Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Apps for focus, drafting, and file prep

The skinny on apps, from someone who doesn't use many:

For Wrangling Your Brain into Writer Mode

Years ago, my critique partner Sloane Calder recommended this iPhone app called Brainwave, and I downloaded it immediately. Have never looked back. It's better than playlists for getting my brain right into the writing groove fast. I draft best to Euphoria/Medium Rain and switch that to Concentrate/Medium Rain for editing. YMMV

For Drafting Your Manuscript

Okay, so most writers start off with Word. I'm not saying that's a bad choice, but do read all their info. A friend recently discovered that -- surprise! -- Microsoft no longer autosaves unless you are using their cloud storage gizmo for your saves. So if you're using Dropbox or your hard drive or literally any other thing, I recommend manually saving and OFTEN. This friend lost a lot of work, and we are all whoa sad about it because her stories are ah-mazing and the world is less sparkly because Microsoft is a greedy beast.

(Confession: I have a long and very unfriendly relationship with Microsoft. Next time we hang out,  ask me how Billy G and Co lost more than a year's worth of client emails when they migrated from Hotmail to Outlook and never acknowledged their mistake, apologized, or compensated me for all that money I wasted on a subscriber account. Yes, I am extremely bitter. We hates them, precious.)

Anyhoo... I now use Google Docs for drafting and back stuff up on Dropbox. I love Google Docs especially for co-writing, which I'm currently do it. If you're co-writing and you aren't using Google Docs, you should absolutely try it.

For Preparing Your Book for Publication

In terms of file preparation, I recently bought Vellum for my Mac (as it is only available for Mac), and y'all, it is the cat's meow. I mean, if meow meant "better than super stinky sardines" and also you were a cat. In other words, if you're in a position where you have to make your own book files (i.e., self-publishing), this is the premiere software for the task. And if you write a lot, it will save you its cost pretty fast because you'll no longer have to contract file prep, which can be pricey. Recommend.