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Writers Notes - Tools You Need by DarkDelusion Writers Notes - Tools You Need by DarkDelusion
Here’s a list of 10 "tools" you will find useful if you are a writer.


01 – COMPUTER
A computer is a must, especially if you hope to become a published writer. Editors and publishers will not look at anything that isn’t typed these days. Not to mention computers allow for easier and neater editing and saving, not to mention you will increase your typing speed as you write. Some people get laptops, personally I prefer a PC as laptops seem to have more habit of dying and never seem as easy to fix as a PC. A PC will also force you to sit in a better posture and be less likely to sit in front of the TV or in a communal room.


02 - PEN & PAPER
Just because technology in the writing world is necessary does not mean the old pen and paper is obsolete. In fact this is very important. Get yourself a stack of pads. I prefer firm but not hard back covered ones, and spiral bounds mean you can write in it easier. Get some pens that can be hooked or tied to your pad. Now put a pad everywhere – next to your bed, in your handbag, in your car, in your locker, in your desk… Writers should always carry pads around, the reason for putting a different one in every likely place is because the day you forget to bring your one pad with you is the day you come up with a corker of an idea!

Add the date before you write your ideas. Put everything down whether it’s a full scene, name suggestions, character idea, an emotion, a landscape, a plot idea, a question etc.


03 - CDs / EXTERNAL HARDDRIVES / PEN-DRIVES
The above means one thing – BACKUP! PCs and laptops crash, they reformat and they eat your work! So invest in something else. Personally I have all three of the above. Everything on my PC is backed up on a strong MASSIVE external harddrive. My novels are then backed up again on CDs for extra protection (kept in a fire-proof safe) and I have a pen drive that goes everywhere with me so if I get a chance I can write notes or scenes. Everything on the pen drive is transferred to the PC as soon as I get chance which will then end up on the harddrive.

Don’t forget to move with the times. Years ago, floppy disks were the back up choice – but now you can barely find a computer that accepts them. The same goes for Software, MS Works was once the software everyone used now its more likely to be word (with these two barely being compatible).


04 - QUIET PLACE
This is for actual writing, note taking and idea brewing can be done anywhere! However writing needs space, quiet from distractions (not talking music as I personally need music in the background to focus with). But you can’t write as successfully in a communal area with phones ringing, people talking, animals running around etc.

If you can’t find / use a specific room to be your “writing den” then set up an area in another room such as your bedroom that is just for writing. Move any clutter away, get yourself a comfy chair, a well-sized desk and space to put your notes (even if its on a fold out table that can be folded away later).


05 - FOLDERS / FILES / BINDERS
Whether you use all three or just one, you will need something to organise your notes, scenes, profiles, ideas, plots, timelines, maps etc. Writers generate a LOT of paper and the rest seems to breed on its own! Keep yourself afloat amid this sea of paper by getting organised. (Additional tutorial about that coming up)


06 - LIBRARY
Books! Yes, those things that came before the internet! Let me say this one again BOOKS! Every writer worth their salt has a stack of books and I’m not talking fiction books (though they are needed too). You will definitely need:
* An up to date Dictionary (the small pocket sized ones are best I find)
* A Thesaurus (again small pocket sized is good)
* Book of baby names (brilliant for getting character names and also meanings of names!)
* The Writers Handbook (current)
* A book on grammar (if it’s not your strong point)

Do NOT trust your spell check to catch everything or your computer thesaurus to give you the best word. They are rarely as good as the actual book versions.

As well as the above start a collection of reference books – almost all novels need research (believe me readers are picky buggers and someone will complain if you mention the wrong tack on your horses or get the medieval outfit wrong). So whatever you are writing get some books on them.

If you aren’t sure think about this – if you are writing fiction and creating a whole world, get some atlas books to get details of other countries to help inspire you. Get books on geology, the desert, forests etc and leave about their climates, weather patterns, types of creatures that live there.

Look at books on culture and religion to give you an idea on how different people in different places view the world that could be connected or worked into your own novel?


07 - DIARY
If you have a problem keeping up with time lines you could buy a diary and use if for your novel. Even more so if you are writing a journal-type novel such as Bridget Jones Diary. Make a note on each day that something happens. Monday night – the gypsy camp is raided and burned by town guards. Tuesday morning – survivors are put on trial. Saturday morning – executions are held.

