Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Looking for Tools...found the inspiration

Since I'm new to this whole writing deal, I'm behind the curve when it comes to tools. I've used a variety of computerized tools to track changes and manage project notes for software development, but none of those tools are really what I need to manage all my writing "stuff". So I'm on the search, and wondering if perhaps I should develop one of my own.

Here's my dilemma: today's weather's been wild, keeping me home for the day, with a painful head and running brain. I had lots of inspiration today as a result, and this brought about an entirely new story line for one of my characters which I jotted down on one of my mini computers for future reference. The problem with this is that I have lots of these little "virtual" post it notes on a variety of devices, including my BlackBerry (which I can't live without now). I also have some hand written notes in a variety of little notebooks, none of which I hope to be able to decipher 100%. I used to practice writing like a doctor - on purpose - and now my handwriting is almost illegible. At least I succeeded at something.

I found an nice online tool (free of course!) which I use to keep track of the who/when/why I send a letter to an agent or publisher. And while that's nice and readily available from "anywhere", when inspiration strikes I can't ensure that I'll have either 1) an internet connection and 2) a device capable of making such a connection readily available.

The old Microsoft briefcase came to mind, but that's not supported on all versions of Windows, and the open source iFolder project is a possibility with some custom programming, but nothing "out of the box" quite suits my needs. So I have to wonder "What do other writers do?".

I'd go to my old standby method of harassing MaryJanice Davidson and her assistant Tracy, but they're busy with a book tour and new announcements, so I hate to pester them right now. I might go the route of bugging Monica Ferris again (she's always a doll and answers me), but I'd really love to know from the folks in the trenches who also have a day job as to how they keep track of their various notes and story ideas.

Anyone have any suggestions? And of course all of this is hitting as NaNoWriMo rapidly approaches. Monday! NaNoWriMo starts next Monday already! And I've yet to focus on which character's going to win for this round.

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