Friday, December 7, 2012

What helps us to be better writers?

As writers we know the importance of resources and tools. The computer has allowed us to write more efficiently and quickly, and without it, most of us wouldn’t have written nearly as much as we have. I wrote my first stories on a red Big Chief tablet with a pencil as round as my little finger. It had an eraser I used a lot.

Then came the manual typewriter without correction tape. Revision and editing was a real pain and consumed way too much time as I had to start over so many times. My first electric typewriter had the correction tape and helped with typos, but didn’t help with revisions and editing. I still had to start over.

Today we can cut and paste, use the “track changes” feature and hunt and replace for errors. We even have spell check to help with spellings and grammar check that isn’t always reliable, but better than having to look up so much stuff. Editing and revision is no longer a pain although it still takes time to get it right.

In addition to the internet for research, we have instant contact with editors, agents and publishers. We can send our manuscripts electronically instead of through regular mail which saves time and money. What formerly took hours and even days to accomplish can now be done in a few minutes.

We also have more resources today from fellow writers. My library includes books on writing by Brandilyn Collins, Getting into Character; James Scott Bell, Plot and Stucture; Sol Stein, Stein on Writing; Rennie Browne and Dave King, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers; Donald Maas, Writing the Breakout Novel; Marlene Bagnull, Write His Answer; and Ron Benrey, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Christian Fiction. These and many others are among those on my bookshelves that help me improve my writing.

We all have our favorite tools, books, writing places, and rituals that help on this writer’s journey, but the greatest resource is the One who gave us life and gives us our hope for eternity. Time spent with the Lord is time invested in finding His will for our lives and the direction for our writing.

So what is your favorite tool or resource? What helps you get started or motivates you to write? 

1 comment:

Jillian Kent said...

I'm just starting to practice writing within Scrivener and hoping it will work well for me. I also enjoy mind-mapping and concept mapping.