Peggy Bechko’s World: “What do I need to Write?”

Definitely not the kind of “need” Peggy’s talking about here, but we couldn’t resist!

by Peggy Bechko

What do I need to Write???

Hmm, an interesting question. One that needs a bit of context. Is that question on the literal, referring to the tools we need like pen and pencil or computer or is it more subjective as in atmosphere, surroundings or story elements?

For me, as a writer, the first impulse would be to say I need a good character to pop into my mind, someone who I can wrap a story around. So that would boil down to ideas. Ideas and characters that excite me and make ti so I can hardly wait to sit down at my desk and begin the process.

And along with those ideas I’d need to decide what my end game is. What medium would best suit those ideas? Will I focus on writing a novel? A screenplay? A Short story?

And, in what context do I want to present it? By that I mean does this idea and these characters lend themselves to Science Fiction? Romance? Comedy? Thriller? Paranormal? Some interesting combination?

Sometimes I contemplate these things separately and at other times they sort of congeal and come together all at once like jello with fruit setting up. (ack! I hate jello with fruit in it).


Once I’m there I can tell you the basic hardware/software kinds of tools I prefer.

First is my office. I love my office. It’s a place to relax, to create and it took me a number of years to be able to have the space I wanted, the privacy and the furnishings (i.e. desk, chair, etc.) that I wanted, the way I wanted them. Now it’s heaven.

Next is my computer. Yep, I just got a new one. It’s a PC. It has a nice large screen, is an all in one so I don’t have all the clutter on my desk and it works great. Figure I’m good for years now. And just as important is my portable hard drive I use to back up. I’m absolutely, insanely, passionate about backing up frequently while I write. It’s programmed with an automatic backup. And, I back up once more at the end of a writing session. I also unplug it and hide it away when I’m out of the house. We’ve had a couple of break-ins over the years and I’m not risking losing it. Folks tell me I should use the cloud, but that’s not where I place my trust. Don’t judge. Well, okay, you can judge, but I don’t want to hear about it.

I’d like to have a voice recorder and I keep intending to get myself one but I keep forgetting. Maybe that means I don’t need one?

Software is next. Basic Word does it for my novel writing and prep when I want to self-publish something. Formatting works well. Again, I have people telling me I should check out Scrivener and I might if I ever get enough time between projects for a learning curve and to download the free test version. For now. No.

For Screenwriting I use Movie Magic Screenwriter most of the time and as a back-up I have an account with Adobe Story I’ve used it to change formats a few times. Don’t get there very often so I hope they remember me.

I do have some software I use when creating illustrations for kids books and comic books, but we’re talking about sheer writing here, so let your imagination run wild.

My dogs. Yep, my dogs. When I settle in to write for a few hours my three dogs are scattered around the room. Briget the very insecure heeler/whippet mix usually tucks herself in a corner and tries to pretend she’s invisible. Buddy, tender little soul, snuggles into a bed at my feet and Hans kid of spills out of a bed behind my chair. I’m surrounded by doggie love and I’d miss that comforting presence if it wasn’t there.

Only other thing I might need is a Krispy Kreme donut, but unfortunately though a store opened here locally not too long ago, it’s all the way across town and I’m not about to get out of my comfy writing clothes to jump in the car and drive across town to get one. So that’s not happening. Probably for the best.

In conclusion I’d love to hear about what you need (or think you need) to write. It’s amazing how little we can get by with actually, but there are some things we just can’t do without. Spill it, fellow writers, what do you NEED to write?

Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and don’t forget Peggy’s wonderful blog. Whew! Busy woman!