A Series of Unexpected Writing Tools

DISCLAIMER: If you let the Instant Gratification Monkey take control of your brain, the title of this post might as well read ‘A Series of Unexpected Procrastination’. While I reckon these suggestions are winners, there’s no better writing tool than Microsoft Word, or whatever your preferred program is, because that’s where you WRITE THE DAMN BOOK.
Podcasts
Writing related podcasts are a great way to keep your mind in the word world while you’re busy driving to uni, pounding the treadmill, or baking chocolate chip pancakes (remember to save one for me). My favourite is So You Want To Be A Writer from the Australian Writer’s Centre. Presented by Aussie writers Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait, this bi-weekly podcasts features a ‘word of the week’, links to relevant articles, and a Q&A. I love the author interview segment more than I love crispy M&Ms (read: a lot) ‘cos hearing writers talk about their magical journey to publication makes my fingers itch for the keyboard – I just want to be one of them! Consider this your go-to if you need a major kick up the booty, or you’re after some tips to shake up your work.
Pinterest
News flash: Pinterest isn’t just for redesigning your bedroom, planning your future wedding or finding recipes that will turn out 158390 times worse in real life. Writers can get in on that shiz too, something I heard about in a recent episode of So You Want To Be A Writer. Allison interviews Rachael Lucas, a UK based author with nearly 20,000 followers on Pinterest. Clearly, Pinterest can be a great platform building tool to get readers interested in your latest release, though I haven’t exactly mastered that function just yet. Right now I’m using Pinterest to visually represent the world of my current work in progress. I’m chucking up pictures of people who look like my characters, arty photographs of Boston, and plenty of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fantales (these will become relevant upon reading the book). If you’re keen to see how I’m making the thoughts in my head a lil more tangible, check out my Pinterest here.
P.S. I have more Pinterest boards but they’ve all been marked ‘Secret’ because they’re infinitely more embarrassing than the fringe I had when I was 16.
Spotify
Fact: all writers imagine their work adapted to the big screen, complete with A-list casting and fading scene transitions. Does this kinda diminish books as a valid medium on their own? A little. Is it the most ambitious, naive and conceited thing you’ve ever heard? Sure. Are the baked potatoes I have in the oven burning as I write this? Absolutely.
No matter how often I pull the “Aw, schucks. My writing is a pile of poop and I’ll never be J.K. Rowling”, I still imagine Anna Sophia Robb playing my main character against the backdrop of a pretty killer soundtrack. In case you were wondering, it involves a splash of The Strokes, a bit of melancholy Fleetwood Mac when things go downhill, and an angsty realisation set to Blur’s Song 2.
That’s why Spotify is great. You can create a playlist of songs you’d like in your novel’s eventual film score, or just ones that capture the mood of a certain scene. You can find me on there as yazminel, I’ll be the one streaming Beyonce constantly.
So get working on a Sofia Coppola worthy soundtrack! Let those musical juices seep into your words!
Are there any other apps you like to use? Do you also have a Spotify playlist that’s just I’m Still Standing by Elton John on repeat? Let me know in the comments below or via any of my social pipes.
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