See? This can stop you getting lost on how many days have gone by, what time things happened. Too often time lines blur in a novel and a writer can have everything happen “at night” in several chapters and the reader isn’t sure if it’s the same night or many. This way you can be sure you stretch things out more realistically. If can also help if you have a quest – if the desert takes two weeks to cross, make a note in your diary of when they should see the next town etc. Anything that happens in the desert needs to be within these two weeks (but remember your research books - if the desert takes two weeks, how much water is needed – will they lose some of the camels and horses?)


08 - CAMERA
This is not a definite but personally I found this to be a big help. If you go anywhere, take a camera. You could find yourself wandering through a park and finding a little glen that is very inspiring and will become part of your novel. Snap a picture, have it printed and pinned up. Old dead trees, empty wastelands, a busy town bustling with life – it might inspire you and thus allow you to create a visual image of your novel.


09 - EMPTY WALLS
Get yourself some empty wall space and then build! If you are world-building and have created maps make them A3 and pin them up. Get the photos you have taken and pin them up. Any notes or time lines you’ve completed, get them pinned up. You will be SEEING your work all the time and believe me it really starts to help the creative juices flowing. Turn your wall into an inspiration. Did you find a picture of army men running across an open field in a magazine? Did it give you ideas for a military plot? Get that on the wall. Add notes and suggestions and pin them up too.


10 - POST-ITS
This is a tip someone suggested to me and I have to admit it works. If you are writing a novel / story and have some questions you need to answer but are struggling with write each one on a post-it. Stick them EVERYWHERE – on the fridge, on the mirror, on your computer monitor, on your door, on your cupboard…. And every time you pass them, read them and think over the question. It’s better than just keeping them in a pad and not revisiting them often enough to actually think over them. When you’ve answered one, take it down (don’t forget to WRITE the answer down).
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:iconminamotosanada:
Minamotosanada Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This will help me on my way to greatness there is no doubt about that.  Though I'm stuck as far as ideas and follow through goes.
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:iconmiss-smoss221:
Miss-Smoss221 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is fantastic. For ages now I have wanted to start writing properly but find myself drifting off and now being fully prepared. 
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:iconmoonstreamfeline:
MoonstreamFeline Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A few of these Ideas have flitted through my mind occasionally but THIS is just amazing! The clear writing and details, examples and just the way that are truly inspiring!
In fact - - - I believe I'm going to print them out and pin these tutorials on my wall, and it shall be the first of my empty wall that will slowly fill up with ideas and inspiration.
Okay really is there ANYTHING I can do to thank you? not even a simple little water color painting?
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
:D You are too generous, offering such a thing. However these tutorials are given freely to help others, I need no offer of anything. I really enjoy writing them and I love getting feedback from up and coming writers on how these have helped. It brightens my day. x
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:iconmoonstreamfeline:
MoonstreamFeline Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hhmmmm, okay then... anyways, your welcome and thank YOU!
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:icononyxsturm:
OnyxSturm Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student Writer
Very nice guide. :) Suprisingly, I hadn't thought of the whole 'wall' thing; the only thing I have pinned up is a map of the world and a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien. I'll have to pin some of my maps and whatnot up there, which will probably inspire me to make some more.

By the way, your avatar is blocked by Family Safety (questioning why that is still on my computer....). I'll be damned if I know why. :D

--
"I come from Yonder."
-Khamul, 'The Lord of the Rings'
Reply
:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012
lol how strange my avatar is blocked! Maybe the tail wagging is considered provocative!
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:icondreamingorawake:
DreamingOrAwake Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I am completely in love with your writing tutorials!! They are so incredibly useful. :)
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
:) Thanks for the comment and the watch, I am glad you find my tutorials useful. I am hoping to churn some more out soon. Good luck with all your writing :)
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:icondreamingorawake:
DreamingOrAwake Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! :)
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:iconmildlyme:
MildlyMe Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I. Love. You. (No homo.) This... I needed this.
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012
lol thaks, glad you like it. Thanks for the favs. I hope you find my writing tutorials useful.
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:iconmildlyme:
MildlyMe Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I do. More than you know.
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:iconkissesfromwater:
KissesFromWater Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011  Student General Artist
Wow, this is a great list, thank you so much! Though I never planned on publishing, I'm always trying to get this one story idea down on paper (it's a fanfiction >//<). Every time I have a moment to work on it though, I feel the need to redo it... I've rewritten my story over, I don't know... five or more times now? After reading your list, I think i'll really help getting this story together. Thank you so much! (Is reading all your other story tutorials today so expect a good amount of faves from me haha. xD )
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011
Glad you found this useful. Why do you find yourself re-doing your story? Do you complete the story and then re-do (like a 1st/2nd draft) or do you find yourself editing as you write?

