Over the years I have used dozens of writing software to enhance the amount of words I put out each day. In this blog, I am going to introduce you to a few I use.
Write Or Die
Pictured here is Write Or Die. You can click the link to go to the website. I use Write Or Die to get words out! you set a timer, how many words you want, and a penalty for when you stop typing. My favorite is setting it to erase my words! Scary, I know! Write Or Die is not about editing and forces you to just keep writing without stopping and fixing spelling errors or stopping to think what to write next. It also gives you little writing prompts. I use this to just get the juices flowing. I often pare it with seventhsanctum.com to write anything. Nothing I necessarily keep, but I do save them. I also use it with my outlines. If I NEED to write chapter 2 and I'm still suffering from some blockage even though I have my outline (hardly happens when you outline), I open Write Or Die and type madly from my outline. Just anything. You cannot edit what you have no written down. Write Or Die forces me to get words down. Once I have something written down, I go back, re-read it, edit, fix, and write more. I plan on making a video to supplement this blog post, so more details to come!
Next up is Scrivener. Scrivener is my darling. I found it in 2012 when I wrote what would later become "Revary" for NaNoWriMo. A coupon for Scrivener was one of the winner goodies. I have not used Microsoft Word to write ever since. Scrivener is too big for me to talk about in one blog post (link is the picture) but let me tell you the tools I use from it.
I don't use the formatting necessarily, but I am sure some people do and use it to its full advantage. I use it purely for its is (you guessed it!) outlining and planning features. You can open dual "screens" in the same window. So I can see what I am writing on, and just below it is my outline. So no clicking back and forth between windows! That is actually really distracting for me and makes me lose my flow. I also write notes on the side (that little yellow bit you can see) to remind myself what is happening in that chapter or scene.
I divide up the book into chapters as well. It keeps me on task and makes each chapter its own thing. Rather than thinking of the entire book as one entity, I can focus on this one chapter, this one arch, etc. It also has areas for me to drop websites, outlines, has character sheets--everything I need to write/research is in one window! I just love it. It seems overwhelming at first but is so helpful.
Those are my two big ones. I use them in conjunction with generators if I'm just trying to get the creative juices flowing. Let me tell you, it helps to write just anything. I know too many writers who only write "when they are inspired" (ALWAYS a bad idea) or who only write on their WIPs. Write anything! Sometimes I write a random, jungle, steampunk scene just to describe things, write an emotion, or make a character do something. Every little bit helps so don't disregard free writing and not writing on your WIP. Write a short story. Write a random scene that is in nothing you are working on and has no start or finish.
ALSO! Don't just write beginnings. Write a scene that takes place in the middle of something. Or write the ending to something. All I'm saying is, you don't have to write what is on your plate. But if you do: outline and use Write Or Die! Good luck!