Last Minute Christmas Ideas for Writers

Posted by on December 21, 2011

Only four more days before Christmas and you haven’t figured out what to get your … uh … self. I know, Christmas is supposed to be about giving, not getting. So, um, maybe you can get these for a writer friend (then after calculating your Christmas cash, December 26th, buy them for yourself). What’s awesome about these gifts is that you don’t need to fight
the holiday traffic, elbow through the crowds at the malls, or even spray mace into someone’s eyes (I know, tragic!) to get the last one. You just have to download them.

The first wonderful gift item is Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Pro Software . I could not have written my completed manuscript without Randy’s “Snowflake Method”, and this software helped me do that. The Snowflake Method is a global-to-specific means of plotting out your story. It fit me to a tee, because that’s how I think. This method starts out with a general idea and helps the author develop it by filling in more details with each pass. The software takes the author through
the steps of fleshing out the story, then gives templates which help to fine-tune some of those pesky details. I love the fact that included with the software are examples of classic and popular stories, mapped out with this method. These examples give the author a greater sense, both of how each story was created, and how to use the method and the software for their own.

The next wonderful gift is the one I just received, Scrivener. Scrivener is a writing software which has been lauded among MAC users for many years, and has only just recently become available to those of us who work from PCs. Honestly, there is so much this software can do, I don’t even know where to begin. But what I like most of all is how it allows the author to keep all her information, from research, to character sketches, to scene notes, in an organized fashion. It is very user friendly in that the author can maneuver material, switching scenes and chapters on a visual corkboard. It allows the author to work on bits at a time, while able to combine necessary elements into one document at a moment’s notice. Though I am still a novice at it, I’m having a blast mapping out my next work-in-progress, with my new Christmas toy.

Who needs wrapping paper when you have a green line filling in a download box, telling you how soon your Christmas wish will be ready. Oh what fun!

Now, on to the serious elements of Christmas. To see the proof that Big things truly do come in small packages, visit my Living the Body of Christ blog to read the next part of my series: The Great and the Small, part 3—God. Just in
time for Christmas.

And if you have a moment, share your greatest wish for Christmas this year …

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