BONUS: Software

Your NaNoWriMo journey will be so much easier if you have the right tools, so today we are going to take a look at some software and apps that can help you get the job done.

My all-time favorite writing software is SCRIVENER. It is a word processor, and for me, it has reduced my use of MS Word about 90%. I love that Scrivener organizes the writing into chapters and scenes. You define all the scenes that fall within a particular chapter and you can easily move scenes around as you make alterations to your plot. Plus, Scrivener gives you three different ways to view your story: as an outline, as index cards, and as an outline combined with the composition view (what they call ‘Scrivenings’).

Here are some screenshots to better illustrate. This is the outline view.

You’ll see here that I have scenes that roll up into chapters. Scrivener tracks my word count by scenes and it has a nifty feature that allows me to establish targets for my word counts. You can also label your scenes. I use this feature to track who has the POV.

Here is the index card view, or what Scrivener calls ‘Corkboard.’ This is a convenient way to move scenes around. But you can also rearrange scenes in the outliner. There are often multiple ways of doing the same action in Scrivener.

You will see that the outline appears to the left and the index cards in the space to the right. If you’ve written scene synopses these appear on the index cards.

In the Scrivenings view, you have a large composition space and your outline always appears on the left, helping to orient you to where you are at in the story. From a formatting perspective, Scrivener is pretty full featured, but I feel more comfortable doing final edits in Word.

Visit the Countdown to Nano Program Site for a listing of all the articles in the series.

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