What are the best tools for writers?
So you want to be a writer. The question is, where do you start? How can you accomplish your writing goals with the tools you need? Getting started as a writer isn’t easy as there’s no right answer. There are many ways in which writers approach fiction. If you are passionate about reading a good story, it doesn’t matter what inspires you. Gut-wrenching plot twists, an engaging protagonist, a compelling antagonist, or a happy ending-just as long as it keeps your interest alive.
But when it comes to the actual writing itself, it seems that even the supposed experts disagree on the right approach. Beginners need a solid grounding in the basics, the foundations of creative writing. Here are a few essential tools to bear in mind when beginning your writing career.
Read lots and lots of lots of books
Reading fiction is essential if you want to write fiction. Read every short story and novel you can get your hands on. It isn’t necessary to take notes or think too hard about the stories. Just read it. There’s a good chance you’ve already done some of it. To become a writer, one must first read.
You should browse used and new book stores as much as you can. It’s easy to find free ebooks everywhere, most online stores have a free section. There are many free titles available on Amazon Kindle Store, especially some classics!
Take advantage of software
The act of journaling is nice, but it’s not very productive. In order to write stories, you’ll need a word processor. No, I’m not talking about typewriters. The software I mean is word processing software.
It makes a lot of sense to do things digitally first these days, as it saves you time and extra work. Write longhand in the 21st century, but don’t commit yourself to the pain. Typing is faster and more efficient than writing longhand.
There are several word processing options out there, so I’m going to talk about the most common ones first:
The OhWrite app enables you to write in a group and productively share your work – It’s a good way to motivate yourself and share your work within a group
Microsoft Word is a popular word processor and can allow you to store your work in a secure and efficient way
Google Docs is another great tool for formatting and storing your work online. It’s also free!
Among all the tools I use, writing groups are my favourite. Meeting other writers and putting your writing skills to the test are great reasons to attend. In my opinion, being a member of a writing group and workshopping your stories is the fastest and most effective way to learn how to write fiction. This is the opinion of hundreds of MFA programs nationwide.
The benefits of writing groups include:
- Support from the heart. Writing is tough, and other writers get it.
- People with similar interests. With like-minded people, you can share your hopes and dreams.
- Providing feedback. Having a manuscript workshopped is incredibly valuable for the author. Despite your dislike of hearing it, they will give you honest feedback.
- Competition is healthy. For a non-writer, seeing the work of others is the best motivation.
- Every writer should participate in a writing group in the early stages.
- However, one warning: if the writing group you find turns out to be a back-patting session, bail immediately. You’ll never learn anything if no one has the courage the tell you the truth, especially when it hurts.
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