a bit of a learning curve to it. What is great about this once you learn to use it is the fact that you can keep character sheets, note cards, outlines, and everything else together in one large file, but have it completely separate so you can move it around and edit it without affecting the entire manuscripts. It also has different templates already set-up for manuscripts which saves a lot of time, but don’t become too reliant on it.(Here is a post by Jon Stone, which I believe sums up Scrivener quite well! Check it out!) Make sure to check other sources to make sure it isn’t formatting something strangely.
- Elements of a Good Scene Worksheet
This is a neat little sheet that I use sometimes to go through chapter-by-chapter and “cut the fat,” if you will, off some of my heftier parts. It’s a good little learning tool and can help transform your style into something much more engaging with each use of it.
Well, that is all I have for you today. I hope someone out there found this useful and is forging ahead in their literary endeavors. Regardless, happy writing!
Thanks for reading!