Write Faster: 3 Tools for Novelists by Keri Kruspe
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Keri Kruspe as she shares with us “Write Faster: 3 Tools for Novelists.” Enjoy!
When I began my writing career, I felt like I was trudging through molasses… uphill… in a hurricane to get my first novel ready to publish.
But now that I have a couple of years of being published under my belt, I’m beginning to feel more secure about the process.
As I’ve explored different/better ways to produce my novels, I’ve heard about various software (other than Word) that other authors rave about.
So, late last year, I took the jump and used three different “writing” programs that I can’t live without now. I find that they not only keep me organized, but they also allow me the freedom of creating my manuscripts at a faster pace.
The Tools I Use to Write Faster
Whether you are a pantser, plotter, or plantser (the combination of both), I feel you can find something with these three tools that will help you hone your craft.
What’s great is that no two people utilize them the same way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to other authors and am astonished at how they use them completely differently than I do.
In this article, I’ll outline the basic info the company gives, then show you examples of how my stuff looks.
A bit of a disclosure here: I am in no way affiliated with these companies nor do I receive any monetary compensation for mentioning them in this article. What I say here is my own opinion.
With that out of the way, let’s get started!
Plottr is the newest software I’ve begun to use.
Basically, it’s a downloadable outlining software that makes it easier for me to plot my novels.
I love the visual versatility, letting me use subplots. They even offer templates to use for planning everything from mystery to romance.
One of the best features I like is the “Series” tab. Here I can keep a running synopsis of the series that I’m writing in now.
I admit that I’m a visual thinker. I absolutely love that there are places to create characters, places, and notes that I can add pictures to, and I can access all of that, no matter what book I’m plotting for.
Here’s a small sample of my series characters:
Another nice thing about Plottr is its ability to track different kinds of attributes, like flaws or personality traits or magical abilities. I can choose to make these attributes simple one-liners or, for extra information, add a whole paragraph.
Plottr isn’t limited to the features I listed above. There are more that I don’t have space to list, but here are a couple examples:
- I can flip my view when plotting. I love doing this. Sometimes looking at it at a different angle (horizontal or vertical) gives me a fresh view of my outline.
- Navigation is easy. I can scroll through the beginning, middle, and end for easy navigation.
The one thing that sold me about Plottr is from a newer update. I can export it either to Word or to the next tool I want to talk about: Scrivener.
When I first used Scrivener, I’m ashamed to admit, I gave up too soon.
It seemed way too complicated for me.
But, over time, I took a couple of courses (even hard copied the lessons to put in a binder I keep on my desk for quick reference), and though I feel I’m only scratching the surface of what I can do with Scrivener, I’m plugging along and getting better with each book I complete.
One of the things I like is that it supports my need for visuals. What I mean is, for every scene, I can put a picture on the side that helps me when I describe something, from space station innards to what my villain looks like.
It may be a whimsical reason to use Scrivener, but it puts me in the mood to escape… erm, plan my world-building.
Just so you know, Scrivener is more than a word processor. It’s more like a tool that focuses on supporting the task of writing long-term pieces.
Another feature I really like is the flexibility of moving my scenes/chapters around.
I can do that in Word, but I’d have to copy the text and paste it where I want to. In Scrivener, I just drag and drop.
I also like the “corkboard” feature. Here I can see my chapters/scenes and change the order if I like.
In the article “Ten Reasons to Write your Novel in Scrivener” their reasoning is even more compelling than mine, but one of the other super features is you can export your masterpiece to several formats: Word, ePub, paperback proofs, etc.
But, before you export anything, it’s best to make sure your creation is as professional as possible. Which brings me to my last tool… ProWritingAid.
Before I began using Scrivener, I used ProWritingAid.
When I found out I could use it with Scrivener, I swooned. Using it with Scrivener instead of exporting it to Word first cut my editing process in half and gave me a good reason to stay with Scrivener.
I love how this editing tool not only offers grammar checking, but it also has in-depth reports that can strengthen and polish my manuscript. While I don’t utilize all that they offer, I love the summary that points out areas I could work on.
Why Write Faster?
When I wrote the first book in my series, An Alien Exchange, it took me over a year from start to finish. As I’ve said in previous articles, I want to make writing my full-time gig.
And the best way to do that is to publish more than one book a year.
Since my goal is to release a book every three months, I’m always looking for ways to become better and faster in creating my stories, and one way is to get comfortable with these tools and utilize all they have to offer.
How about you? Share whatever tools you’re using that help you achieve your overall author goal!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keri Kruspe has been an author since the age of twelve and has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end in Happily Ever After. Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures, Keri’s first series is An Alien Exchange trilogy. An Alien Exchange is the first book in the arousing Alien Exchange sci-fi romance series. If you like sexy aliens, feisty heroines, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Keri Kruspe’s steamy space adventure.
Keri now resides with her family in the wilds of Northwestern Michigan. An avid reader, Keri enjoys good wine, good food, and watching action/adventure movies. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world of writing or traveling with her hubby in their RV, discovering intelligent life here on Earth. For goodies, news of upcoming releases, sign up for her newsletter at www.kerikruspe.com.