As we all know, the world is divided into two. There are those of us for whom an (often dim) light bulb goes on, we open a nice new page in Word or Scrivener and we start feverishly typing away. ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’ etc. Others – and there are many – plot and plan over a period of weeks. They have plotlines, sticky notes, lines, connections on an ever-expanding storyboard that, once substantially complete, enables then to steer a carefree course. These writers stand a better chance of not ending up on the rocks.

The simple way has sometimes worked for me. At other times I’ve written myself into a corner, or else I’ve reached my destination short of a good word count. But, with a cute little product called Scapple, I think I might have found a good halfway house.

Scapple is a simple text editor that you can use for jotting down ideas, thoughts, characters, dates, incidents etc. Then you can connect them, group them, add new stuff, edit, delete, generally play around. From a blank page you simply click and type, drag, connect with lines or arrows, colour or shape your work, play around with it. There is little or nothing to ‘learn’ about it – we can all click, type, drag can’t we?Scapple

Family trees for example, a doddle. Storylines – just mind-map away, build, connect, zap anything that isn’t working. Build one super-duper page or start a second if it’s getting too big. It beats the hell out of finding your original notes to ensure consistency in your story.

Click the image to link to the product page – only USD14.99. And no I’m not on commission.

Cliche Cleaner
Whilst writing, here’s another neat and cheap product that you might like. A good editor will pick up cliches, repetitions etc. but this has a go at doing it for you. I find I don’t use it too much but some may be interested.