Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Warm up the Flash Drive

NaNoWriMo is coming!  I had a great time doing this last year, and managed to crank out about half of a shitty first draft (SFD).  The novel is now languishing on a flash drive somewhere at the bottom of my jewelry box, hoping I will continue to ignore it for another 11 months.  I think it will be pleased that I am not planning to start over on the same story. 

I have another brilliant story in mind for this year.  Brilliant, I tell you. It was actually inspired by CP Kate, when I was whining to her about maybe having to fill out a foursome for a charity golf outing.  I am not a golfer under the best of circumstances, and even less so on a cold, wet October day. 

She said something along the lines of, "Wouldn't that be a great setting for a romantic comedy?" 

And I said, "Why, yes, Kate, it would.  I shall steal your idea and run with it."  I figure since it was my almost golf outing, I get to have the setting, even though she thought of it.  Remind me to remove this blog post before I get sued for plagiarism. 

I'm actually doing some plotting for this one, rather than just diving in at Midnight, November 1.  I'm using a combination of stuff I learned from Suzanne Johnson's workshop on plotting, quilter style; and the "W" method, from another workshop taught by Karen Docter.  I also like the snowflake  method, I do a little of that, too. I have a little composition book, some fresh pens, a new flash drive, post-its, highlighters, yada yada yada. I'm plotting, ready to write!

I also have a couple of software programs, just to make things even more complicated. I use Microsoft Word, of's pretty universal, I guess.  I have just started playing with Google Docs, but not sure that's really useful.  I like that I don't have to email everything to myself, or try to remember my flash drive,  if I switch from my work computer to my home one...but if I'm on my laptop and don't have internet access (there are places without hotspots. Not many, but I can find them!), I can't get to whatever I've stashed there. 

I really like One Note, which is also a part of MS've probably got it and never used it.  It's like a virtual notebook.  It has sections and pages, so you can have a tab marked "Characters" and put a character on each page, and another section for the actual story, with a scene per page or's really easy to put text and pictures and circles and arrows and all kinds of stuff on the page.  But that's not very portable.  If I was only working on one computer, I would use it more. 

I haven't delved deeper into actual writer's software...I'd love to hear what everyone else uses, and how you keep track of stuff.  Are you going to NaNo? What is your plan of attack?


  1. I'm not going to NaNo it up officially, but I may use the NaNo energy to finish my WIP. So, NaNo Lite, maybe?

  2. I love Word, perhaps because of its simplicity. I backup like a madwoman... On the shared computer, laptop and removable drive I stash in the fireproof safe. Okay I don't do that last backup as often as I should. As far as Nano, I am editing atm so I am with Linda, I may use Nano (and a certain contest... See my blog) to propel me ever forward. Good luck to you!

  3. I am so ready for NaNo! Love it! I also am a big fan of OneNote. I have little section for each WIP. Last year for NaNo I used Scrivener for Windows. I liked it alot. Especially because you can set a word good and a pretty little task bar in the corner keeps up with your progress. Then you can click a button and compile it all into Word.

    I have recently discovered the W plot method. I may give it a shot for my NaNo, once I decide what the heck I am going to write.

  4. Sorry, chica, I caught you. Anyway, as we kicked around the idea, it was clear you were taking it in one direction while my vision was going 180' in the other direction. We could both use it without worrying about plagiarism. But I'm going to keep it in mind if I ever decide to set a story somewhere other than Regency England.