Novel Writer’s Tool Kit

October 22, 2007 at 8:47 am | Posted in Jessica, tool kit, writing | 1 Comment

A few weeks ago we wrote on dialog and I used Bob Mayer’s The Novel Writer’s Tool Kit to help frame my discussion. Well, here we are talkng about our own tool kits this week and so as not to offer a repeat of something I’ve already discussed, I thought I would instead talk about the things I need in order to survive the down cycles of the ups and downs of my writing life.

After all, by outward appearances one novel writer’s tool kit will look similar to another’s – we should all have our internal characteristics – the fortitude to help us in our calling; our day-to-day coping mechanisms; our ideas; our preparation; our stories, techniques, and finesse; then we have the pieces to our writing business and how we choose to handle each. What may be a sharp instrument for some may be a blunt object for others and vice versa. That’s one of the joys of story-telling – even with the exact same premise, no two stories will be alike due to the variation in the wear, comfort, and ease of use for each of the tools in our respective ‘tool kits’.

But for those off days, I need to dig a little deeper in the bunker than what’s mentioned above. So, in no certain order, here are the ‘tools’ that at any point in time can be found in my “survival kit”:

Peanut M&M’s.

Diet Coke.

Yoga Mat and favorite relaxation cd.

Classical Music. Preferably J.S. Bach.

Inspirational quotations.

A really well written book (to remind me where I want to be).

An extremely poorly written book (to remind me that I can totally do this).

Hugs from my loved ones (I know you are reading this and you know who you are!).

Harvard sweatshirt and flannel pants.

Pictures of loved ones.

My lap top, Stella.

My dvd of Pride and Prejudice.

It’s whatever feeds the need at the time. And while I may not be the perfect ‘boy scout’ – prepared at all times – I at least have some of my go-to comforts to help me find my happy place . . . get me on track . . . and keep me moving forward.

As I mentioned last week, all I need is five minutes.

If you need to break into your survival kit this week, may you only require a quick fix before you get back on track. Happy writing!



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