Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Some useful things every writer should have

A scanner pen
These are ieal for scanning text you need for research purposes and for working out the word count of articles and books. I have an Iris pen, but there are many more on the market.
Tip – make sure it will work on your operating system. For instance the Iris pen I have was bought when I had Windows XP, but it does work with my new Windows 7 laptop (although itv won't scan as much text as it would in XP)

A netbook/ipad
Perfect for those occasions when you want to travel light, but anticipate that you will be doing some writing.

A notepad with a light
Perfect when your OH is asleep and doesn’t want to be awakened by you scribbling down details of how to mutilate one of your characters.
A subscription to a writing magazine
Every single book I have had published (five so far and two on the way, including my first novel) has been down to reading about markets looking for writers in Writers’ News. It’s available on subscription although it comes with Writing Magazine. It’s a UK magazine, but they allow subscribers from abroad. Wherever you live there is bound to be a writing magazine.

Notepads and pens scattered around the house
Where do you get your best ideas: probably when you’re not sitting at your desk actually working? I have notepads and pens scattered around my house, including in the bathroom. There is nothing worse than coming up with a fantastic idea for an article or a scene in your book and not being able ro write it down.

Membership of a writers messageboard
Who else knows what its like to write, to send manuscripts to publishers and magazines and get a no? To have family who don't understand why you write? Other writers that's who. I belong to a site called Talkback and people are so helpful and friendly.

A dead Fred
To get me in the mood for writing crime I have a dead Fred pen holder. Reminds me of the outline of a body at a crime scene.

Some visual aids
To help me know where my characters are at any given time I use B Movie action figures that I bought on Amazon. Childish? Maybe, but when I’m writing about a group of characters I can tell where they all are.
Tip – Other, normal people may use pictures they’ve cut out of magazines and catalogues and say ‘this is what my character Bob looks like.’

A wee, happy dug to chase around the room
Writers can neglect their exercise. Having a dog who likes to be chased around the room at all times of the day and the night is the perfect way to make sure you don’t spend too much time on your fast expanding derriere.



  1. Chasing a dog around the room? Hey, come on, Jennifer, the really perfect way to make sure you don't spend too much time on your bum is to take it for a good long walk - a real walk. And there are lots of stories and lots of ideas out there.

    But, yes, you're right - every writer must have a dog or two.

  2. Benjy gets plenty of walks, but he's so energetic he runs round the house too and gets me to chase him.

  3. Great and imaginative list. I have an app on my Android phone that can scan text from books so I don't need a pen scanner, though always desired one

    Wish I could have a dog too, but again I'd be messing with him too much to write I guess.


  4. Never heard of a scanner pen before.
    I like the idea of Dead Fred and I totally agree about the writing magazines & message boards - as well as all the useful info., it's nice to know that others are striving for publication too (& that you're not the only one that's mad!).


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