Writing Light Episode Seven: Tools and Traits

Every weekend from February through April, 2011, I sit down in front of a camera and talk about my previous week’s progress writing my second novel “Light of the Outsider.” This week, by request, I talk about my habits and the tools and resources I use to write “Light of the Outsider.”

Links to places and things mentioned in this episode follow. Note that many links are to Amazon.com, and when you buy the item (or any other item through those links) you’ll help me out with a small commission!

I’d love to hear your experiences with the software and books I’ve mentioned. I’m betting the viewers would benefit from your suggestions for resources that help you with your own writing, too! Leave your feedback in the comments, or leave a voicemail at 1-757-DIY-MATT (349-6288). Thanks!


  1. Writing standing up, cool thanks for sharing that. A lot of my co-workers have moved the desks in their cubical up so that they can stand while working, I should do that too :) Using spreadsheets for outlining, that’s a great idea. I just finished reading through the rough draft of novel I plan on podcasting, and I now have a revised outline. My goal is to really look at how the story is working and try and map it out so it’s the best story it can be – and I need a good way to see it all at once somehow. I may try using a spreadsheet – sounds better than using note cards, and less laborious :) Lot’s of cool stuff in this episode Matt, thanks for sharing. It’s always fun to hear how other writers do their thing.

    • Hey there, Dan. First of all, thanks for the suggestion for this week’s episode!

      Writing standing up makes a huge difference. If you don’t want to / can’t write standing up for extended periods of time, then take a break by doing something physical and hard before you go back to writing. Yesterday I did a thousand words, stopped and did pushups until I reached muscle failure (the point where you can’t do another push-up without collapsing), then wrote seven hundred more words. The point is to keep your body working while your mind is working. It seems to make a difference.

      I like spreadsheets at a certain stage in order to see where each event in the story takes place in time relative to the other events. It also helps you visualize if one character or plot line or whatever (you decide what you want to chart) is dominating or is insufficiently represented.

      Thanks once again for commenting, Dan!


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