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it's the app's fault!

eek! i've been utterly derelict in my duties this week, for certain. i missed world wide wednesdays entirely and i'm on the late side of late in getting our paranoid theory of the week up. [it's coming, i promise.]

part of that is because i've been marginally more social this week and because i've had writing work to do that isn't part of the blog, but a lot of it has been because of my phone. in particular, it's because i've discovered an app called " novel idea" that i've been exploring.

using an app for writing purposes runs counter to every one of my instincts. [really, spellcheck? "app" is a word now? but spellcheck still isn't? pull yourself together.] i've only recently been able to get myself to start writing a project on my computer: up until the last few years, the first couple of paragraphs generally ended up being copied from handwritten manuscripts. and i have never adopted the habit of planning out a story or making notes on a computer. any time i've tried, i've ended up writing what looks like an essay, with full sentences and paragraphs rather than precise notes, so i end up losing time trying to find out what the hell is supposed to be happening as i scan my book report.

and yet somehow, i've skipped straight from longhand to typing away on my phone without stopping in the middle.

part of the reason is that working on a phone naturally lends itself to note-taking. i'm an extremely fast typist [so i've been told], which means that it's often slower for me to work with formatted notes than just to type paragraphs on a standard keyboard. working on a phone is slow and clunky, which means that i'm never inclined to start writing long descriptions. plus, of course, there's the beauty of apps to help you along.

because i, like a lot of writers, default to word or a text program for writing, organising notes about different aspects of a project is more than a little cumbersome. apps are made with organisation and ease of use in mind. "a novel idea" is set up so that the user can create characters, projects, scenes and "ideas" [because apparently none of those other things count as ideas] and to link them. so you can have characters who appear in different stories, or characters who are somehow related who appear in the same or different stories. scenes get linked to stories, or they can just sit on their own, if you haven't decided where to put them yet. it's nice and it does actually speed things up. plus, it allows me to store random scraps, which often get lost on stray pages, scraps of paper, or in the midst of a notebook filled with too much for me to take in.

there are a few frustrating things, like the fact that i can't manipulate the fields. with the type of writing i do, i have no use for a "species" classification for my characters, but i could definitely use one for "sexual orientation", which doesn't exist. on the other hand, the templates, in particular the character ones, encourage you to think of details that you might not otherwise. [note: if you prefer a more free-form method of developing characters, this might not be your cuppa.]

of course, the other benefit to this is that i can work on the ideas anywhere, which lets me be even lazier than i normally am, because i can do work without even sitting upright. i might have to think a little harder about how much of a benefit that really is.

in light of this success, i've downloaded a few other apps to try, so i can have a sort of race between them to see which one helps me the most. i figure that, aside from allowing me to keep everything well-organised, it will also encourage me to think of different projects that i can try, since there is no way i'm spending my valuable time copying the same [and, in the case of the one i've started, tremendously complex] project into multiple formats. the danger there is that i'm just going to get distracted by playing and planning and endlessly comparing, and the danger of distraction is always a great one for me because... ooh, shiny!

but i do apologise for the fact that i've been ignoring my bloglagations [see? i made a word for you!] this week. things will be getting back on track presently. 

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