Like I stated in the article entitled on how to write when everyday life leaves you exhausted, we will always be too tired and busy to write our novels. Luckily, we can simplify and accelerate our writing progress by using different tools.
Let’s start with the basics:
- Story planner – I know that many authors use Scrivener, but I didn’t try it yet, so I’ll recommend another story planner, which has also the advantage of being free. I am talking about Bibisco. With Bibisco, you can plan your novel chapter by chapter and scene by scene. There are extensive questionnaires for creation of characters and places for location descriptions. You can also upload photos. The greatest advantage of Bibisco is that it keeps all the notes in one place and you can export everything easily with just a click. I recommend it especially for those who plan long and complex novels – if you are working with short stories, Excel will do.
- Editing tool – The most popular editing tools are Grammarly and Pro Writing Aid. You can try them and if you find them useful, you can subscribe for a monthly or yearly plan. I have chosen Grammarly and honestly, I can’t imagine writing without it. You don’t know how many mistakes you make while writing, until a software points them out to you. Yesterday I checked 10 000 words from one of my newest novels. Grammarly found 400 issues for me, including grammar, interpunction, variety and clarity problems. In addition, it provides the total reading time and evaluates your text, analysing the complexity of vocabulary you are using. I still hire an editor to edit after me and Grammarly, but at least I have a feeling that the text I am sending to the editor is devoid of minor mistakes. Why is that important? Well, if an editor sees a lot of minor mistakes, they’ll focus on them. While I want the editor to point out what I truly can’t see.
And now, let’s get creative:
- Article rewriting tool – I haven’t found one that I would recommend 100% yet, but you can try Spinbot. Sometimes, such tools won’t work the way they should and they can throw back at you really funny things. However, they still worthy of our time. Why? Because when we want to paraphrase a text, we don’t need to seek synonyms one by one. We can do it in a bulk and have the whole rewritten sentence ready. A reason why you might want to paraphrase is when you have to write a very similar scene to the one you already wrote, but you don’t want to repeat yourself.
- Random word generator – Random Lists, this free online tool will pick a number of random English words for you. It can be 12 or more. Why does it matter to us writers? Because sometimes, especially in times of creative drought, we don’t know which words use to use, and sometimes, simply seeing a bunch of new words we wouldn’t think about will be inspiring enough to strike “a writing response”. Do you remember when you were learning a language (any language) and the teacher asked you to build sentences with words given? It’s one of the best creative exercises ever that we’ve been taught with school.
- Book title generator – I am not saying that you should just pick up any title for your novel or chapter, but it’s worth taking a look if you can’t think of anything on your own. Sometimes just seeing a word will inspire you. I recommend this book title generator, as it has many genres to choose from.
- Word lists – List of colors, hobbies, bucket list dreams and quirks… All those can be found on the internet, and if you need anything more specific, like characteristics of weapons, attractive traits or plot twists, you can always grab an Amazon copy of books written by Rayne Hall, Dahlia Evans or Bryn Donovan. In short words, don’t reinvent the wheel: there are resources shared by authors all around the world.
Thanks to all these tools, I:
- Have all the parts of my novel in one orderly place and can find easily the parts that I am looking for;
- Don’t need to worry too much about interpunction and spelling mistakes;
- Can quickly recycle already written scenes using synonyms;
- Have sets of inspiring vocabulary that can help me build the next scene of my novel when I am completely stuck;
- Find novel and chapter titles much quicker;
- Research less as someone else did that for me already.
I hope that you find these tools useful and your writing routine becomes easier and quicker. Stay inspired!