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Writing Tools for Authors: Really Useful Links by Amanda J Evans

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Amanda J Evans

Amanda J Evans

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In this week’s column, I’m focusing on all the different writing tools for authors and how you can use them to your advantage. There so many tools available online and although we’ve covered the self-editing tools like Grammarly and ProWritingAid, there are so many more that they deserved their own dedicated column. When it comes to writing your novel there are different areas of focus and this means different tools as well. There are general writing tools and writing tools specifically for novelists. These can range from tools to help lessen distractions, to tool that can help with productivity. Below are the links and explanations for some of these tools that I hope you will find useful.

  1. https://getcoldturkey.com/ – Cold Turkey: This is a productivity tool and one that can really help if you find social media and general web surfing a distraction when you are trying to write. It allows you to block sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, and more. You can set daily time limits or specific breaks for a set number of minutes. You can create a list of whitelist sites and this tool is available for PC and Mac users. There is a basic version which is free to use. The free version includes unlimited website blocking and trend tracking. There is a paid version which costs €29 which includes the basic version along with some additional features.
  2. https://evernote.com/- Evernote: This is a note taking application that allows you to organise all your research and or jot down notes on the go. Most writers have those moment when ideas pop into your head and you don’t have pen and paper to hand. With Evernote you can jot down your ideas and it syncs across all devices. The basic version is free but there is a premium version that costs €7.99 per month and a business version that is €14.99 per month.
  3. https://docs.google.com/ – Google Docs: This is a word processor where you can type you novel as well as create, save, share, and collaborate with other writers. It is compatible across all operating systems and devices and it comes with an auto save feature. As you type, Google Docs saves your work. It is free for personal use so you can write, edit, and enjoy unrestricted collaboration for as long as you want.
  4. https://www.libreoffice.org/ – LibreOffice: This is an open source free office suite that is often used as an alternative to Microsoft Word. It is free and you can save your manuscript in PDF and .doc formats.
  5. https://milanote.com/ – Milanote: This is another organisational app that is designed with creatives in mind. You can use it to create mood boards, story boards, to brainstorm, write, and more. It allows for note taking and project management as well as mind mapping. It’s a great tool but you do have to pay and it cost €9.99 per month per user.
  6. https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/overview – Scrivener: Most writers have heard of Scrivener which is a designed for writing. Inside Scrivener you can write your novel and organise it in any format you desire. You can create different chapters, plot on the corkboard so you can view and overview of your story, and you can restructure and move things around as you need. Scrivener is a paid tool and the standard license is $49 although there are featured deals and discounts available all the time.
  7. https://www.autocrit.com/ – AutoCrit: This is a self-editing tool for fiction writers that helps with spelling, grammar, adverbs, readability, and repetition. It has a basic model that is free which includes the word processing and editing suite, spelling and grammar checker, and access to three editing tools. The professional package is €30 per month and includes 30 different editing tools including identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and genre-specific guidance.
  8. https://dramatica.com/ – Dramatica: This writing tool is used to dissect story and it looks at the overall story, the main character, and the influence character. Each of these categories focuses on one part of the story and gives you a better understanding of your story. It can help writers spot gaps in their narrative and see if their arc is working. This is a costly tool at $119.
  9. https://www.novel-software.com/ – The Novel Factory: This is a writing software that is designed to improve plot, character, location, and each of your drafts. It includes a number of features such as roadmap, planning, story skeleton editor, plot templates, scene synopsis, character development, locations, distraction free writing mode, and more. It has a basic code of $6.25 per month.

I hope you enjoyed the links to all the different writing tools this week. You can use one or all of them to help you get your novel written. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.

(c) Amanda J Evans

www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans

About the author

Amanda J Evans is an award-winning Irish author of YA and Adult romance in paranormal and fantasy genres. Growing up with heroes like Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, her stories centre on good versus evil with a splice of love and magic thrown in too. Her books have all won awards and her latest novella, Hear Me Cry, won the Book of the Year Award at the Dublin Writers Conference 2018. Amanda has been featured in a number of poetry anthologies in 2017 and 2018 including A Bowl of Irish Stew, a charity anthology for Pieta House and her short story Moonlight Magic was included in the Owl Hollow Press Anthology, Under the Full Moon’s Light, published in October 2018. Amanda is currently polishing her novel, Winterland, which will be submitted to agents and publishers in 2019, and is also working on a Bronte inspired story for an anthology due for publication in 2020. Amanda is also the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012. You can find out more on her website www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans

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