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Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 05:43 AM EST

Writing Toolbox Guest Post - Greg Chapman

Writing Toolbox Intro: Last week, my Writing Toolbox - 5 Useful Tools for Writers post gained a bit of interest on social media from fellow writers. Discussions were started, and it was soon obvious how different everyone's writing methods were. So, I've invited a number of other authors to come along and show us what is in their Writing Toolbox, and tell us a little about how they approach the more 'mechanical' aspects of story writing. This week, author and illustrator Greg Chapman opens up his toolbox for all to see...


I’m one of those old school writers who prefers to write on paper (in longhand!) so very rarely do I write a story straight into a PC from the beginning. But when I do I write to PC I keep it very, very simple.
Microsoft Word: Recently my laptop’s charger socket came loose and no longer holds charge, so I’ve resorted to using my old laptop which has Widows XP on it (yeah, yeah, but like I said… old school). But there is one benefit to this. There are no distractions like the Internet to hold me back so I made quite a lot of progress on my novel over the past month and got the first draft completed ahead of schedule. Word is Word and I just love it.
Backing up stories involves me saving a copy on my computer, a copy to a USB, emailing it to my hotmail and gmail accounts and saving it to One Drive (via hotmail). One can never have enough back-ups. ?
Another thing is that I don’t use a lot of apps or programs to keep track of my writing progress, so I thought instead I’d talk about some of the websites I refer to when I want to get the creative juices flowing.
Online Etymology Dictionary (OED) www.etymonline.com : Reference books and websites, especially obscure ones are usually my first point of call when an idea comes to mind for a story, but sometimes a single word can be enough to plant a seed. The OED website is fantastic when you’re looking for a word and the site offers you not only the origin of the word, but its family tree. I find the meanings of words utterly fascinating. My novella The Noctuary got its title from this site.
Phrontistery www.phrontistery.info : Similar to the OED but with words that are even more obscure. 
Onelook Reverse Dictionary www.onelook.com : This is a cool website that allows you to enter a phrase or a concept and gives you a whole bunch of words to match it. Handy for titles but it can open many doors to potential stories and themes. I also have a Reader’s Digest hard copy of a Reverse Dictionary on my shelf.
Random House Word Menu by Stephen Glazier: This is a great book that is like a dictionary that puts words in order of subject rather than alphabetically. It’s been on my shelf since 1999 and I refer to it often.
I hope you find some of this useful. All these sites and volumes help me with the writing process particularly at the very early stages of generating ideas. Thanks to these sites I can attest that I’ve never suffered from writer’s block. If you do find trouble getting started I recommend you try any of the above and see where they take you!
Greg Chapman is an emerging horror author and artist from Queensland, Australia. He is the author of four novellas, "Torment", "The Noctuary" (Damnation Books, 2011), "Vaudeville" (Dark Prints Press, 2012) and "The Last Night of October" (Bad Moon Books, 2013). His debut collection, "Vaudeville and Other Nightmares", was published by Black Beacon Books in September, 2014. Greg is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel "Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times", written by Bram Stoker Award winning authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton was published in 2012. Website: http://darkscrybe.com/


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