As readers, it’s fascinating to get a glimpse behind the curtain and see how our favorite authors craft their books.
There are a lot of different areas of interest to learn about. We can seek to understand how our favorite writers think and the internal workings of their creativity. We can learn about the background of authors and what led them to create the work they are known for. We can also consider the particular tools and technologies that help authors to shape their work.
Today, we’re going to take a look inside the tools and apps that authors use to craft their books.
Outlining Processes Used By The Pros
Depending on their personal philosophy, your favorite writer might love or hate outlining.
Just to be clear, both approaches work well. Superb stories have been created by authors who chose to produce a thorough outline of their work. Other authors eschew outlining as they feel it hampers their creative freedom.
Outlining also doesn’t have to be an all or nothing decision. It’s possible to give yourself a useful outline to work with, while also leaving room for improvisation.
So, of those authors who choose to outline, what types of writing tools and processes do they use?
- Handwritten Outlining. Sometimes, effective outlining doesn’t need to be complicated or technological. Authors, as accomplished as JK Rowling, have outlined their work with nothing but pen and paper. It’s always fascinating to learn when a hugely famous story has humble origins.
- Methodical Outlining. Outlining methods aren’t always simple. Sometimes, they form a carefully formulated, step by step process. One such process is the snowflake method used by Randy Ingermanson. As well as winning the Carol and Christy awards for his fiction Ingermanson has shared his outlining process with the world.
- Software Outlining. Scrivener has legions of fans from every corner of the writing world. As well as being a great environment to write a book, it also has powerful outlining capabilities. Authors such as K.M Weiland and Michael Hyatt have talked about the ways Scrivener benefits their work.
While outlining may be shunned by top writers such as Stephen King, the fact it’s worked so well for so many others proves its value. The range of different outlining processes and tools is interesting to behold.
The Many Writing Tools Available
Of course, outlining, or the lack of it, are just the opening act of your favorite authors creating impressive books.
The actual act of writing the book itself also has a wide array of different approaches and tools to facilitate it.
Let’s take a glance at some of the ways that the best authors out there write their books.
- By Hand. Writing a great book doesn’t require the most expensive Macbook or even any technology at all. Plenty of the best authors out there choose to write by hand. JK Rowling produced the first Harry Potter by hand, Neil Gaiman before handwriting for his novels, and Stephen King has chosen this way of writing for some of his best work.
- Old-School Technology. Many authors choose to take a technological approach to their writing – just not the latest technology! Perhaps the most famous of all is George R.R Martin who crafts his fantasy epics on an MS-Dos device running WordStar 4.0.
- The Latest Tech. At the other end of the scale to authors who write by hand are those who prefer the latest writing apps and greatest technology on the market. Authors such as Richard Powers make use of innovations such as reliable dictation software, and it’s probably only a matter of time before someone manages to produce a book using a neural interface.
What’s interesting about the range of methods on offer is that they prove great work can be created by many different means. The vision and creative talent of the author are what matter most – not the tool used to convey them.
What Does The Future Hold?
As interesting as it is to learn about the way our favorite authors and how they craft their work, it’s also fun to speculate about how the writers of tomorrow might craft books.
By looking at recent developments, as well as picturing how technology might take another step forward, we can speculate on how the tools available to writers will evolve even further.
- A.I Writing. Even in this day and age, artificial intelligence has been used to write simple content such as sports reporting. It will be interesting to see if full-length, readable novels can also be within the capabilities of artificial intelligence.
- Brain-Computer Interfaces. The preliminary signs of writing being able to be produced directly from brain waves are already around. It’s not hard to imagine a future where this has reached a more advanced stage. This will open up writing opportunities for countless people.
Of course, there’s always a chance that things will turn out differently.
Perhaps a new technology so revolutionary we can’t even picture it will emerge. Perhaps writers will end up sticking with what we have at the moment.
No matter what, it will be fascinating to see what the future brings in terms of writing processes and tools!
How Does Your Favorite Author Produce Their Work?
One of the best things about being a lover of books is the endless gems waiting to be discovered.
From finding a new favorite author to discovering a new genre entirely, there is always something new to look forward to.
In that spirit, feel free to drop a comment with any interesting anecdotes you happen to have about your favorite writers and the way they work! It’s always amazing to discover something new.