I’ve written a new post every week for 282 weeks, well 283 weeks now. Most of them hover just under 1000 words or so. There are a couple of haikus in there. Over the past year I added 6 short stories. Almost all of them were typed into either Libre Office or Google docs. That has been good enough until now. I am currently writing another story that is on the longer side. Google docs isn’t really cutting it.
I suppose it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. When I work on animation or 3D modelling I have a vast array of tools available to help organise and break down the task into manageable chunks. I have windows for animation clips, timing, layers, hierarchy. Game development and programming work is completed with the help of tools that offer visual outlines of the entire project tucked off to the side of the screen. These organization tools aren’t a requirement. There are a lot of people who swear by typing code into a text editor with none of the support tools like autocomplete or project overview. That person isn’t me. I appreciate the help.
When it comes to writing I’ve been mostly working without helper tools. If I wanted to remember something that I wrote earlier, I would go back and read it again. Pretty easy to do when the post is only 1000 words. Seriously though, keeping track of more than four or five characters is like a herculean trial for my brain. My soft squishy brain. I wanted the tools. I needed the tools.
Lucky for me I found a program called yWriter. http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter6.html . It lets you take a writing task and break it down into bite sized pieces. You can see a visual layout of chapters and scenes, characters and locations. All the nuts and bolts of building a story are there. Plain and clear.
Will yWriter make me better at writing. No, of course not. Stored palettes and layer blending modes don’t make me better at painting either, but I would never want to give them up. yWriter makes the mechanics of putting together a larger story easier to grapple with. It’s a toolbox.
I have spent a 283 weeks of writing with fewer tools than I probably could have used. It’s sort of nice to give these new tools a test drive.