Every author has their own preferred writing tools. Today, I am going to share with everyone the top 7 writing tools that help me in my day-to-day writing career! Enjoy!
- Google Drive
- Google Translate
- Indie Author Support Facebook Group
1. Google Drive
I absolutely love Google Drive and you may have noticed I’ve placed Google Drive and Scrivener on the same list. They are both word processors, but I use them for completely different things.
I use Google Drive as the center for my writing career. I always begin a new project in Google Drive. Everything is saved there and unless the internet implodes, it will always be there. It’s free! It is perfect! In the last year this is how much usage I have used:
Out of 15GB?? Insane. I doubt I will ever need to upgrade this storage space! I save pictures, videos, word documents and excel spreadsheets to each books individual folder. I ensure I always have access to any inspirational picture or video at the click of a button. With Google Drive, I create my main word document that houses my actual book. After I’ve written a few chapters, I make my outline. The outline tool separates my book by chapter headings and has a sidebar that you can click to go to that specific chapter. Genius and such a help when I’m rushing about trying to remember what I did in a previous chapter!
Google Drive also has this excellent application called Voice Typing. It is already downloaded onto Google Drive and you can easily talk and the text will be written for you. When I have a very quiet house (which isn’t often) I use this application. I find it so much easier compared to typing, especially since I type all day at work and come home and do more typing. I’d rather talk! Very useful tool!
Google Drive also allows you to create spreadsheets, which in turn I use for my character sketches or word count goals. I have a tendency to forget about a certain feature of my characters as I’m writing! My memory isn’t that great, which is why I write everything down so I won’t forget. I mentioned some of my word count goals in my last blog post. I find the Google Drive Spreadsheets to be very similar to Excel and very easy to use (sometimes even more so then Excel).
Ah, Pinterest. My mistress. Wow. That got deep real quick.
Anyway, I use Pinterest for everything and anything! In my personal life, I have over 200 boards! I don’t even know how that happened! In my author life, it is more sizable and controlled. I usually create a board for every book I am in the process of writing and pin inspiring articles, photos or anything that I end up using for my books. Take a look here! You can find anything and everything on Pinterest!
I know, I know, I’ve already mentioned how awesome Google Drive is, but this tool is completely different. I can literally search anything on Google and an answer will appear. I am a Research Queen/Stalker! If I can Google it, I will! Google is an excellent tool and I hope you use it to the best of you’re ability!
4. Google Translate
(Side note – I am a big admirer of David J. Peterson for his creation of the Dothraki language in Game of Thrones. He is a big hero and inspiration when it comes to creating languages in books.)
In order to create your own language in a fantasy or sci-fi world, you need as much help as you can get. I use Google Translate like a mad woman. I use it to find similar words and phrases for my books.
For example, in my book, The Barbarian’s Lady, the language the barbarians speak is Barbaro. One of the terms of endearments used by my alpha male character for my heroine is kete. It means kitten. So I searched for similar, gruff sounding languages and found a version in Czech that I really liked. I gave it a little flair and bam! Kete is born!
Take your time when it comes to developing a new language for your works. Create what you are comfortable with and go with the flow. It’s your story!
Make way, make way! The King of word processing approacheth!
I love Scrivener. Many people think it’s funny, however, that I use Google Drive and Scrivener at the same time. I laugh right back at them. It’s the smartest thing I could have done! Basically, I write everything on Google Drive and when I’m ready for fine-tune editing and formatting, I transfer the manuscript over to Scrivener. I even transfer over my research so I have everything saved in one spot! Genius, I know!
Scrivener is the best tool I have found when it comes to formatting an ebook for publishing on Kindle. It is so easy to use that it takes me less than 30 minutes to format and create my ebook for publishing. As I research more and more up on Scrivener and creating a pretty ebook, I am amazed at the possibilities. Holly Evans has a great blog post on the steps to create a Scrivener Ebook (click here to read her post). I used her process to create my first ebook. Thanks Holly!
Scrivener isn’t very expensive compared to Microsoft Word, who charges over $100. Scrivener charges less than $50. If you purchase right now, you will be able to get the Scrivener 3 update for free! Slam dunk! Click here to check it out!
I know, I know. In my last article, I ragged on about the distractions of YouTube. But seriously, YouTube is instrumental for me. In my book, The Barbarian’s Lady, the people my heroine encounters are very much different from her people. So I looked up tribal dances and music to get me in the right frame of mind. It works! I highly recommend using YouTube as a tool for research and inspiration.
My last major writing tool is a fairly new one to me, but definitely one I’ve come to cherish!
I was recommended to the Indie Author Support Facebook Group by an inspiring author. This group… words cannot express how I feel about this group, but I’m going to try anyway.
There is no judgement, there are no trolls (that I’ve seen or encountered) and everyone has been super helpful and supportive. I have nothing but nice things to say about everyone I’ve met through the group. Even when I’ve asked the silliest questions, trust me, I have, the members have been super helpful in answering my questions or concerns. I feel so welcomed to the group and I hope to continue to be as involved in the group as much as possible. If you need support or guidance as an Indie Author, this is the Facebook group to be in!