Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Essential Writing Low-Tech

Late last year I wrote about my essential writing tech (including my Alphasmart, earbuds, and Write or Die) but I need to give equal respect to the low tech side of my writing life. As much as I embrace technology in my writing and everyday lives, I depend just as much on some low tech essentials for my creative process.

Pens } Not just any pens. Sanford uni-ball Vision Elite micro pens. In black. I've tried dozens (hundreds maybe) of different pens, but I keep coming back to these. The ink flows perfectly and doesn't require too much or to little pressure.

I have a ton of these pens lying around. In a cup at my desk. In a zipper punch in my computer bag. In my purse. There are probably even a couple hiding in my bathroom and my car. You never know when you'll need to jot down an idea, and this is the pen I need to let the ideas flow most freely.

Highlighters } As both a Virgo and a visual learner, I am a big fan of color coding. Big fan. (see Post-Its below) And I use highlighters a lot to make things stand out (duh) or to track particular characters or plot threads in a chart or outline.

I'll mark everything romance-related in pink or plot-related in green. I'll indicate scenes that need more Brody in blue and more Peri in purple. They make it easy to see at a glance what needs to be done. And sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I just use them to make my notes prettier.

Post-Its } I have more Post-Its than I could possibly ever use. But they are useful for so many things! I use the small ones, torn in half, to make a rough plot chart in my notebook. With the Medusa trilogy, I use a different color to represent each POV character so I can make sure each sister gets her fair share of page time.

I use the bigger ones to play with plots on white boards, sliding glass doors, walls, or any other flat surface that's available. I'm loving the Tropic Breeze collection at the moment because they're recycled and they're mermaid-colored.

Moleskine Journals } These are my most recent obsession. I have always kept book notebooks, a dedicated place to brainstorm and record details for each book I work on. I used to rely on pretty spiral notebooks with soft plastic covers (I have tons of Milquelrius notebooks) but lately I've been using the pretty-colored Moleskine Volant.

The paper is super smooth, they come in pretty colors, and they're small enough to fit in almost any bag. I have dozens. Did I mention they come in pretty colors? Swoon.

That's it. My essential writing gear confession is complete. Now you know all my secrets--okay, not all my secrets, but you know all the tools I use to write my books.

Do you have any particular supplies you use in your writing or school or work life?