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04 June 2017

Write It!

By // Books

If you’re like me, you’ve at least contemplated the idea that you might secretly be the author of the Next Great Novel. At least An author of A novel (RIP, Girls). Also, if you’re like me, you’ve been putting off starting actually writing this hypothetical novel for literally ever. But, guys, guess what- I started! And I feel strongly that you should to. So, have you read On Writing yet? Okay, cool, you’re halfway there, or at least halfway to starting. Here’s the stuff that helped me actually do this thing:

Desktop Word Processor tools

Every book writer needs a word processor. Currently, there are many options of a word processor. Most common: Microsoft Word, Pages, Scrivener, and Open Office. The choice of the word processor tool to use is largely dependent on the device that you use to write your book. For instance, most people use Microsoft Word to write a book on desktop computers. A Mac user can prefer Pages. Scrivener is also a popular tool in Windows and Mac OS users circles due to its features that make fiction writing easier.

Research and planning tools

Research is a crucial aspect of the book writing process. In fact, any book report will focus on research and presentation of facts, ideas, or opinions. Therefore, having tools that help in planning, research, and organization is very important when writing your first book. Such tools include SimpleNote, Trello, and WorkFlowy, which are available for Android and iOS devices and on the Web. You can also use an online version of SpiderScrive which is available online. Evernote is also a great research tool which makes storing research materials easier. Microsoft’s Onenote is also an ideal note-taking tool. Other tools like Word Keeper Alpha and WriterStat Nuwa are great for tracking progress and numbers. These two are great for tracking writing projects goals and overall progress.

Distraction-free writing tools

Regardless of tools that you opt to use when writing your first book, there will be a time when you will need to block distractions and focus on your writing. Currently, there are many tools that help writers with that. For instance, iA Writer and Scrivener are Word Processor tools with built in features for this purpose. Other tools with distraction-free modes include Zen Writer, Write Monkey, and WriteRoom.

Web-based writing tools

We live in a mobile age when you can write from any location, at any time. Web-based and mobile-only tools for writers are basically inevitable when writing a book. Such tools include iCloud, Novelize, Novlr, Google Docs, Quip, and Dropbox. These tools make writing, updating, and storing manuscripts any time easier.

Time and productivity tracking tools

A major challenge for first time book writers is slow typing. That’s because many writers lose their thought train while transferring words to pages from the brain. However, there are tools that are designed to help such writers. Dragon Naturally Speaking for instance is a speech recognition tool that lets you search the internet, dictate documents, and email, among other things on a computer. That means using this tool enables you to stream content from your brain to a page more efficiently. Thus, you don’t have to give up on your first book just because you are a slow typist. Rescue Time is also a great tool that helps you track the programs and applications that you use when writing. This is a great tool even for paper writers because it helps with time management. With Rescue Time, you can identify and eliminate inefficiencies while writing your first book.

Grammar and diction tools

Mastering the English grammar can take a lifetime. Many first-time book writers slow down because they don’t know the exact words to use in expressing ideas, thoughts, or facts without distorting meaning. Sometimes, using alternative words becomes inevitable when writing a book. But, the used words must be selected carefully to convey the desired meaning. Tools like Power Thesaurus enable you to quickly and easily find synonyms for the words that you want to use in your book. There are also free online dictionaries that first-time book writers can use.

They include:

  • Macmillan
  • Longman
  • Cambridge Dictionaries Online
  • Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

All these tools are very important because even a minor grammar or diction error can be brought up in a book review and affect the sales of your book negatively. Therefore, it’s reasonable to use these tools to check definitions and spellings of the words that you are unsure of. These tools will save you time when selecting words during the writing and editing process.

Namepedia

This is a name database that enables you to come up with names of primary and secondary characters in a book. It provides names from different parts of the world and their meanings. This tool enables you to find equivalents of different names in foreign languages. That means using this tool makes finding names whose meanings suit your characters easier. For instance, ‘Karl’ means ‘brave’. When including a Polish character in your book with this name, you can call him ‘Karol’. This is a great book writing tool because coming up with names of characters is another reason why first time writers slow down their writing process. Namepedia provides the best writing help online to fiction writers by making finding symbolic names for characters easier.

Basically, these are the top tools that you can use to write your first book. But, having these tools does not guarantee that the book writing process will be a walk in the park. Nevertheless, just like you can buy paper online, it’s also possible to seek help with your first book from online writers.

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