Just a short post for the moment, but wanted to share a few of the things I’ve found that have definitely made my writing life easier:
1) Get Drop Box – (and yeah, if you click on the link it’s a referral to me, but that’s ok, right? You’ll *also* get an extra 250 megs of space, so everyone wins). Drop Box is this nifty little program that you can install on as many computers as you like (and there are hacks for thumbs drives as well). You sign up for an account – 2 gigs of space for free and install the software, which makes a little folder on your desktop. You can put anything you want in there – docs, pics, whatever. When you edit and save, those same files are instantly updated on the website as well as any computer that has drop box running. For me, it’s been a life saver – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frantically looking for my thumb drive, knowing that all my work is on it and won’t I be screwed if I can’t find it? With drop box, backups are happening automatically and I can work on my wip on any computer I own without having to transfer files around. It’s pretty brilliant, really.
2) Mindola cards. Virtual index cards. Not as complex as some writing/plotting programs out there, but for me, it works perfectly. I can color code them, organize them, stack them, whatever. As a panster, I don’t like the programs that make me plot out every damn scene before I do anything else. These index cards work great and I can put as little or as much as I feel like. (And then store them in drop box!)
3) Autocrit I have a paid account here, and I do use it, but not as much as I probably should. Still, it’s a great place to look for patterns in your writing – overused words, cliches and that sort of thing. I don’t think it can replace actually getting a beta-reader or line-edits, but it can definitely point you in the right direction.
4) Author! Author! Probably the best blog out there, bar none, for aspiring writers. Lots of detail (overwhelming at times), about pretty much every topic out there.