Yet another set of stupid Word tricks

Writing

First, if you enjoy tabs, you’ll love this free add-on that lets you have tabs in Word, Excel and PowerPoint (works up until Office 2013):

http://www.office-tabs.com/download.htm

Second, if you’re like me and occasionally have multiple drafts of the same story running around, here’s an easy trick to differentiate them (in Office 2010 anyway):

On the Ribbon, hit Page Layout, then Page Color.

There!  Won’t affect your printing unless you change things around in Options.

Now you can tell at a glance which version you’re working on!  And perhaps prevent eyestrain!

Finally, Control+Click selects a whole sentence at once.

The things you learn before 8AM on a Thursday!

Two Tips for Writers

Muse at 11, Writing

First, the general tip:  If your next scene isn’t starting off right, it might mean your last scene isn’t finished yet.  Take the scene a little further: it might launch you right into your next scene.

Second: When you’re trying to find out different members of royalty are addressed, you’ll have better look looking up “royal stylings” or “royal styles” than “royal forms of address.”  Took me months to discover this!  It also helps if there’s a monarch alive with the title you’re writing for (in my case, I had to go to Denmark.)

Create Inspirational Mood Boards for Your Writing Project with OneNote

Writing

Guess what, fellow writers?  I’ve found a use for Microsoft OneNote.

While I don’t like it as a wiki, it’s perfect for making mood boards!

Mood boards are used by some visual artists to help them visualize a project.  You collect images that evoke the mood you want for your piece, then pin the whole collection up where you can see and refer back to it while you work.

In OneNote, collecting pics is as easy as dragging images from the web (or your harddrive) into a file for your novel.  I’ve been using it to collect pictures for different locales, characters, and fashions in my sci-fi world, and it’s much tidier than having the images scattered among my harddrive folders!

* * *

Another fun thing I’ve been doing in Microsoft OneNote is collecting photos of actors who remind me of my characters.

While I’m a have the ability to draw my characters if I want, my mental image of a character is fairly fluid–so why not grab some real life influences?

Here’s a few scientists my protagonist runs around with:

I was thrilled when I saw the trailer to MoneyballJonah Hill‘s character really struck me as a solid reference for my protaganist’s archrival-slash-boss, Vincent Harper.

I’ve always seen my protag’s weasely coworker Timothy Wallman as Steve Buscemi, but I didn’t realize why it was so easy to imagine Steve-o in a labcoat until I found this image of his from Spy Kids!

One of his other coworkers, Vanessa Chak, seemed to arrive as a crankier version of King of the Hill’s Minh Souphanousinphone, though when I drew Chak from imagination, I came up with this:

Have you ever used mood boards before in your writing?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!