Sunday, February 21, 2010

TOOL WEEK! Question #1

My professional background is Systems Analysis.  I'm always fascinated by the processes people use to accomplish tasks, and the tools that (may or may not) help them be more productive.  In many occupations there is a small set of tools that are essentially industry standard.  Authors' tools are sort of interesting to me because there doesn't seem to be one tool that is standard, unless you count Microsoft Word, which in my opinion isn't actually an authoring tool at all.  Instead it seems we all use our own random combinations of tools.

So tell me, please, what tools do you use for creating fiction?
  • Word processor?
  • Authoring software?
  • Websites?
  • Office supplies?


  1. - Word processor (and notebooks)
    - Index cards (although they are a recent addition)
    - The internet for backing up my files and looking up synonyms

  2. I never leave home without my faithful netbook. I'm writing my MS in Word 2007 since Word seems to be the standard, but that's the closest thing to any kind of authoring software I use. Of course, all the endless notes and ideas surrounding me disguised as small scraps of paper are must-have supplies for me. As for websites, there's too many to share... I'll share one hidden gem:

  3. Thanks guys!

    I use a notebook - I ALWAYS have a notebook on me - to plan, brainstorm, and write little pep talks to myself.

    I use MS Word to write, spell check, and edit the master document.

    I like to print it out and decorate with highlighters and pens - "editing".

    I backup using Google Docs, and sometimes use that to edit on-the-go.

    I use to check for overused words.

    I also frequently use MS Word's thesaurus,, and Wikipedia.

  4. I use a notebook and write long hand before transferring to the computer, where I use MS Word, spell check, and Thesaurus. But I would be interested in any tool that would be be helpful. I am going to check out right now. Thanks

  5. Thanks, Ann! Wordle is pretty cool for identifying words you've overused, which is surprisingly helpful when polishing your prose.