My Writer's Toolbox (Melissa Robbins)

      Every person wanting to improve his or her craft must have the right tools. A painter needs the right brushes to paint his masterpiece and yes I spend $6.99 a piece on the really nice markers at the craft store. There is a difference between coloring with those than the Crayola ones. The same applies to writers. Let’s open my writer’s toolbox and find out what helps me.
   My library (looking rather tidied up at the moment): Of course it fits in my toolbox. My box is bigger on the inside. ;0) The library is my favorite room in the house which makes it ideal to create stories. Along with my desk and computer, my library shelves are full of books to fuel my creativity and for research purposes. Don’t forget the comfortable chair for reading. Since I burned up the laptop, my husband insisted that our next PC be a professional computer, one designed for staying on for long periods of time. I LOVE it.

   My plotting board: Also in the library, it’s on the right just out of the picture. I would be lost without it. Scenes are on cards and I pinned them to my bulletin board. I know what scenes I have to write and where I’m going, like a road map.

   The Internet opened so many doorways into worlds that some people would never experience. One day, I hit the jackpot. Some wonderful souls imputed for a digital diary ALL the incidents in Northeast England during World War Two. I know when the blackout times were for each day. What areas were hit. Damage reports. Times when the sirens went on and off. Everything.

    Photographs: I collected photographs for people, uniform and clothing references. What houses looked like in the 40’s. Speaking of tools, there are photographs for items that we just don’t use anymore with technology. My fourteen year old boy can’t just throw a shirt in the front loading washer, not that he would do that if he could.

   My notebooks: I need a place to put all the items I found for my stories. My toolbox may be ever expanding, but my brain can only remember so much. The leather bound ones are my favorite. I write ideas and scenes in them. Stuff in photographs of people, planes, and houses, maps, and sketches I’ve drawn. They are novel scrapbooks.

    Music: I can’t write in silence. I HAVE to have music playing softly in the background. When I sit down at my computer to start writing, I click on Itunes, Word, and Excel in that order. Lately, I play soundtracks like Transformers 4: Age of Extinction and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Both epic soundtracks, the songs inspire me and my characters. Some songs are soft when my hero is contemplating the world and other songs when he and his mates are taking on the bad guys. Drago’s Coming is my favorite one from HTTYD2. It’s a “let’s ban to together and kick some villain butt” song. With its mournful pipes and trumpet, Stoick’s Ship makes a great song for a fallen comrade.

   That’s just some of the items in my writer’s toolbox. Do you have any like these in yours?