#IWSG: My Writing Process and Tools


Thanks to Alex for hosting this each month. Here is the complete list of participants. Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue.

Today celebrates the one year anniversary of the IWSG website as well. Also, coming soon will be The Insecure Writers Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond Anthology.

I decided today’s post would be a little different. I want to talk about my writing process and the tools I use to create my games, novels, and screenplays.

My Writing Process:

When I get an idea for a new story I decide whether or not it’s going to be a series or a stand alone. If it’s going to be a series I create a series bible (3 ring binder) for it and I also create a file in scrivener. I include the following sections in the binder:

  • Blurb (Synopsis)
  • Character Sketches
  • Languages (If it’s a Fantasy)
  • Magic System (Again if it’s a Fantasy)
  • Outline
  • People (Races, Classes, etc) ( I include in this section the types of monster/creature as well (i.e., vampires, werewolves)
  • Plot
  • Research
  • Setting
  • Timeline
  • Transportation
  • Weapons

My Writing Tools:

  • Scrivener (I use it to write the rough drafts of my stories. I do some editing in the program)
  • Word (I use word for editing the stories. It has features like track changes that I love to use) (Also, when I’m in editing and revision mode I’ll print a copy out and use pens, pencils, highlighters, and sticky notes)
  • Excel ( I use excel to create timelines and editorial calendars and maps)
  • Movie Magic Screenwriter (This one I use to write screenplays, comics, and graphic novels)
  • Campaign Cartographer 3 (This is a great program to use to world build. I use it to create the maps for all of the stories)
  • Freemind ( This is a great free program to use for mind mapping.)

The program Scapple is a really good mind map program. Aeon Timeline is a good timeline. I have tried the free trials of both programs and plan to buy them in the future.

Tools for the games:

  • Unity (Game Design software)
  • UDK (Game Design software)
  • Daz Studio (Game Design software)
  • Inkscape (Use this to draw the characters and other images)
  • Gimp (Use this to draw the characters, covers, etc for the stories)

That’s all for now. Hope you find these lists enlightening and helpful. Feel free to comment. Would love to hear from you about your process, the tools you use, and other things you find useful in your own writing.


10 thoughts on “#IWSG: My Writing Process and Tools

  1. That’s fascinating. Am I reading this right–you design and play a game to develop the plot? I love that. And how do you like Gimp? I love Photoshop, but wouldn’t mind saving money on the next upgrade.

    1. Thanks. Glad you liked the post. Yes, I do. When I working with the characters for my books I role play with them. It helps me to understand my plot and my characters better. I, also design games that have no ties to my books. Gimp is a good program. I’ve tried Photoshop and it’s good as well. To me they are similar programs. I suggest downloading Gimp and trying it out to compare the two programs. πŸ™‚

      1. I teach tech and often recommend GIMP because it’s free–as an alternative to the expensive PS. I’ve had a few students tell me they liked it. I hate downloading stuff to my computer. It always seems to conflict with something. For example, I downloaded Snagit (a well-regarded screencast tool), had tons of problems, upgraded video drivers et al–and then got a blue screen of death! I haven’t had that for a decade. I unstalled Snagit and all seems good.

        Sorry I took so long. I hope you write about the new game you create.

      2. I totally understand. I’ve had that happen to me as well. Gimp is a good alternative to PS. I like it. I’m still learning about everything I can do with it. So it’s been a fun learning experience.
        I plan to start sharing more about the games and my stories in the near future. πŸ™‚

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