Writing Toolbox Guest Post - Gary Kemble
Tuesday, October 06 2015 @ 10:24 AM EST
Writing Toolbox Intro: In this ongoing series of guest posts, 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, Australian author Gary Kemble shares the contents of his Writer's Toolbox...
Here’s what’s in my writing toolbox…
MacBook: I envy writers who have their own writing ‘space’, but at the same time I like to be able to write in different locations. I work from home so I do have a desk, but sometimes writing there makes it a bit too much like ‘work’. So sometimes I move to the couch, or the kitchen table, or a local coffee shop. When the kids were smaller I would write while sitting in their room helping them get off to sleep. I write on a Mac because in the olden days Scrivener was only available on OS.
Scrivener (https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php): I used to write in MSWord — just one massive text file. I used to be a ‘pantser’ (writing without planning). After several failed novel-writing attempts I became a planner. Scrivener has helped me make this transition. Scrivener allows me to jot down rough ideas (which become ‘index cards’), move them around, and flesh out the structure. During the early re-write phase, I can easily drag and drop chapters around. Yes, I know this is possible in Word, but it makes more sense to me in Scrivener. There are other bits and pieces that I find useful, such as a place to write a short summary of each chapter, which helps when it comes to writing a full synopsis. There’s also a ‘name generator’, which I like because I hate coming up with names.
MSWord: Once I’ve finished the major structural work, I export to Word. I could probably do this final stage in Scrivener, but for me moving a project to Word signals that I’m done with big changes and from here on in it’s only relatively small changes. I like to see how the MS will look when I submit it to publishers (or my agent these days).
The Internet: This is kinda a no-brainer. Research. Duh!
Books: Again, duh! You need to read to write, which is why I’ve included ‘books’ as part of my toolbox. Also, even though I do a lot of research on the Internet, I still like to buy non-fiction books during the research stage. (I should probably get a library card).
Kobo: This is a very recent addition to my toolbox. This is by no means essential but in terms of research, it’s easier to search an ebook for a particular fact/passage.
Brown noise: I can’t listen to music when I write. I wish I could. But sometimes I need to block out annoying background noise (like, ah, children squabbling for example :D). This site serves up white noise and a bunch of variants, that block out background noise. My fave is brown noise. http://mynoise.net/NoiseMachines/whiteNoiseGenerator.php
Thanks for having me!
Gary Kemble’s debut novel Skin Deep (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25356542-skin-deep) was published by Echo Publishing this year (2015). His short fiction has won awards and been published in anthologies and online. When he’s not writing, he works as a digital/social media consultant. He lives in Scotland with his wife and two kids. http://garykemble.com
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Part 1 - 5 Useful Tools for Writers