Saturday, February 21, 2015

Karen's Secret Weapons

We're writing in February about Secret Weapons in writing. Shh. They're Seeeeeecrit. Actually, not really. Here's some of my fellow Prosers' posts about their secret weapons in writing:

(yes, in case you were wondering, Melanie and I do have a complex about the fact that our names don't end in an "a.")

I have to admit, I'm suffering from Where-I-Am-Right-Now tunnel vision, something that often afflicts writers, I think. I also suffer from it in reading, wherein the *last book I read* is my favorite book and the one I recommend to everyone. Unless we're talking Code Name Verity, in which case I might strap you down and use a Clockwork Orange-style device to keep your eyeballs on the page. Theoretically. Because it's that good.

But ANYWAY - where I am right now as a writer is knee-deep in revisions on my novel, ABNORMALS, which I haven't written the blurb for but is basically about teens with superpowers.

I have a few things I do to make revisions easier, since I really truly hate editing with a burning fiery passion. I thought I'd share them as secret weapons, because they're part of how I motivate myself to do the editing.

First, I edit on dead-tree paper. I do! I'm a tree-hugger environmentalist most of the time, but for my primary editing runs on novels I print the buggers out.

Next, I put the dead-tree paper into a binder. Cool binders are helpful, as I look nifty carrying around this read faux leather number, don't you think? (Sidenote: Office Depot or Max, I don't remember which, and it was only about $7-8! And reusable for the next novel!)

Third, LOTS of red pens. Lotsa. That's a word my kids invented when they were small, and we still use it even though they've long since learned proper diction. It conveys *so much.* How many M&Ms do you want? Lotsa. How many kids were on the bus? Lotsa. How many times should we ride the Harry Potter ride at Universal? Lotsa. See? Very useful word. I use lotsa red pens because it enables me to get the feel I want. One funny thing about working in paper is I can be fussy about the pen, the paper, etc. in a way you just can't be with typing. It's a great way to waste more time! And money if you're as addicted to office-supply shops as I am.

Speaking of paper - I really like grid paper or graph paper. I'm a visual-spatial person (do you know about visual-spatial learners? If not please go check out Linda Silverman's site and see her info about us weird folk) and found long ago that grid paper helps me orient myself on the right/left (east/west) axis of my page the way horizontal lines orient you on the top/bottom (north/south.) I feel better when I write on grid paper, so I have sought out good grid paper for years. This pad happens to be a Levenger (note, price is for a pack of 5. Still ridiculously expensive. I think I received these as a gift…) brand pad, they definitely make the best paper out there but it's the spendiest.

And so, there it is, my super secret writing weapons, a bunch of analog world items that help me survive the editing phase. To be honest, I do the same thing with planning/outlining (dead-tree planning) but without the red colored pens, I use black or blue or ticonderoga #2 pencils (black barrel/eraser preferred. I'm very fussy!) and some really nice paper or a new notebook. I love the smell of a new notebook, and the fresh feeling of possibility I get when opening a new one. Ah, if only that would actually write the words, eh?

What are your favorite meat-world writing tools?

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