Write a book using the best tools: slab or chunks?

triumph typewriter.jpg

Whether you’re writing a novel or nonfiction book, the tools you use to help you to write can make all the difference.

I wrote my sixth book on an Apple IIe computer with a whole 48KB of memory; this was a huge improvement on my previous book writing tool, an IBM golf ball typewriter. You’d think that 25 years’ worth of improvements in technology would make writing a book a breeze, wouldn’t you? Unfortunately not.

There are times when I believe the IBM golf ball typewriter was a great book writing tool and I feel like going back to it: I could write in chunks.

One slab, or multiple chunks?

Writing in chunks helps you to let your creativity flow – you’re not distracted.

So the first decision you need to make when writing a book is whether you’ll write in scenes or chapters (chunks), or write the entire text in one file as a single slab. Both options present challenges.

The problem is creativity itself: creativity is chaotic. You need to come to terms with that, because if you don’t, your book will be lifeless.

If you’re writing your complete book in a single slab, it chokes off your creativity – the temptation to tinker with previous chapters and alter word choices is too great.

OTOH, if you write in multiple files, corralling all those chunks and organizing them can be like putting together a jigsaw when you can’t see the picture you’re putting together.

One tool I’ve been using this year from all my long-form writing is Scrivener. Unfortunately this gem is only available for the Mac. The benefit of Scrivener is that you can write in chunks, and put all the chunks together when you need to.

A slab or chunks? Your choice.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.