Do you think that maybe you would one day like to be a published author?

hope you don't mind the questions, I always enjoy meeting new writers :)
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:icon00cats10:
00cats10 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG THANK YOU!

This is a LIFE SAVIOR!

I've been trying for MONTHS to work on my novel, and have been feeling that Im missing something. Turns out, I was missing a LOT of somethings! XD

Surely going in my favorites.
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011
lol I'm glad you find it useful. I know what you mean, if I leave my novel for a month when I go back even if I was happy with it I start to feel there are still bits missing. We are forever redefining our craft and building our world.

In case you are interested I have a number of other tutorials for writers, they are all listed and linked in a journal entry and you can find the link on my main journal page under menu. I also have a list of pending tutorials I will be writing on more detailed topics.

Just out of curiosity, how long have you been writing? Are you hoping to be published? What genre do you write? Since writing my tutorials, I have been meeting many writers and it is always interesting to learn what they write and how they started :)
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:icon00cats10:
00cats10 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been writing since about....Third or Fourth grade.

I'd LOVE to get published some day; its the top thing on my bucket list! =3

I write fiction. I started out in the third grade with a totally random Harry Potter fic that ended up turning into a PotterxMalfoy thing. I had my teachers read it, and they said that I was really good at writing. Things kindof hit off from there. Since then I've written mainly fics (Naruto, Harry Potter, Twilight Crossovers, and others of the like), but within the last year or so, I've started writing what I hope to eventually be a published Novel called Vampira. (I could give you a summary and link to what I have so far if you'd like)
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
Thank you for replying, I am always intrigued with other writers. I wish you all the best luck with your writing.

I would be interested in a summary and maybe just one or two scenes to read (I don't have enough time to read large pieces). However I only read work if people are okay with me giving comments on the writing. If you are happy with me giving any constructive criticism then by all means, send me a summary and one or two scenes.
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:icon00cats10:
00cats10 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I would send you scenes, but I've scrapped and am actually planning things out this time! XD Though I will give you a summary.

The legendary creatures called Vampires appear to be real, and one of their kind is willing to take us on her journey through life. Sophe, one of the first vampires, gathers a group of elves and other vampires to create the Blades; a scociety of beings that wish to revolt against the growing couruption of the Vampire world. When things go wrong, and Sophe falls in love with the target, the plan is ruined. Can she get it together, or will she have to sacrifice her life for the one she loves?
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:iconcarterman:
carterman Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I use every one of these as i write quite often. GREAT LIST! may I add one thing? music is a great tool. It can set a mood or portray a character. with an iphone or itouh, you can even jot down ideas you get while listening to music!
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:iconsarafan206:
Sarafan206 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2011  Student General Artist
thank you this will help me so much, i have trouble with this and this will help me a lot... plus i never thought about a camera! that would be a great idea, thanks!
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011
:) It can really help using a camera
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:iconquavera-tava:
Quavera-Tava Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2011
Wow I never gave thought to some of these, and its scary of how much all of them would help me. The book of baby names and an empty wall seem to be the two biggest things I don't have but need.
Have you ever thought of writing a book about writing?
Reply
:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011
If you don't have an empty wall, what about the back of a door? When I moved into my first house the walls were covered with fitted cupboards so I pinned things over the back of the door :)

The book of baby names is weird in how useful it comes in handy, especially because they often include meanings behind the name so you can go into more depth about a character's personality / traits (or the ones the parents hope the kid will have by having said name). Definitely get one if you can, you will find it invaluable. :)

I did once think about it then I thought since I haven't yet completed my novel and been published, would anyone read it?
Reply
:iconquavera-tava:
Quavera-Tava Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011
I have plenty of wall space, just have to move a few thing, but I was saying I should do that. Turn my wall into a place of thought.

