It’s the primary day of November, which suggests writers worldwide are dusting off their keyboards for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This annual occasion challenges writers to provide a 50,000 phrase mini-novel in simply 30 days.
NaNoWriMo is a check of grit, willpower and creativity, and for those who’re tackling it this month, you may be relieved to know you are not alone with a clean textual content doc; there’s an array of free software that may assist you to handle your time, keep on observe, and refine your writing as you go.
We’ve gathered a set of important instruments that can make NaNoWriMo extra manageable, within the order during which you may want them. On your marks…
Start on the suitable foot and hold organized with a speedy planning device
There are dozens of the way to plan a novel and hold your ideas so as whereas writing, however for those who’re a visible thinker then check out FreeMind – a free mind-mapping device that helps you develop, increase and kind ideas.
FreeMind’s frill-free interface means received’t must sink lots of your valuable NaNoWriMo time into mastering advanced controls, and your diagrams might be as easy or advanced as you want.
Alternatively, you would possibly like to make use of a spreadsheet device like LibreOffice Calc to get a ‘god’s eye’ overview of every occasion in your novel and assist you to see how they match collectively. It’s the tactic JK Rowling used when planning the Harry Potter collection (albeit on a display screen fairly than paper).
Keep your sources in a single place and entry them any time, wherever
Evernote gives a helpful approach to categorize concepts, character notes and different snippets in the course of the strategy planning stage, nevertheless it’s a good way to bookmark hyperlinks, articles or different sources in the course of the writing course of.
Like Dropbox, Evernote is on the market for nearly each working system, making it an ideal alternative for engaged on the transfer. All your notes are synced to the cloud robotically, so you may entry them on any system with an web connection.
three. FocusWriter and NovProg
Avoid distractions and hold observe of your each day progress
Full-fat phrase processors like Microsoft Word, Pages and LibreOffiec Writer are nice for most writing duties, however for NaNoWriMo, all their formatting instruments and different choices are simply an pointless barrier between your mind and the web page. FocusWriter is a frill-free writing app that strips away all distractions so your novel will get your full consideration. Moving your mouse to the sting of the display screen reveals a rigorously curated set of instruments that will help you keep productive, together with a phrase rely, timers and alarms, and a spell-checker.
NovProg, from the identical developer, is designed particularly for monitoring your progress throughout NaNoWriMo. It plots your progress in opposition to your objectives, and presents the leads to a helpful graphical format.
Before you begin with FocusWriter, ensure you’ve activated the auto-save choice. FocusWriter itself is secure and dependable, however you by no means know when a accident or different catastrophe would possibly befall your work in progress. More on that in a second.
Back up your work on-line to keep away from catastrophic accidents
Losing work to a or software fault throughout NaNoWriMo could possibly be disastrous, so we strongly advise backing up your manuscript to the cloud.
Any cloud storage service will serve you nicely, however Dropbox’s beneficiant free storage allowance and cross-platform assist make it a very sensible choice. Because it’s appropriate with so many units, you may open your novel wherever and use any spare moments to jot down just a few further phrases.
For peace of thoughts, we suggest holding a number of backups of your work in several areas
A serving to hand with enhancing your NaNoWriMo manuscript
NaNoWriMo is all about powering by way of and getting a primary draft down as rapidly as doable, so some grammatical errors are par for the course. Grammarly is on the market as a free extension for Firefox, Edge, Safari and Chrome (plus different Chromium-based browsers like Vivaldi) that detects frequent errors and suggests corrections. You can use it when writing on-line, or copy and paste components of your manuscript to investigate them.
If you wish to examine your work in your desktop, Grammarly Premium analyzes textual content in native desktop apps. In addition to spelling and grammar, it additionally hunts down points with sentence construction and magnificence to assist enhance your work. A month-to-month subscription prices US$29.99 (about £20/AU$40), so give the free browser extension a strive earlier than investing.
Autocrit is an identical app designed particularly for novelists. Rather than checking your spelling and grammar, it helps you determine points with pacing, repetition and use of pointless filler phrases. Unlike Grammarly there’s no free model of Autocrit, however pasting a scene or two into the web demo device provides you with an concept of the outcomes you may count on.