October has become “Nano Prep” month for me for many years. I’ve been participating since I graduated from high school (which is longer then I remember, surprising myself each time I actually do figure out how long its been). So I’ve decided to make a post for some of the places I get help in my writing endeavours for anyone participating in Nano.
I’m including various websites and tools, some of which I use frequently, and some of which I have used in the past and no longer do for one reason or another (in the case of one, I forgot my password).
We should always start with the Nano page. The Original NanoWrimo occurs every November, and its goal is 50k in a month. NanoWrimo.org also offers helpful links, a forum, as well as offline events as well such as write-ins and community meet-ups. It also does a yearly fundraiser for Libraries in areas that are too poor to fund one.
(there are also some great coupons if you win for writing services and programs).
This website gives you online space to help keep up sprints, and daily writing. The goal is to write 750 words daily. The longer you go, the more points you get. You get target rewards each time you meet the criteria. It also gives stats on word usage and tone which can be useful.
This is another example of a writing habit creator. In this particular one, its a subscription service, but only four dollars for what accounts for a month. You can pay by month, or pay ahead if you want to. However, it is very fun and so far worth it in my opinon. However, it doesn’t work for everyone, so the month trial should give you some time to find out.
The basics of it is that you are playing a game. To fight the monsters that come across your path, you write. Each monster has a word count goal and a time limit. You can choose which monster you want to fight. When you complete the battle successfully you get rewards which go towards accomplishing the Quest goals. Then you can move on to another part of the valley where there are new monsters to fight against. It also does periodic special runs of events (particularly during Nano events).
THis is a online editing software (although it does have a desktop app) that allows you to check your grammar and writing as you write, helping you improve as you go along. I like to sometimes copy/paste my writing into it to see what it says and strengthen the weak spots, but you can just get typing in there. It has some basic formatting features as well, and a readability monitor to tell you if you are writing for the right age level. (this is especially important if you are writing for kids. ).
This is for those who don’t need anything to distract them. All they need is a plan screen. If you need the least amount of distractions and just want to write, this may be good for you.
This website is designed to help you with your character building, keeping an online character report for you instead of half a dozen tabs or folders on your computer. I haven’t used this, but I have been told its quite helpful. (If you have used this, let me know what you think.) Its been sitting in my “Writing – Tools” bookmark folder for awhile now.
DOn’t have a word counter built into your word processor? This site is helpful in that it allows you to check your word count. Also pretty good for challenges where you have a word goal and/or limit.
I have a whole folder for writing resources, but not all of them are useful as broad tools, and I limited mine to what appeared to at least give a free preview of the service. I have a selection of generators that are sometimes fun to play around with when you have writers block, and there are millions out there that can partition to your chosen topic/genre. Also, don’t be afraid to use the same resources you may have used in school to write those papers. Some of them can be quite helpful when writing fiction (and really helpful if you are writing non-fiction).
If you have any websites/tools you would like to suggest, feel free to mention them in the comments. I’m always open to finding new things.