RTW: Paper Trail
Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question to write about on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's topic: What word processing program do you use to write your manuscript, and can you share one handy trick you've learned in that program that has helped you while you write?
During elementary school, I "published" my first short story on a typewriter much like this one:
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It weighed about a ton but had a cool carrying case with a handle. Even then I loved to write outside. I set up my workstation on our back deck and pecked away to the caw of blackbirds and blue jays and the buzz of the bees in the honeysuckle bush.
It was a story about a girl who travels to London with her family. I had just devoured a Frommer's travel guide of the UK and my story was filled with descriptions of the places they visited, food they ate, and sweaters they purchased (of the fisherman variety). I showed it to my teacher, who had little to say about it except that the family sure knew how to eat.
Over the years I've written in notebooks, journals, on scraps of paper, deposit slips, with an IBM olive green electric typewriter with white keys, an Apple IIc, various forms of PCs, a WordStar word processor, four different laptops (including my two most current, known as The Chad and T.B. Player). In high school I wrote everything in composition notebooks with Bold Crayola Markers.
In case you can't tell from the picture, those are pencil drawings of a hummingbird and a swan. The lyric at the top of the page is from an REM song, "Swan Swan H" -- Swan, swan, hummingbird, hurrah we're all free now.
I've used a variety of word processing programs, including WordPerfect (gah) and google docs (a good place to back up your work), and have landed in a wonderful relationship with Word. I switch back and forth between 2007 and 2010 depending on whether I'm using The Chad or T.B. Player. I don't care for the weird default spacing with 2010 but overall we're happy together.
My favorite feature: FIND. It's a great way to see just how many adverbs you've used or how many times you say "just."
What's your paper -- or pc -- trail? What program do you currently use and what do you love about it?
Kate, this one's for you: