Open Book Blog Hop – Tools of the Trade

Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop!

Today’s question is: When it comes to writing, what are your favourite tools?

And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

This is really interesting as it can mean any manner of things to different people. Is it physical tools, mental tools, or something altogether different? I am going to look at a bit of everything for this one.

First up, there’s the obvious stuff. My laptop. That’s a must. Everything is written on it. That said, I write in Google Docs which to an extent renders the device less important. I like having my work saved in Google Drive where I can access it across devices at any time, without the risk of hard drive failure losing everything. Yes, Google could collapse and take it all with it, but I’d imagine that to be a lower risk.

Then there are the classics – notebooks, highlighters and the ever-faithful red pen. When the time comes for me to start editing, I love a red pen. It seems to help me be more ruthless and brutal for some reason or other. I love to edit my work in print form. I’ll print my manuscript and set to work striking through passages that don’t work, spilling red ink like blood upon the battlefield. Highlighters cast a rainbow of colours over the pages where things are okay but need some tweaking. It adds a little colour to the task at hand, that’s for sure.

Then there are the intangibles. The location is a biggy. Somewhere I feel at home, relaxed. I have an office at home, surrounded by bits and pieces that set me at ease. Video game memorobilia, posters, LEGO sets and other items from my interests. It’s got a desk and chair, monitor, keyboard, the works. It’s an ideal place to settle down for some writing. I also love a good coffee shop. The settings always tend to be relaxed, but they are also a goldmine for ideas thanks to people watching. What else works for me? Music. I don’t work too well in silence. I tend to find the best music for me is mood music, something atmospheric rather than songs. If it fits the genre I am writing for, so much the better!

A reliable crop of beta readers is a must. They help me to spot issues I as the author am blind to. They help me ensure I’ve not suddenly put my characters in a place they shouldn’t be, or messed up a name. They also help me ensure my story flows and will help pick up on plot holes. In addition to this, a good editor and designer is a must. I remember the emotions I felt when I saw the first proof copy of Chasing Shadows. The cover was stunning, the interior design was epic, and the attention to detail paid to it was second to none. I was fortunate that my designer is also my editor, and the work and care given to my book helped me realise my vision for it. I am doubly fortunate to have the pleasure of still working with Jen as a proofreader and will without a doubt be taking my second book, As the Crow Flies to her for editing and design.

Shameless plug time! If you are looking for a brilliant designer and editor who is always on hand with help and advice, even beyond the job, Jen at Fuzzy Flamingo is a must!

4 thoughts on “Open Book Blog Hop – Tools of the Trade

  1. I used to love listening to music, now I find it interrupts my train of thought. Instead of concentrating on the story, I start humming along and my fingers tap drum rhythms on the keyboard, which gives the spell-check an overload.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find silence distracts me too much. I have some playlists of ‘steampunk’ instrumental music which help put me in that frame of mind!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s