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IWSG July - Tools of the Trade

 This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for July 2024.

Alex's awesome co-hosts this month are: 
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you

I waited until the last minute to write this post, hoping I might have a release date for my next book to shout about. Unfortunately I don't. But I have made progress on it since going part time last month.

I like July's question. I'm excited to see what others use and recommend!

July 3 question - What are your favorite writing processors (e.g. Word, Scrivener, yWriter, Dabble), apps, software, and tools? Why do you recommend them? And which one is your all time favorite that you cannot live without and use daily or at least whenever you write?

I'm old school. I still use Word for most everything. 

I make a document with images of my MCs and main supporting characters, including basic info about each person. 

Next, I make a 'Plot Notes' document, which I duplicate, title 'Working Copy,' and use as my story drafting doc. I delete the plot notes in that one as I write the scenes. This allows me to jump ahead and write a later scene if I'm suddenly inspired.

Lastly, I create a document titled 'Timeline by Chapter.' In that, I make general notes about the significant events that happen in each chapter as I go. I include the day(s) the chapter/scene spans and in whose POV it's written. It takes a little time to do this, but it comes in handy later if I need to find something, or if I need to review an older book that's been published for years.

I've thought about trying something like Scrivener, but the dauting learning curve always deters me.

I gave yWriter a try with this latest WIP. I ended up using it for my character notes and research notes, but I decided not to draft in it. *shrugs* I'm a creature of habit. And I'm scared of losing my work. 

I've started using Atticus to format, but I still won't draft in it.

I'd like to find a good editing software that can help me proofread when my current proofer retires. (Before you chide me about trying to proof my own work, realize that I freelance edit. I could do a decent job if I had software capable of flagging the errors.) I'm going to try Word's enhanced features first and go from there. 

If you have an editing program you like -or any tool, for that matter- tell me about it. I'm open to suggestions. :)


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering  support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list


  1. Sorry, I just use Word as well.
    Hope your next book is ready for release soon.

  2. I just use Word like Alex. For grammar issues, Grammerly is good. It's great you're moving closer to your book release date.

  3. I like to make timelines, too. Keeps all the events and characters straight. I also use just Word for fiction.

  4. Word girl here too! I just started using Atticus, and I'm liking it.

  5. I use Word too, Melissa. I have a timeline that I construct as I write, which is important because I am writing a memoir using letters, manuscripts, and letters. I'm also constructing chapter notes and a bibliography which are challenging. I sure hope don't have to do an index ~ lol! All the best to you!

  6. Seems like Word is the most popular answer today. I use Pages, which is basically the exact same thing as Word, but made by Apple. What can I say? For most writers, a simple, straightforward word processor is all we need. Word does that job without any fuss.

  7. Best of luck on the book progress. I recall giving a rundown of yWriter at one point. We all have our tools that work best for us.

  8. Another user of Word. I like your approach of drafting atop a copy of the notes/outline. I may play with that for the next book.

  9. Pat had trouble posting and asked for my help.
    "It is okay to stay with what you know. I used Microsoft Word for years and still use it when I write an article. The main thing is that you’re happy with your process.
    Good luck with your new book release.
    "Have a happy Fourth of July.

    "Shalom shalom,
    Pat Garcia"


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