Monday, November 2, 2015

Day 2: NaNoWriMo

What separates us from animals is tools. What separates us writers from the walking cabbages is what tools we employ in this word making stuff.

Of course everyone expects to use Microsoft Word. Word is what everyone uses, but since Microsoft now charges yearly for an Office subscription, I have nearly shunned Word all year. Editors and formatting ebooks will mean Word sticks around, since it gives the least amount of problems.

Open Office is a free word processor. It pretty much is Word, but free. Open Office can give some problems if an editor uses track changes on a manuscript. Still, you can't beat free and usable. I used Open Office for years until I switched to...

LibreOffice is another word process, a branch of the Open Office open source concept. LibreOffice receives continued support, whereas Open Office seems to be remaining more static.

Scrivener is another program I love with kisses. Believe the hype. I use Scrivener for nearly everything that I write. It's seamless to outline and write at the same time. I'm the kind of person who writes a little bit over here, and then I go to write a little bit over there. Scrivener helps keep me organized all the way to the publishing date.

The Cloud™. Whether you already have Google Drive, Dropbox, One Drive, or others is an invaluable tool. I personally use Google Drive every day, and it's as integral to my routine as Scrivener. I normally save .rtf files of my WIP from Scrivener to Google Drive, but I also write a few of my projects directly into Google Docs.

Dragon. Yes, talking your novel out. I have Dragon and use it on a fairly regular basis. It really helps me break through my internal editor who slows me down to a crawl. Instead of mulling over a sentence, I say the sentence as soon as it enters my head and it's on the page. A very dirty trick to bypass your dumb brain. The good thing about Dragon is there are many versions of them, so you don't have to break the bank go pick up a copy.
Dragon Naturally Speaking 13 Home for $45
Dragon Naturally Speaking 13 Premium for $107
Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 Home for $29
Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 Premium for $54
*There are differences you may want or not want between the Home, Premium, and Professional versions. Pick the one that best fits you. If you don't need the extra bells and whistles, get the regular Home version. It tends to be the most affordable. 

Paper. I used to write my first drafts out by hand. Today is a little different. I'm much more connected to Scrivener and Google Drive, but from time to time I'll write longhand. My advice if you're having computer troubles is to write on paper. Pencil or pen is a preference. Barnes & Noble usually carry beautiful journals, so go over there and pick out your favorite. I actually have a stack of those journals in my office.  

There you go. All the tools you need to pummel that word count into submission. We got this.