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With NaNoWriMo lurking on the calendar I have been busy getting ready. I want to have a working outline. I have plenty of ideas for my characters but not enough yet to feel I can get 50k words. So I have been playing with programs to go through what I have already written during Camp NaNo. In the process I have deleted over a thousand words bring the total there from nearly 21k to 19k. Either way I need to come up with enough story to bake a 70k+.

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yWriter is my go-to program to write in. It is writer friendly. Simon Hayes has quite a great program and so far between yesterday and today it seems to be a winner. What it has that other programs do not is the read to me feature so I can hear how the scene sounds. I pick up many mistakes by listening. I can highlight in multiple colors to quickly cue me to things that need research, uncomfortable sentence structure to work with later, mark ideas that need to be elaborated, etc.I can grow the population of characters in one book and into a series should I choose, same with locations and items. The biggest feature of yWriter is the ability to send wordage directly to NaNoWriMo’s wordcounter without a chance anyone reading your novel. It is so simple and I have done it so many times. Nothing beats the feeling when NaNo’s site tells you you have won!! What it doesn’t have are questionnaires to help build character and personality descriptions.

 

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WriteItNow has those questionnaires. So I build my people and places in this program. My husband uses this program extensively. He tried to help me get past the beginner’s stage on this one. He doesn’t seem to need the color coding that I do and for listening to his scenes he uses TextAloud. He picked that up quite a few years ago. Visually, WriteItNow is more exciting. You can click on the name of a person or location or ‘references’ to link items or webpages for your research.  I will keep using this program to help develop characters and see the links to make sure no thread of plot gets tangled.

 

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What confuses the life out of me is Scrivener. There are so many authors who swear by this but I can’t seem to get my story started on this one. One feature I want to use it for is the index cards on corkboard. It seems like that would help a person get better organized. But if I could have thrown it across the room today, I would have. Some people even use this one for writing their blogs. Since my IT guy (my hubby) doesn’t have it, he can’t help me figure it out. There is a lot of reading involved at the start and it is all on white screen with small font so it is hard for me to stay with it for long enough to get started. Maybe there is a Scrivener for Dummies book out there. One could only hope.

All of these programs can get your manuscript from outline to draft and to finished product to submit or send to Kindle or other readers.

What are the rest of you using for your writing?