Login Welcome to Andrew J McKiernan
Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 08:24 PM EST

Writing Toolbox Guest Post - Tarran Jones

Writing Toolbox Intro: This week, South Australian author and bookseller shares the contents of her Writer's Toolbox...


Every writer needs tools to help them on their journey of creation.  For some, it can be a pen and paper. For others it is lucky socks, music, programs, you name it – it’s been used. For me, the tools in my toolkit are:



I need quiet to write. When I was younger I used to be able to have the TV on and listen to music. Now, I need to have silence or my flow gets distracted and I can’t concentrate. Saying that, music helps me focus on plotting when I am not actually writing. The turn of a phrase or the sound of a haunting tune will get me into writing mode. I just have to turn it off when it comes to putting words down.


WPS OFFICE SUITE (Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheets) –  http://wps.com/

I write mainly on my tablet and I have gone through many writing suites trying to find one that won’t corrupt or screw with my formatting too much when I convert it to Microsoft Word on my laptop. This writing suite is fantastic so far. I only get minimal formatting issues and it lets me review, edit, save, view, everything that Word does.  It also jumps me to the spot I left off at so I don’t have to forever scroll to find my last chapter. 



This app/program is a must have for all writers. It is a free program that lets you make notes. Now you might say why should I care about that? There are many apps and programs that do that. I would say to you, Evernote is different as the program then give you many different options on what to do with your notes. You can share them, sync them between devices (which is what I do as I work mainly on the tablet.) You can have many different note books going at once. For example, I have a writing notebook, a cooking notebook, a gardening notebook and a craft notebook and they are all kept separate.  You can make webcam notes, ink notes, copy and paste. You can print, save, import and export your notes. It is the best tool!



I would classify this program as the most important. 

Every writer knows that backing up and saving your work is crucial. We have all had those moments when you have lost hours of work because of hardware failure of some kind. If you use Dropbox, then fingers crossed you won’t experience that again. Dropbox lets you save to the cloud and you can access your files from any computer as long as you have internet access. It is free to use, but you can also pay for premium and that gives you more options. You simply save your files on your computer, then once that is done you can access them on your phone/tablet . Everything that’s in Dropbox is synced automatically to all your devices.  You can mark files for offline use as well. How handy is that!



I love my baby name books. I write fantasy and sometimes you need an unusual name.



All fiction is based on fact. Google can be our friend, when we research say what makes a town a town, not a village? What types of pubs are there? How do you mine limestone? Etc.. do not be afraid of research.  



I always carry a pen and paper around with me for those occasions that inspiration strikes. I love to draw maps and jot down ideas when I am having a quiet moment. 


Lastly you can’t forget the chocolate, coffee and tea you must consume to keep your energy up. Many people would argue that this last one is the most important item in your tool kit!


I hope you have enjoyed your glimpse into my writer’s toolkit 



Part 1 - 5 Useful Tools for Writers

Part 2 - Guest Post: Alan Baxter

Part 3 - Guest Post: Greg Chapman


Tarran Jones - Biography

Tarran Jones works at Collins Booksellers Edwardstown. She lives in Adelaide, Australia with her partner and young daughter. Tarran has been in the book industry selling other people’s books for over 10 years now and thought it was about time she started thinking about her own. She has finished her first novel 'Stones of Power’ which is due out in 2016 with Satalyte Publishing and is now writing the second.  Her short story ‘All That Glitters’ (a re-telling of ‘The Girl With No Hands’) is published in the ‘Twice Upon a Time Anthology’ by Bearded Scribe Press.  

Tarran has previously written articles, reviews and blog posts for her bookstore’s blog and has written a great many short stories and one unpublished novella.  She has had three short stories published online and was a finalist in the Australian Literature Review short story competition for one of her works. She loves writing all kinds of spec fiction and thinks that it fires up the imagination. Gardening is one of Tarran’s passions and when she isn’t writing she can be found out in the vegetable garden, talking to the plants. WEBSITE: https://taliesin13.wordpress.com/




Trackback URL for this entry: http://www.andrewmckiernan.com/trackback.php/20150917104308235

No trackback comments for this entry.