Writing Tools for NaNoWriMo

Hi, today’s post is a little late but here it is at last.

As you know, I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. And again, two years in a row, I’m being a NaNo rebel. I’m working to complete my urban fantasy “Hellsgate,” which I’ve still haven’t found an alternative title to. So far, I came up with two new possible titles. “The Otherside/Other Side of Paradise.” And “The Reluctant Spy in Paradise” suggested by a member of my NaNo region’s Facebook group.

There’s 13 days until NaNoWriMo 2020 begins. And I’ve been stuck in how to end, begin and revise/edit my story. I have the middle written, which will need some overhaul itself. But how to do it all to have it ready before spring 2021? 

Of course I’ll have my trusty writing guides by my side. The Emotion Thesaurus, Master Lists for Writers and Write Your Novel From the Middle. But I still need a more in depth knowledge of the antagonist(s). Cut out and rewrite scenes, nailing the theme of my novel, etc.

Then I thought about Scrivener. If you’re a writer, you already know about the word-processing program. It allows you to manage all your documents, notes, research. Alas, I have a Chromebook and Scrivener doesn’t have an Chrome app/extension. To use Scrivener, I could download the program on another computer. And use a remote desktop to access it. Or install Linux, which my Chromebook already has, to access Scrivener for Linux beta. The latter might no longer be possible. As I’ve read in the forums that the native Linux discontinued and suggested to use Wine.

But, I only have a little less than two weeks before NaNoWriMo starts. And I don’t have time to figure everything out. So I went in search of word-processing program alternatives. Thanks to Google search I tried working with Trello. With Trello I can create board(s) and cards to hold story ideas, notes and breakdown of my novel. The problem with this for me is that the cards keep going vertically. I’d rather have it in columns, like a corkboard.

So next I tried working with Evernote. I haven’t used this program since I first started participating in NaNoWriMo in 2013. Had to get a new password and once I was in I was on it for hours. Don’t think I went to bed til almost dawn. All my previous notes and research went into the new notebook. And also added several new writing templates. This time around, Evernote is more accessible. Plus, with Evernote there’s no need to have a lot of tabs open. The only thing is, though I love the notebook format, I’m also a notecard gal. And even for a plantser, I’d have a better chance in typing the words ‘the end’ if I can see/rearrange my novel more freely.

Hmm, how can I explain this so that it makes sense? It took me a while to realize why I’d get stuck in the middle. So that’s where I started writing from. And it works for me. I write out of order. Insert new scenes at different points in a story. So if I could find a program or template that allows me to do the same. Moving around notes and scenes like a corkboard, would be cosmic.

If you use Evernote and know a compatible app like what I’m looking for, please let me know. Did find a note board sticky notes app but don’t have the time to mess around with it. Still have to get to know my antagonist characters. Track my novel’s timeline, etc. At least the world building of my novel is something I don’t have to be concerned with.

What writing tools are you using for NaNoWriMo? What else are you doing to prepare for NaNoWriMo? Are you starting a new novel or are you going to be a rebel?


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