Wouldn’t it be great if we could download a software program, input some general ideas about a book we want to write, click compose, and an 80k-word manuscript magically appears? That’s certainly the Holy Grail of writers everywhere. Let the application do the heavy lifting while we just sit back and think up more great ideas. As of today, that software program doesn’t exist.
Still, writers are always looking for a shortcut. A tool that can take some of the pain away. A tool that can make the journey through the 3-act novel a bit easier. There are some programs that can help, even just a little.
Granted, the only tools needed to write a novel are a sharp pencil and a pad of paper. And some writers still use that method while others have gone on to word processors like MS Word. I prefer the latter since I can’t read my own writing.
But for those who seek a little bit of help to assist in the process, I’ve assembled a list of applications that might. I’ve never tried any of them and endorse none. But if one Zoner out there benefits from one of these, then my work here is done.
Probably the most popular program for novelists is Scrivener. Bestselling novels have been written with it and those who use it love it. You can test drive it for free.
After Scrivener comes smaller programs that focus on particular aspects of the writing process. Here’s a list. Hope you find that magic bullet in the list somewhere.
Note Everything. The ultimate note pad.
Write or Die 2. Helps to eliminate writer’s block.
yWriter5. Helps you to plan your novel.
Diaro. Advanced diary application.
Writer Pro. Professional writing suite.
FocusWriter. Gets rid of all distractions so you can concentrate on writing.
Writer. Helps you focus on your writing.
Hemingway. Helps you write bold and clear.
wikidPad. Helps you to link your ideas.
Wise Mapping. Online mind mapping tool.
MindNode. More mind mapping.
TreeSheets. Powerful note taking app.
Bubbl.us. Brainstorm or create a map for your ideas.
Sigil. EPUB editor.
Vizual Einstein. Visually develop a project.
The Writers Store. Complete source for writing software and other stuff.
There are tons more out there. You can find them with a simple Google search. So, fellow Zoners, do you use any writer aids or are all you writing tools in your head? Any programs to recommend?
Coming this spring: THE SHIELD by Sholes & Moore
Einstein got it wrong!