Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Helpful National Novel Writing Month Tools

National Novel Writing Month (November) is just around the corner and I’m getting my mind in order early this year. Last year, I dove in on November 1 and started writing without much of a plan. I was actually pleased with what flowed out of my fingers, but I thought I would actually try to put together an outline this year to see whether there is any difference in results. I’ll let you know at the end of the month.

I noted in an interview with Ridley Pearson in the November 2010 issue of The Writer magazine that he said he uses the software StoryMill to write his novels. However, StoryMill is for Mac computers and I own a PC. I’ve used Microsoft’s Word to write my stories up until now and decided that I needed some of my own novel writing software to help me keep track of everything more easily this November.

What did I find?  yWriter

What is yWriter? The designer, Simon Haynes, explains, “First, and most important, yWriter is FREE to download and use! No registration, no time limits, no expiry. Second, and still rather important, it's a word processor which breaks your novel into chapters and scenes. It will not write your novel for you, suggest plot ideas or perform creative tasks of any kind. It does help you keep track of your work, leaving your mind free to create.

I have to say, I am quite excited about this software. It makes story organization simple. I already feel more structured from a 10-minute quickie to check it out. I’m almost ready to take on November’s National Novel Writing Month. If you’d like to buddy up with me on NaNoWriMo, you can add me here.

On the other hand, if you’d rather spend November writing poetry instead of a novel, give Robert Brewer’s November PAD Chapbook Challenge a try. Spend November writing a daily poem from the prompts Robert throws out. His prompts are enjoyable and challenging. Last year, I participated whenever I needed a break from my novel writing.

There is something else I wouldn’t mind having to help my creative juices flow. It has something to do with my work station. Aw, but I will have to save that for later. I hear my characters calling me … 

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