Five Powerful Tools for Writers

Whether you’re gearing up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or just want some new writing tools to help things along, here are some great ones to try.

1. Scrivener – Well come on, you knew I’d say that first, right? If you’ve never used this amazing program, or have been putting off trying it out, now’s the time to dive in. Head over to our Getting Started with Scrivener post for a step-by-step guide. And if you want some tips and tricks to get even more out of the program, check out the Scrivener posts under Tools for Writers.

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2. Save the Cat – Plotter, pantster, somewhere in between? The Save the Cat method by Blake Snyder is one everyone can use to structure a story and adjust as you go along. It’s written for screenwriters, but works for novels too. On our Graphic Organizers page, you’ll find a couple Save the Cat Beat Sheet templates as well as an Excel doc that will calculate which pages things should be happening on. If you’re not familiar with it, I’d recommend checking out the website and reading the first Save the Cat book.

3. HivewordHiveword is a great tool for laying out the scenes in your story. You input notes on your scenes including characters, plotlines, and settings. You can then sort by any of the above, list scenes in order or filter by things like POV and plotline, and use the scene sorter to rearrange your scenes. And it’s all free at Hiveword.com.

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4. Pinterest – Whether you just need a little inspiration or you want to build a board about your story, don’t forget about Pinterest as a writing tool. When you need a break, or you’re stuck on an element of your story, sometimes exploring the visual makes a big difference.

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5. Pro Writing Aid – You probably won’t need this until you’re finished with your draft, but it’s a big help and a huge timesaver. You can copy and paste a chapter or two at a time onto their website at ProWritingAid to find things like overused words, repeated words and phrases, and grammar issues. The paid version (well worth it in my opinion) gives you a Word plug-in that lets you make changes right in your Word doc, saving even more time.

pro writing aid

Now you’re armed with some top-notch tools to take your writing to the next level. Have fun!

   *Illustration by duchessa.

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About the Author :

IMG_8578Dee Romito is an elementary teacher, freelance educational writer, and children’s/young adult author represented by Uwe Stender. Her middle grade debut, SUMMER BUCKET LIST will be published by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster in 2015.

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