I do consider myself a writer, but I have realized that the amount I have been writing has been lacking recently. I occasionally get sucked into the black hole that is reality tv programming (Project Runway, Real Housewives of the OC, and Downsized) and Daytime Court Shows (Judge Joe Brown, The Peoples Court, and Judge Mathis). I also despite my best intentions get sucked into celebrity news gossip from the likes of TMZ. And to be honest, even though, I pride myself on loving high quality books, movies, and television. Just as I’m sure Anthony Bourdain has a low-class candy bar once in a while, I allow myself to rot my brain out with the likes of junk food television.
Someone said something to the effect of “Writer’s write, this is what I do,” however, try as I might to find any proof of it via the acceptance speech transcripts of the Oscars, I cannot find the quote.
However, Thomas Berger has a decent quote about writers that I think makes up for my wonky brain.
Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there.
So, basically, I was shamed into feeling bad because I haven’t written much. Although, just as Daniel O’brien from Cracked.com has stated, “The More You Talk About the Book You’re Writing, The Less You’ve Written” in his article about bizarrely Specific Stereotypes You Can’t Help But Notice. (It’s the #1 stereotype.)
Now writing is hard, that’s a fact. There’s something about creating an entire universe or world from nothing except your own brain and maybe a bit of experience. Imagination is key, and in a world of recycled ideas, where even people with their unique DNA have become carbon-copies of each other. So I do have trouble writing. However, I’ve been using a few key tools to do my writing as of late.
I’ve been using Ywriter, Celtx, and 750Words.com.
I first found yWriter during NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, in November 2011. I really liked the program and had wished that I had found it sooner so that I could have plotted the novel more during the months leading up to NaNo 2011. As you know, I failed but I am working on the remainder of that novel whenever I can bare to work on it.
The program is really great it allows a user to create a database of sorts, it’s more of a Content Management System in my mind but some fancy computer engineer will likely tell me differently. Nevertheless, the program will allow the writer to break up their Novel into a number of different chapters and scenes and then the writer can easily go back and edit the scenes that they want and reorganize their novel as they see fit without necessarily diminishing the integrity of the data. It’s just a point-click-drag operation. It is only available for use with PC and Linux (Ubuntu) Systems. However, I hear that there is a program called Yarny that is much like Ywriter but I haven’t used it.
however I did find a blog that discusses Ywriter vs Yarny vs Scrivener so check that out for more information.
ScriptFrenzy starts on April 1, 2012. I am really looking forward to it, I had thought up a much better idea for a movie about time traveling back to the 1980’s and I was upset that I had never written it up. Sometimes, when I submit joke scripts to Cracked.com for their video contests, I use Celtx. It has multiple versions that are available via PC download, on the internet and in the cloud, and now they have mobile versions for both Android and iPhone.
Celtx allows a writer to work on screenplays, stage plays (both International and U.S. standard), AV scripts, Audio Plays, Comic Books, and plain text. I think this allows for tremendous versatility. The program can also automatically format plays as a person types; however, the best feature of all is that the program features a single-click feature called Adapt To. Adapt To can format the play in various media formatting to give the writer an idea of the versatility of their script.
Conveniently, Celtx is a sponsor of Script Frenzy so go on over and Sign up!
I’ve recently started using 750words.com again after a brief panic-induced writer’s block sabbatical. I really like 750words.com because it gets you out there writing about 3 pages a day. I think the standard is somewhere between 250 and 300 words a page. So I really like that. It keeps me writing about whatever I want to at the time, I usually try to begin a short story and maybe flesh out an idea that I’ve been having. Some people write anything that they are writing at the time into 750Words.com but I find that to be a cheat. I try to specifically write for that everyday. If I’m focused and not thinking about anything else, I can sit down and get out a bit over 750 words in about 30 minutes. That isn’t the 2 hours of writing a day I should strive for but for the month of March I’m trying to get 30 minutes of writing in a day, everyday.
Buster Benson is the creator of 750Words.com. He is a very ingenious and busy person, he has been part of things like Locavore, Health Month, The Robot Co-Op and much more. I assume he will do a bunch of more things before he takes over the world with metadata.