A Few of My Favorite Tools...
By Charlotte Bennardo
My favorite tools!
First, I LOVE A THESAURUS!
And not the wimpy one that Word or Microsoft gives you, although it's good in a pinch. I cherish my battered, one and a half inches thick Oxford one because it has every conceivable synonym. It gives two antonyms, and if you need it, the part of speech. When you're writing a novel, the same word can reappear a lot. Why wrack my brain when my fingers can solve the issue quicker than I can Google?
Which brings me to my second favorite tool, Google. Back in the old days...well, you know: libraries, card catalogs, books. How easy, quick, and wonderful is it to type in "How far is it from Tintagel to Glastonbury Tor?" I needed this information for my Master's thesis novel. I got the answer in kilometers and miles, and got a map too. Research is such a breeze that when I see something wrong in a novel that an author didn't spend five minutes to research, I want to dash off an angry email with a link to the correct information.
And finally, critique groups! It's not always a pleasant experience, but necessary. My partners point out bad things that I shouldn't have written: cliches, repetitive words, passive sentences, timeline gaps, etc. They are like busy elves doing the editing work I should have.
Charlotte writes MG, YA, NA, and adult novels in sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, and paranormal genres. She is the author of the middle grade Evolution Revolution trilogy, Simple Machines, Simple Plans, and Simple Lessons. She co-authored the YA novels Blonde OPS, Sirenz, and Sirenz Back in Fashion. She has two short stories in the Beware the Little White Rabbit (Alice through the Wormhole) and Scare Me to Sleep (Faces in the Wood) anthologies. Currently she is working on several novels for both children and adults, and her MFA. She lives in NJ with her family and two demanding cats. When they trimmed the backyard tree, the crazy squirrel couple had to move out.