I'll make sure to crab one the next time I go by MookAMillion.

Look up Writing Strands, its the series my mom has me doing for my writing. If you could just add all of your notes together with a few more things, I would gladly buy it.

I need me something to turn into my writing bible. You know something small but good enough to get the point across.
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011
Aww I appreciate your sentiments. At this time, I have no drive to charge for my tutorials. Feel free to copy them into a word document and print them if you require.

I don't mind my tutorials being printed and used, as long as they are not redistributed or that people don't claim them as their own so feel free to print them and keep them in a folder, binder if they helps :)
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:iconquavera-tava:
Quavera-Tava Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011
Thank you very much!!!
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:iconylime285:
Ylime285 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2011
great! and something that helps me (idk if it really helps others) is listening to appropriate music (because you said quiet place) because i im writing a sad scene and Im listening to sad music, i tend to feel the characters emotions more. maybe thats just me but either way this is very helpful thank you for sharing!
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011
That's very true. I used to listen to three different CDs just because I began to associate them with writing time and found that just listening to that music got me into the right frame of mind.

However as I've gotten older I have preferred less music unless I am "cleaning" a scene up. It's good if you can find out what works and run with it.
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:iconrainbowdoodles16:
rainbowdoodles16 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2011  Student General Artist
This is really helpful! I'm going to see all your tutorials because I'm sure it helps a LOT. Thanks!
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011
Thank you, I am glad you find them so useful.
Reply
:iconprophetella:
Prophetella Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
One program I CANNOT write without anymore is Stickies (Located: [link] )
I can click one and leave it up and have it hovering in front of my search window or next to my thesaurus program and collect information in a little text item. then when I click away I can have it selected to be SEE THRU as I hunt for the right place to add something to my story. It allows me to cut and paste sections in the story and even jump between stories WITHOUT having to save the item or clear it from my screen... until I WANT to!

I LOVE the results I was able to get in a day for my Legacy of a Scorpion fic! I have many items in storage including binders of characters and even a folder with notes on Sci-fi and resources for that!

I miss them but they will move with me to our own place-- someday & with a writing desk!
Reply
:iconchocolatey-fountain:
chocolatey-fountain Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
This is EXTREMELY helpful! I think I'll go buy most of these things today... lots of pads and pens (I have a horrible shortage of them) a better camera, post-its (I'm out of them) , clearing a wall, (the diary idea was awesome!) , dictionaries, thesauruses, a baby name book (however I use online ones), a grammar book, and a HUGE binder :D
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2010
lol I am glad you found this tutorial useful and I hope you get lots of ideas to fill those pads with. Do you write for hobby or would you like to one day be published?
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:iconchocolatey-fountain:
chocolatey-fountain Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I suppose right now I write for hobby, but perhaps someday I may get them published!
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:iconarabellaten:
Arabellaten Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2010  Student General Artist
Hahahaha posture....


...Wait. You were serious?!


Thanks for the tips :)
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:iconispazzykitty:
iSpazzyKitty Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
These are very helpful! I actually used to have a Baby-Names book. Idk what happened to it...e
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Thank you, I am glad you found it useful :)
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:iconispazzykitty:
iSpazzyKitty Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
No prob! ^^
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:iconzionaqueenofshadows:
ZionaQueenOfShadows Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2010   General Artist
Never thought of using post-its or empty walls....nifty Ideas.
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2010
lol neither did I until I had so many scenes that I couldnt view them all properly. Now my wall has half a map designed on it for my fantasy world and my door is covered in post-it notes! :)
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:iconzionaqueenofshadows:
ZionaQueenOfShadows Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2010   General Artist
I need to find a blank wall and learn how to make maps...lol
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010
:D Something I always wanted to do myself, was to create a 3D map of my fantasy world ... in lego! :p
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:iconzionaqueenofshadows:
ZionaQueenOfShadows Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010   General Artist
Oh that sounds fun, a lot of legos and a need for a place to put the map but really sounds fun. :dance:
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:iconorion-m-42:
Orion-M-42 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is quite comprehensive, almost makes me want to try writing. :D great guide for any aspiring writer.
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:icondarkdelusion:
DarkDelusion Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2010
Thanks :) I am actually working on the next tutorial (and yes making notes for the 3rd writing installment!) :p
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