Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Preparing for Nano--Writing Tools to Help

Get ready for Nano

Image courtesy of punsayaporn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The real Nano die-hards will have been setting themselves up for success for almost a month now. The plotters will have a flexible scheme of work, chapter headings, a synopsis and maybe even a blurb at the ready for the off on November 1.

The Pantsers will have character sketches of their main protagonists loaded with virtues and flaws--all motivated toward meaningful conflict.

But, whether it's for Nano or any other time of the year that you'd like to challenge yourself, let battle commence.

When Inspiration Flags

Look to writing software for help. Most writers now have heard of Scrivener but despite its wonderfully detailed manual, it has so many bells and whistles that it can seem a very steep learning curve. Find help from Gwen Hernandez, who is one of the renowned go-to tutors when you're struggling to profit from the software. The articles listed under Scrivener Help on her blog include several which focus on the usefulness of the software when accepting the challenge to write the statutory 50,000 words in November.

Scrivener does have a 30 day free trial to give you a chance to decide whether you find it useful or not.

If you are a visual learner you may find yourself opting for the new  program on the block. StoryShop developed by the Indie legends who make up Sterling and Stone has a strong visual base to help you see your story develop as you write. it has a 7-day all access pass but you can keep using the writing tool for free after that.

Scapple from the Scrivener stable is a beautifully easy mind mapper/text editor where you simply drop and drag items to connect them. Another helpful notebook and list organizer is WorkFlowy which comes highly recommended by many writers although I have not myself used it.

Another great book writing tool, which has been noted by Reedsy and Nanowrimo as one of the best tools to write books, is 

Speed up Your Writing

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Voice recognition software has come a long way since the earliest versions of Dragon. It does depend on your training it to recognize your voice and vocabulary. I suggest you read your articles or writing if asked to do this while training rather than giving access to your emails or documents.

For the writer on a budget, the new Google add-ons for Chrome are amazingly good--at least they suit me. You can upload the printed text to Google docs then download from there to your own computer.

Windows 10 has its own Speech Recognition option built in. Click on Ease of Access in the Control Panel and you will find the option to start it and to set up  a microphone if you wish to do so.

It certainly speeds up the writing, saves fingers and muscular strain.

What are your favorite aids for writing? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Anne Duguid Knol
A local and national journalist in the U.K., Anne is now a fiction editor for award-winning American and Canadian publishers. As a new author, she shares writing tips and insights at her very new Author Support blog: http://www.authorsupport.net
Her novella, ShriekWeek is published by The Wild Rose Press.


Karen Cioffi said...

Anne, thanks for all the writing tools. These are great for those jumping into Nano and those writing at regular speeds!

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Thanks, Karen. I was always a diehard notebooker but the more I work with Scrivener, the more I rely on it. And voice recognition software has more than doubled my speed. The only drawback is the time needed to train it. :-)

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