The Sunday New York Times Book Review ran an interesting essay by Rachel Donadio about various computer programs writers use to keep track of their characters and such when they’re writing a novel. (Registration is required to access the essay.)
Unfortunately, I’m still using the “piles of scrap paper” system, and probably will remain that way for quite a while. I may be in the minority, though. Following the presentation of the Washington Independent Writers panel I spoke at on Saturday, there was a heated discussion among the audience about which voice recognition program was best. Sometimes I worry that beginning writers are convinced that it’s the next “new new thing” that will make them finish that book, or get published.
Actually, the secret isn’t so secret: Work hard, study the craft, and learn to write well. (Yes, I agree—it’s much, much easier to whip out your credit card and buy a computer program.)
I’m reminded of one of my favorite writing quotes: “There is no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come…patience is everything.” ~~Rilke