5 things – tools for [writer] productivity

five things

 

Evernote for writing, plotting, notes, story details
I fell in love with Scrivener but hated the lack of cloud-ability (there was no app when I started using it and I’m still leery of the Dropbox option for reasons). Cue, Evernote.

I create a notebook for each project and add sub-folders for Characters, Settings, Details, Research, and Drafting. I then create individual notes per element (some, like minor characters, are part of a single “character bible”). I return to this method again and again because I can access it from anywhere and it gives me the all-in-one-file feel that Scrivener provides.

Google Calendar/Happy Plannerfor time-blocking (scheduling time to write)
I rely on Google Calendar for time blocking, which is essential for me. Combined with the Happy Planner (link to video/post) that I use for work, it keeps me on track and helps me plan for writing when life gets in the way.

Spreadsheet – for wordcounts
I keep a long-running spreadsheet in OneDrive, started when I first started drafting Crown of Ice, which helps me keep track of my words on a single manuscript over time. I have individual spreadsheets for each project, but I combine final word counts by project in a single, yearly spreadsheet that helps me track progress over time.

Trellofor planning and content creation
In an effort to create more content and maintain a steady post schedule, I decided to give Trello a try (I used it once for work,  but it didn’t catch on). It’s perfect. I use it as a content planner, and organize projects for the podcast, details for querying, and more. It’s an all-around win for me.

HB90 methodfor quarterly [writing] project planning
Whether it was serendipity or the magic of algorithms, I stumbled up author Sarra Cannon’s Heart Breathings channel and all the wonders therein. One of these wonders is Cannon’s dedicated planning method for writers (HB90), based on a 90-day quarterly system that encourages writers to think of their work in terms of goals, projects, and tasks. It’s brilliant and I’m using it to plan/track my current writing project, as well as the query process, and future plans for a story that needs editing.

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writing: Crown of Ice, Crown of Air, a summary

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Summaries are difficult. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Writing a summary on something I’ve been working on for nearly 4 years, that’s a whole other level.

I’ve written and rewritten this manuscript multiple times. I’ve edited and restructured. I’m looking at more edits to come. Though the details may change, the story remains. So, today, I’m being brave and putting my little draft of a blurb out into the world. No going back.

The day Siobhan tried to kill her, Anúna swore she’d never return. Never seek her power. Never seek her crown. Three years she’s locked her truth away, hiding in the mortal realm, letting the iron drain her magick and steal her power. But Siobhan will not rest and Anúna knows it. Now, the walls she’s built are starting to crumble and her wards are beginning to fray. It’s only a matter of time before Siobhan finds her. When Marek, Anúna’s friend and mentor, and erstwhile leader of the Queen’s guard comes to call, Anúna is forced to make a choice—-take back the crown she lost or leave the realm at her sister’s mercy.

Crown of Ice, Crown of Air is a story of magick and power, love and war… about finding yourself and something worth fighting for.

It needs work, but it’s a start. I also keep debating whether Air or Ice should be first… that’s a whole other set of concerns.

off the shelf: writing fiction

Molly from Wrapped Up in Books recently asked about my favorite books on writing fiction… tada! I give you my top recommendations in pin form. I’ll be updating this collection as I discover new ones, so make sure to follow the board for updates!

But, of course, the best way to learn to write is simple to write. And read. Read all the things, and learn from them. Learn your craft by doing and find inspiration in what you love to read.

writing: Camp NaNoWriMo

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Just wanted to announce that I decided to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo :). I wasn’t sure I would join this year, but it feels like a good time to start thinking about outlines and plot points for my future NaNo project. I set a doable goal of 5ooo words (though that may change). It’s an “other” project, and Camp goals are flexible, so I don’t feel pressured to aim higher than I can reach. Just going to cruise along and mull over the details.

Also searching for a beta or CP for the latest draft of Anúna… *hint hint* if anyone’s interested in an adult fantasy about rival queens and elemental magick. Around 90k words.

Anúna: 1st Draft post-NaNo update #3

I wrote! Yes! I missed seven whole days worth of writing between the flu, family disasters, and the dizziness that just wouldn’t go away (until it went away, of course). After working so hard to get in the habit of writing every day, it felt like a major let down to not write. I’m starting slow. Wrote a little over a thousand words, which is about an hour worth of writing. Finished up the scene that I had abrubtly abandoned and started the next chapter with a transition. My idea for the chapter is sort of fleshed out. Plotting has been easy with this one, which is more than I can say for my other project (which drove me mad with plotting and figuring out time and sequences of events). I’m going on a weekend trip to Disney and am telling myself that I will take my laptop, but… I’m realizing that’s really wishful thinking. The chances of my wanting to write while on vacation are slim. I’ll take my iPad from work and a notepad and it anything truly brilliant happens, I’ll write it down, but I’m not going to punish myself for this break. I will just promise to catch up on writing during my Christmas break.

And to keep myself accountable, I’m going to continue to post updates and take part in my own Great Noveling Adventure. Really, do check the Noveling Adventure. What they’re doing is fantastic and really inspiring.

Anúna: 1st Draft

About the project

Anúna is an adult, urban fantasy novel about rival Faerie Queens, fierce warriors, magic, mayhem, and the occasional latté. It is still in the writing stage.

You can read my updates by following the Anuna tag.