Even the best writer has experienced that writing can be difficult. Whether it’s the plotting part or the writing part, the muse can be a fickle mistress. Every writer can use a little bit of help and there are some resources that can come to the rescue. I’ve listed what I have personally tried out and found useful. There’s no need to complain about not writing with these tools, so let’s get to it.
Most of you have probably heard of this, but if not, please try it out. You can use it for free on the website, but you can also buy it and download the programme. For when my fingers are glued to the keyboard, refusing to actually type, this site saves me. You can set a time limit and a word count and you keep typing. There are no distractions, because you can’t stop. If you do, there are consequences. It is especially good for first drafts because when you’re feeling a bit lost, this can really help you organise your thoughts on paper. It’s also fun to see how fast you can type. Challenge yourself!
When it comes to plotting my novels, or blog posts for that matter, I want something that gives me a bird’s eye view of the whole novel or the whole post. Usually I do this with post-its or by writing it in my notebook, but sometimes a girl just needs to do things digitally and a little bit faster. For a novel, I start my first dot with the title and I add a note about the themes. The great thing about this is that you can collapse the notes or reveal them. The themes I always leave out in the open, so that when I add the chapters below, I can see if the events add to the theme. It’s a bit hard to explain, but go check it out now and you’ll see for yourself. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Another thing I really love about this, is that it automatically saves it. You can even open the browser on a different computer and still have everything. Another wonderful feature is that it always is one page. So I really keep that oversight I want so badly.
This one is for all you bloggers. This is not to help you write blog posts, but to help you write good titles. You simply write it down, wait for the analysis and see that you really suck. Really. It’s so tricky. What you want is a 70 or higher and man, oh man, is this difficult. I have actually given up a few times, only to get back to it. It really teaches you to think about your wording and is therefore great for any writer. It gets easier to recognise good, strong words and I highly recommend using it when you’re a blogger. Then once you have that good title, you’ll probably feel even more inspired to write that post. For me, it helps to organise my thoughts beforehand, using #2. *giggles*
This you can download for free and it’s similar to Scrivener in the sense that you can use it to plot your novel. I realise that this might make a lot of you gasp in shock, but I think I even prefer this to Scrivener. Though I should say it has been a while since I tried out the latter. The lay-out of Bibisco is more appealing to me and I really like the way it helps you plot your characters. It’s quite extensive. You also have an analysis part where you can see where characters show up and make sure they’re evenly distributed. The same for the length of chapters, distribution of locations, narrative strand, and you can check the use of point of view.
#5 Novelist (App)
This is an exception in the sense that it is an app and not something you can open on your computer. Nevertheless, I like this one. It’s concise and easy to use. Also, since it’s an app you can use it anywhere and don’t have to start your laptop first. I’ve tried a lot of apps, but this is the only one I still use. You can add several projects, and even add covers to them. You can fill in themes, events, characters, locations, props, outline chapters, and organise sections. It’s handy and free. What more could you want?
Each of these tools are free, so it doesn’t hurt to check them out. If they’re not for you, they’re not. If they are, yay! There are many more tools out there, but I wanted to share my favourite ones. If you have any that I didn’t mention, please share.