Field Guide to Writing


Hello adventurers!  (In my life, writers = adventurers)  This post, a sudden inspiration of 30 minutes ago, is all about everything you might need to write a story/book/etc.  As a writer, you need the right equipment on your long journey.  This is a list of the things that I use and recommend to other writers.  Enjoy!

Numero 1: You should have a binder and folders to file all your stories and ideas in.  Assign each story its own folder, and add ideas whenever you can.  Having everything in one place is SUPER DUPER handy, and sometimes color-coding is in order, depending on how many stories you have ideas for. (If you do all your writing on a laptop, organize your documents in folders as well)  I recommend getting a binder with clear pockets on the outside, and smaller pockets on the inside.

Numero 2: Have many multi-colored pens!  This comes in handy when you want something to stand out among your other ideas. Sometimes when I’m looking back over ideas, I’ll write down new ones on top of them, crossing stuff out and such; it’s easy to tell old ideas from new ones when they’re in different colors. (laptop people — same thing.  Change the colors on your documents)

Numero 3: Have at least two composition books on hand — one to write in at home, another to take with you when you’re traveling.  I have three, but that’s only because my one for home is just about full.  I took one with me on a two-week trip I took with my family this summer.  It’s really helpful, because you don’t want to lose all those wonderful ideas you came up with at home.  You can get these for about $1 each, if that.

Numero 4: Start keeping a journal.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be about the ups and downs of your life.  My journal, which I started in mid-December, is basically about my progression with my book.  I highlight certain characters, second-guess my own ideas (crazy, right? *sarcastic*), and just jot down everything in between.  I don’t write every day (I actually haven’t written for two weeks), but it’s a good practice to get into, so definitely start journaling.

Numero 5: Have a dry-erase board (don’t forget the marker) in your room or in your locker at school.  That way, you can quickly jot down an idea in the middle of the night, when you’re doing homework, or any other occasion you can think of!  I use my dry-erase board 24/7 (I keep it above my desk in my room).  It has literally saved my life in way of writing.

Numero 6: Keep a pen and notebook (or something to write on) with you AT ALL TIMES.  If you’re in a situation where you can’t really write an entire story, or you’re at school or something, it’s super handy to have something to jot down ideas on.  I use the Notes app on my iTouch every single day to write down an idea.  I mean, sometimes this idea could mean life or death! (for your characters anyway…) If you quickly outline, or write a few sentences to help you remember your basic idea, it will make a gigantic difference.  I also keep a pen and small notebook with me too, just in case.

Numero 7: Start reading books that give you writing tips!  There are a bunch in the Kindle store that are free, and plenty that you can buy.  I bet there are even some you can get at the library, if you look hard enough.  I don’t read enough of these myself, partially because Harry Potter and the Hunger Games are so addicting, but I’m working on reading them a lot more.

Numero 8: CLIP BOARDS!  This is just a must-have, especially if you don’t have a desk for reasons unknown to the world.  An easy place to keep a clip board is in the outside pocket of the previously-mentioned binder.

Well, I hope this has been of great help to everyone.  Happy writing!

CHALLENGE: Enter the contest!  I’ll be closing entries on January 11!

QUESTION: What is the most inspiring book you’ve ever read?  I’d have to say The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.  That’s the first fantasy book I can remember reading, and it’s close to my heart in more than one way. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Field Guide to Writing

  1. A bit of an extra tip (which I found handy) get a filing cabinet or a computerized filing cabinet type idea sorter to help sort ideas. I usually jot them all down on sheets of loseleaf paper and then sort them into my filing cabinet for later use. Then, when I need an idea (or a plot bunny), I can just pick one out.

    Tips for sorting: try to sort them by genre as this will help in the future. So if I got an idea in the middle of the night about a girl who got thrown in a volcano but somehow lives and goes off to find out why I would throw that into Adventure or Miscelaneous… 🙂

    Inspiring books, huh? I’d have to say The Magicians Nephew. It was the first book I ever read (like ever, I was never a fan of picture books so I just cut straight to the chapter books) so it’s special to me 🙂

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