1. Paper and pen and/or laptop
Well you need something to write on don’t you!
2. Ideas and Observations Notepad
You can carry it around with you and put in scene ideas, thoughts, observations, floor plans, descriptions, random scribbles. This is a wonderful writing tool for anything and everything writing-related.
Try not to become too focussed on details in your notebook. Remember that too much discipline can destroy creativity.
3. Folders/databases/card index files
Buy separate folders (or re-vamp old folders by giving it a new cover) for your current projects. Organize (or don’t organize it) however you want. You can have ones specific to a project, one’s collecting other writing stuff.
Also you can make use of card index files for story ideas and, again, for individual projects and don’t forget about databases. You can create databases and forms on MS Access, which are great for making character profiles. They take a while to set up but once it’s setup it’s ready to use any time.
Again, don’t become too focussed on organizating. Your goal is writing!
4. Useful Books
See my recommended list Writing How-To Books. Don’t forget your essentials books for writers such as the dictionary and a thesaurus. Spell checkers are good but can lead you astray. Use them sparingly.
Don’t forget about reading what you enjoy too!
5. Research Sources
Your local library, the internet, newspapers, television and first hand experience all are useful places for research. Don’t forget material such as travel guides, online blogs, forums where you can request interviewees etc. There’s a wealth of information out there. The Writer’s weekly forum allows you to post interview requests if you register.
Don’t overdo the research either. I know they say `write what you know’ but we also use our imagination to create things we don’t know.