Tools that Inspire – Esri Rose
When I was a kid in
If Mom and Grandma ran into friends, they might be a while, but when they finished, they knew where to find me. “We’ve been here forty minutes,” Mom would say. “Have you been in this aisle the whole time?”
I’m still inspired by the tools of writing. My desk is covered with brightly colored sticky notes and index cards, signing pens that coordinate with my book cover, and mechanical pencils that use .05 leads, not .07. For brainstorming, I like spiral-bound notebooks with holographic covers, decorated with stickers. Binders are for series “bibles,” and I make special pages to slip under the clear plastic covers. My friend Laura recently scored big points by giving me a set of highlighters shaped like little black cats. Oooh!
My accumulated tools act like a visual cue. I wouldn’t have all this stuff if I weren’t a writer. Stacks of filled and empty notebooks are tangible, weighty reminders of what I’ve accomplished, as well as the possibilities still out there. My lapdesk convinces me that writing is just lounging while you think and move your fingers.
This month, I acquired another writing tool -- one I learned about from a commenter on this very blog, months ago. Someone mentioned web diagrams -- visual mind-mapping tools. I’d never heard of them, but I found a review of some of the bestselling programs. But I waited to get one, because I was heavy into revisions, and I planned on using the program primarily for plotting.
I completed my revisions right before the RWA national conference. When I got back, I downloaded the free trial version of the one that looked far and away the best. You’re going to love this program’s name. It’s Inspiration, from Inspiration.com.
I did the tutorial first, with much Ooh! and That’s so cool! It’s simple and almost infinitely flexible, with layers that let you show as much or as little of the project as you want. Everything is in one place, from pages of text to hyperlinks, video and audio. And when you’ve connected your thought bubbles with lines and moved everything to where you want it, you can have Outline View transform it automatically, then print that sucker out as a synopsis for your editor. I am enchanted -- so enchanted that I not only started the plotting for my option book, but came up with a second book idea for my mystery series and have started plotting it. Now that’s inspiration.Esri Rose's elven romance, Bound to Love Her, is on shelves now. You can read an excerpt at ElvesAmongUs.