Thursday, August 7, 2014

How I write

One of the most commonly asked questions I receive is about my writing process. Lately my posts have been really focused on Thicker Than Blood, but I wanted to take the time to talk about what goes on behind the scenes. Every author has a different time when they write, different programs they use, and etc. So let's see how I've been writing my books.
Time for writing
I have very specific times when I can dedicate a lot of time to writing. I usually write in the mornings and late at night. This is especially the case when I am working full time, so that will go into strict effect once summer ends. I like this time schedule I have for myself because it allows me to take a break from writing and gather my thoughts. Then when I return at night and write again I have new ideas.
Also I always have a pen and journal next to me for taking quick notes. Especially with the writing a series, I always find myself having to remind myself of certain facts or recall memories.
In the mornings I have a cup of coffee to keep me awake, and at nights I usually will have a bottle of water. Nighttime is sometimes a hit or miss; if I'm too tired I will not force myself to write. However, if I have ideas floating around in my head I will stay up for a while and write.
The devices
I own a MacbookAir and an iPad mini. So while I know my iPad mini is not the newest edition, I bought a keyboard for it many months ago. It is the most convenient to use when I'm in bed and don't want to drag my laptop out. (And sometimes I'm just lazy...) On the other hand, though, I don't prefer typing on it for too long because of the keyboard being so small.
Now as for my MacbookAir I love using it. It's especially convenient with the light-up keyboard, and overall I am happy its in great working condition. Before the MacbookAir I had an Asus laptop, which is still in our house, but that thing is old and slow. I definitely prefer the MacbookAir, and I'm fully adjusted to it now since making the switch.
On very rare occasions I will use my boyfriend's Razer laptop. Now that laptop is a lot larger and heavier than my MacbookAir, but I do have to use it when I need Microsoft Word. Even so, no complains about that either. Word works great on it (again a lot better than my Asus), and that's really all I need.
Writing programs
There are a variety of programs I use when it comes to writing, so I'll try to place them in the order I use most.
The one at the top of my list is Ommwriter. Whether you're using Mac, PC, or an iPad Ommwriter covers all the bases. Unfortunately I don't have Ommwriter downloaded on my iPad, though I've heard it has some minor issues. However, I do have it downloaded on my Mac. Ommwriter is honestly my favorite program to use. There are a lot of programs out there that will claim to be distraction-free, but I think Ommwriter tops them all. (And I say that because I've used those other programs and have not been as pleased.) When I am writing in Ommwriter it fills up the whole screen, so if I want to browse the internet or do anything extra you have to minimize or close out.
The best part about it is the ability to change the background theme, music, keyboard sounds, and more. Now the themes aren't crazy; they are simply and calming to look at. I prefer this over the hectic and distracting ones I've seen on other programs. Next, there are seven options to keyboard sounds and music. Again the theme being calm and relaxing, and I've never found any of these distracting. Lately while I've been writing Bloodline Inheritance I have used number 5 for both. While I keep the volume fairly low I like the music playing softly in the background.
Overall, I use this program the most because afterwards when I'm done I can save it and email it to myself. (There's many more options as well.) I can spend hours writing in Ommwriter, and if I need new ideas or I feel the scene has changed drastically I choose a new background and new music.

Pages is the program I use because I have a MacbookAir. I recently learned the hard way that if I use Pages I need to do as little of formatting as possible. When I was converting Thicker Than Blood for paperback format I had to re-do all of the formatting in order for it to turn out correctly on Word. Lesson learned, and I won't be doing that again.
Mainly pages is where my entire book goes, and then afterwards once everything is said and done it moves over to Word. Word is where I actually start formatting and so forth.

Lastly I thought I would share the apps I use on my iPad to write:

  • Werdsmith - this is a new one I've downloaded to my iPad, but I like it a lot. The interface looks really nice, and it's easy to use. You can have several projects, name each one, and just get down to writing. More importantly you can also set up goals and rituals to ensure you remember to write and make progress. I have only just begun using it, but I'll definitely be using it more at night when I write.
  • Writing- I can't find the link to it at the moment, but the app is white with a black quill. I used this one to write up several chapters of TTB at night, and once again it worked very nicely. 
  • Word Tracker - you can't actually write on this app, but it helps you with achieving goals. (This would also help a lot during NaNoWriMo.) You start a project, set a goal, and then start the time when you start writing. Once you're finished writing add you word count and see how far you went during that amount of time. You can also see your overall progress with previous days, and this has helped me a lot with trying to write more in a certain amount of time.
This was definitely a lot to write up, so that's all for now. If you have any questions or comments about what I mentioned, leave them below in the comments. Also feel free to share how you write. In the meantime I have writing to do. Expect another blog post before the end of the week.
Lindsey R. Sablowski


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