Author Life General
SF Benson  

A Writer’s Toolbox

Everybody has their favorites when it comes to writing. These are a few of mine.


What type of computer do I use? 

Up until late summer, I used an HP Laptop. When the motherboard fried, I adopted the family computer—an HP All-in-One Desktop.  

Do I write longhand? If so, what pens and/or paper do I use? 

I prefer typing to writing. I will, however, use notebooks, binders, and loose leaf paper for notes. The notebook houses random thoughts about a project. Each manuscript gets its own binder with paper. The outline, premise, brief synopsis, marketing plan, and any other pertinent detail go into the binder. On the outside, I have dates for the manuscript—draft, revision, editor, cover art, and publishing. 

It looks a little like this:  


Eventually, the rough draft of the manuscript gets tucked inside.


What about writing software? 

After I’d published my first two books, I entered a contest. The grand prize was Scrivener software. I’d read about it and was delighted to have won, but I won’t lie. Scrivener was daunting. I wasn’t sure how to use it, and my first few attempts were just meh. Then, I found a few tutorials and a few templates to use with it. When I started having issues with Microsoft Word crashing frequently and losing all that I’d written, I switched to Scrivener. 

I now use it for all drafts—novels and short stories. I’ll revise in it as well then export the files into a Word Document. All edits are completed in Word before I make an archival copy in Scrivener.  

What’s great is that I can also have a mobile copy of the software in my iPhone! It’s come in handy since I don’t have my laptop. 


Everything I have in the desktop version is in the mobile app too. 

My toolbox is completed with Adobe InDesign. I use it to format my printed books. For Amazon, I use Kindle Create. If I’m uploading to Draft2Digital or Smashwords, then I use Microsoft Word and follow their established guidelines for formatting. 

If you’re an author (published or yet-to-be), what’s in your toolbox? 

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