Writing Technology

There was a time when I wrote with pen and paper. I still do sometimes–I always carry a small notebook with me just in case–but the vast majority of my fiction writing is on the computer. I can’t imagine hand writing an entire novel. I imagine that there would be vast sections I couldn’t even read thanks to my terrible handwriting.

These days writers have so many options for writing software. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, which is one of the reasons I like to keep it simple. I write everything directly into Google Drive. It’s easy, it’s free, and it saves automatically. I am terrible at remembering to save and back when I would just use Microsoft Word I was always losing things. Thanks to Drive, I haven’t lost any of my recent work. Not only does it save itself, but it’s in the cloud! Anyone who has ever had a computer melt down can certainly appreciate the beauty of the cloud!

Whenever I’m done with a project, be in a draft of a novel or a completed short story, I always save a backup in Word on my computer. As much as I love and (possibly misguidedly) trust the internet, I like being able to access things when there isn’t any WiFi around.

For reading my novel before editing I’ve been using Good Notes on the iPad mini. With that app I can read and write directly on a pdf file of my draft. I hate reading for long periods on the computer, and I love that I don’t have to go to the hassle of printing everything out.

Last year during NaNoWriMo I tried to use the open source program Story Book for keeping track of characters and events in the book. While I could definitely see the advantages to having it all specially organized, I could never really get the hang of putting every detail into the program. I very quickly stopped using it. Programs like that are probably more for plotters, and while I don’t consider myself a full on pantser I lean more in that direction!

That’s how I write, how about you? Pen and paper? Computer? Typewriter? Is there a program that you’ve fallen in love with? I would love to hear how other people use technology to make writing easier!


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