The following information is about tools the that I use when writing. The intent is to give insight to other aspiring authors and writers and to help aid them on their glorious quest of writing. If you have a preferred method already, my advice is to stick with it. But for those of you who hate writing in a Word document or any other similar program, hopefully, this will be a godsend.
There are three resources I use to help me write. Staying focused is the key. To help aid this, I used WriteItNow to craft my story. This software helped me form my book. It is a simple writing program that you can custom tailor to your specifications within reason. Changing the color scheme is one. Staring at a bright, white screen has got to be terrible for your eyes, so I use a dark blue. There are many segments to help you craft your manuscripts such as front matter, chapters, back matter, characters, notes, ideas, locations, props, and more. Within each of these segments, you can write a chapter or scene within a chapter, crafting your book the way you see fit. In the character segment, you can create your character from scratch, or use prompts provided in the program. You can color code your characters and chapters for easier finding. In the notes segment, this is a free write area. I utilize this to record details about my novel so I can find them quickly, or if I know that I use words too often, I make a list of my no-no words. Further, I like finding new words and the definition and place them within the notes section. In the ideas section, it is much the same as the notes, but you can craft ideas from prompts as well. This product is amazing, and I found it right when I was about to give up writing because I found Word so frustrating. WriteItNow has many of the features as some of the most expensive products out there but comes at a fraction of the cost. Initial cost is $59.99 but also has a great feature. Because you are a prior customer, when they come out with the newest addition, you pay the upgrade fee of $19.99 instead. I highly recommend this product.
The second resource is a website called AutoCrit, which helped me hone my story while editing my novel. There are a plethora of options to choose from but remember, it is a program, not a human, so take each recommendation accordingly. This website helped me realize my problem areas, and they do offer a lifetime membership, which I purchased. Not only can this help your fictional writing, but I utilize it in my college writing. A few of the things it covers: adverbs, passive writing, showing vs. telling, pronouns, dialogue tags, adverbs in dialogue tags, sentence starters, homonyms, and more. This program can do a chapter at a time or novel at a time and save your work on the website. I prefer the chapter method as I am not overloaded with everything I must correct. At the end of your editing, there is an overview to catch anything you might have glossed over. For the grand finale, there is a text reader option available. True, it sounds robotic at times, but sometimes not even you will catch an error until you hear it, much like the reading aloud.
The third resource is another website called Grammarly, and this helped tighten my grammatical errors when I was unsure. Remember, exercise sound judgment before gutting your manuscript. This tool is helpful if you are unsure about a comma, semicolon, dangling modifiers and other such technicalities. But I reiterate the caveat from before: it’s a program, not a human, and certainly not a type editor. Again, I also use this with my college work.
I hope these tools help you, whether all or just one. In the meantime, keep your keys clacking.