It’s hard to imagine how early writers ever completed and published anything with the tools of their time.
Sharp styluses, quills, and rods of graphite wrapped in string were used to write on papyrus, clay, slate, wood, and parchment.
But then writing was also limited for the most part to scholars and academics, church leaders, and monarchies… as was reading.
Of course, writing has withstood the test of time and is no longer an instrument of a privileged few.
Today, everyone writes. It’s a necessity even on the most basic of levels.
We write to communicate, educate and inform. You don’t have to be a writer to write but if you are, regardless of if you were dragged, pushed, or went voluntarily, you’ve fallen down the writer’s life rabbit hole.
What’s down there?
The tips! The advice! The techniques! The best practices!
And, the tools of writing, because why we write hasn’t changed. But, the way we write? Most definitely, and it continues to evolve.
Just as reading is a personal experience, so is writing. We learn the basics in school then put our own spin on it… much to the chagrin of teachers. (My constant use of ellipses would get me into a world of trouble with my junior high school English teacher, Raymond Rosa.)
Some writers will not write one word of their manuscript until they have a full outline, complete with scenes.
Still, others grab a cup of coffee, sit down to their laptops and start writing a story.
There is no right or wrong way.
A writer needs to find what works best for them; what bests helps them achieve their goals in their writing journey.
Will you use WORD, Scrivener, Quoll, or yWriter?
Grammarly, ProWritingAid, Hemingway, or Autocrit? Paid or free versions?
Writing group or beta readers?
Self-published, hybrid, or traditional?
Fan groups? Free Content? Written resources? Mentor?
The list is endless and doesn’t even include websites/blogs, newsletters, or social media.
Most writers will work their way through these tools and aids until they stumble upon the winning combination.
And that’s the important part – what works for you. Not your writing partner; not the guy who just had a bestseller; not the lady who teaches creative writing or your favorite author.
Writers often create their own setbacks when they mimic the writing process of someone who’s had recent success and do not get the same results. They believe their work isn’t as good or they’ve done something wrong.
And nothing could be farther from the truth.
Just as no two people read the same book, no two people write the same book. Even if it’s same genre, same trope (or nonfiction), the writers are different so why expect the same results?
Yes, there are rules on the mechanics of writing, but, as I’ve posted before, you can get away with occasionally breaking some of them.
But how you do it is completely up to you.
My Favorites Tools
Scrivener (for Windows)
Emotional Beats by Nicholas C. Rossis
Polish Your Prose by Harmony Kent
Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass
The Creative Penn (Joanna Penn)
Camp NaNoWriMo is history. If you participated, whether or not you reached your set goal, I hope you had fun with it and even gleaned useful strategies/practices… because NaNoWriMo begins in NINETY-TWO days! See you there! 😀
Day 31 word count – 52,964