When it comes to writing your novel, there’s no rule that says you need fancy software to make it happen. Personally, I wrote my first ten or so novels using MS Word. It worked just fine. It was familiar and there was no learning curve. I’d been using MS Office since middle school. I knew the shortcut keys for bold, italics, etc. However, there are a few options out there that make writing, plotting, and organizing your novel easier.
Keep in mind, though, any time you purchase software it’s an investment. (Keep your receipt and make sure you read the post on Money Management.) You have to be willing to spend your hard-earned money. You need to be confident that the software you choose to purchase is going to make the process easier for you. Otherwise, what the point?
That’s why I decided to focus on the following software options. (More to be added at a later date.) Each of them offers a free trial. You can test them and decide which will work best for you if any.
BUT… before you start testing software, there’s an add-on that I personally believe everyone, not just writers, should have. Have you heard of Grammerly yet?
Let me start by saying I Love It! Before a few years ago, I’d never heard of it and now I see commercials on TV almost every day advertising how smart it can make you look. Even for the little things. It’s correcting this post as I type it. Social media? Yep, it covers that too. Email. Word documents. Some writing software. If you download it, it will find your errors and correct them. RED LINES FOR EVERYONE!
Commas. Misspelled words. Want a different word? Sure, it can help you with that too.
You have two options when it comes to installing. You can download it to your computer or add it as an extension for Google Chrome. Personally, I’ve done both. Why? Well, for starters, it’s free. You can’t really beat that. And if you don’t happen to love it as much as I do, you can always uninstall it. Second, I wanted it not only for my social media posts that always tend to have typos but for my manuscripts. To have both, I needed to download both.
I’ll let you make your own decision. Check it out, though. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
If you haven’t heard of Scrivener I’d be surprised. Most of the people I know who don’t write in MS Word have transitioned to Scrivener. Myself included. Why? Because it’s really easy to use, offers a ton of features for both the plotter & the pantser. My personal favorite feature? The drag & drop.
I’m a pantser which basically means I have NO idea where my story is headed when I sit down to write. So before I jump in, I have to go back and read the last chapter or so, figure out if I still like what’s happening or if I need to add to it. And I’m notorious for rearranging my chapters. Scrivener makes that super easy. Click and hold the chapter you want to move, slide it up or down as needed, rename it and boom! You’re done.
That’s not the only great feature it offer’s though. For the plotters out there, you have the corkboard and the outliner features. I’m not as familiar with these as I could be. (plotting has never really worked out for me) I do take advange of the character and setting profiles – they have their own folders that are easy to access from the main dashboard.
This software is perfect for someone like me… but is it perfect for you? Check out the free 30-day trial and explore all the features it has to offer.
This one is new to me. Before writing this column I did a little research on the latest and greatest. Here’s what WriteItNow has to offer:
- Keep the novel text and all the background information in one place.
- The program has two main sections: one for chapters and scenes and the other for background details
- Move chapters and scenes with the story board
- Check who does what, where and when with the storyline editor.
- Use the thesaurus, spelling checker, readability checker and cliche finder.
- Keep an eye on how much you’ve written with the word count and writing targets.
That list was taken directly from their site. So, I downloaded the free demo. You can’t save anything, you can only browse around. Since I’m not in the market for new software, I didn’t have a problem with that.
I downloaded it and found it to be similar to Scrivener. A few extra features, helpful for plotters who like TONS of details. It is a bit more expensive, so if you are leaning one way or the other, make sure you balance the cost factor.
To be continued…
#writershelpingwriters #authorshelpingauthors #indieauthor #indie #publishing #advice #books #writingsoftware