Writing tools and NaNoWriMo

In last week’s blog I talked about how I use Scrivener – a software program designed for writers. This sparked some interest with comments from others who have wondered about trying it or whether it’s the right program for them. The makers of Scrivener, Literature and Latte, also provide a list of other options that might be useful if you’re looking for something to help your process along.

All I can say is, Scrivener works for me. I read an article in a writing magazine that listed what the writer considered to be ‘top tools’ and one that caught my eye was Zenwriter. This sounds great if you really can’t stop yourself from giving in to online distractions. (What’s happening on Facebook/I have three new emails!/A quick game of solitaire won’t hurt)

Zenwriter saves you from all such temptation by hiding your screen, replacing it with a lovely background image of your choice along with accompanying background music. And you can even apply the sound of an old-fashioned typewriter.

Sounds great. But I think I have enough self-discipline to be able to do this myself. I can ignore the little icons at the bottom of my screen, put some music on, concentrate on writing for more than half an hour. (Oh, excuse me, I have a notification on Twitter.)

Screen image

How to increase your word count—or maybe not!

It’s coming up to November – which means NaNoWriMo for some folks. I’ve not tried this and I won’t be doing it this year either. But I know it can be a great motivator to get 50,000 words written in a month to maybe finish that novel you’ve been trying to write for ages. Anyway, another article I read recently gave tips on how to increase your word count to meet the daily quota. Some of the suggestions were useful, but others were just laughable and sounded like excellent ideas for making your work totally unreadable. For example: “add characters who tell long boring stories, starting again at the beginning if they get interrupted”. Another one was: “Don’t use hyphens. Make all compounds into separate words”. A sure fire way to piss off your editor! Or, how about: “Words such as ‘that’ and ‘some’ can be slipped in almost anywhere”. In my case it is usually “then”.

I’m guessing this article was written as a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ exercise. Although maybe there is some merit in this tip: “Introduce a child who has the irritating habit of repeating everything anyone says”. 1,667 words a day—no problem—make it 5,000!

For anyone taking part in NaNoWriMo, good luck! I will follow everyone’s posted struggles with interest…a bit like watching a marathon on TV…applauding the effort, but glad that I’m not taking part.

Well, that’s my word output for today. Time for a cup of tea and maybe a quick look at Facebook.


Happy writing…and reading!


Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / iTunes

Starting Over – available from Affinity eBook Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bella Books / Smashwords / iTunes.

Short Stories

There Was a Time and The Christmas Sweepstake – both available FREE on the Affinity website

One comment on “Writing tools and NaNoWriMo

  1. LOL I already have a chatty style of writing so my obstacle is eliminating words, not adding them. I know I should probably check out these writing tools, but I kinda like the pop up distractions…..


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