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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Some Tools to Help You Survive NaNoWriMo

I'd be the one playing with the cat.
I'll admit it.  I think the people who do National Novel Writing Month (commonly referred to as NaNoWriMo, which is rather odd for people who want to accomplish high word counts in short amounts of time, but whatever...) are crazy.  Maybe a good kind of crazy, but still a bit crazy.

For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is an even that lasts the month of November.  In this month, writers attempt to write a 50,000 word novel (1,667 words per day).  For more, go here.

If you're trying this, I applaud you.  But you might also want some help.  Here are a few tools to get you through.

Written?  Kitten! 
Frankly, I think this site is genius.  The premise is simple.  You write your novel, in the box provided.  For every 100 words you write (or 200, 500, or 1,000), it shows a new picture of an adorable kitten.  What better motivation could you want?  To try it out, click the link above and paste this entire blog post into the box a few times.  Isn't it awesome?

Dr. Wicked's "Write or Die"
As the site says..."putting the 'prod' in 'productivity'".  This is excellent for forcing yourself to write.  First, you set a word count goal, for a certain amount of time.  For example, 100 words in 20 minutes.  If you don't write for a few seconds, there are...consequences.  Serious consequences.  Also, you can choose how strict or forgiving you want it to be, and it goes from gentle mode to "electric shock" mode.  Trust me, it works.  It's a bit scary, but it works.

Okay, this is probably more for after NaNoWriMo.  Still, it's an incredibly useful tool.  Paste a few chapters of your novel into this machine, and it'll let you know if you're overusing adverbs, have commonly misspelled words, point out weak words that you like to use, point out cliches, and other useful things. 

WordOne Lite
This is a free (for the Lite version, $1.99 for the paid) app that helps you track your word count.  Enter a word count goal, and a date you want to finish by.  It'll tell you how many words you need to write each day to reach that goal.  If you enter how many words you wrote today, and the next day, and so on, it'll adjust your words per day to account for if you're ahead or behind or right on track.  As far as I can tell, the only difference between the free and paid version is that in the free version, you're only allowed to have word count data for one project at a time.   

And, when all else fails, just get yourself to the order page of this website.

I'm sure there are loads more writing tools on the web to help you survive NaNoWriMo.  If you know of any others, let me know!

For more NaNoWriMo prep, check out my complete list of writing articles. If you have any writing questions, comment on this post (or any old post), or send me a note at theanniemarie(at)gmail(dot)com.

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