Mind maps have been a useful tool for creative folks to brainstorm for quite a while. Remember the old days when you’d draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper and draw lines from there to connect your thoughts? It’s much easier today. Brainstorming is a huge part of preparing for any writing project. Mind maps help you capture your creativity in a right-brained manner, by graphically displaying the connections between ideas. If you’re trying to outline a novel (left-brained) and it’s just getting messy, consider trying a mind map first to let the ideas flow naturally. With a mind map in front of you, ideas will spark and you’ll see connections where you hadn’t before. It’s also a great tool for generating new ideas, like scenes for your story or character traits for each character.
Here at ProWritingAid, we’re constantly evolving our manuscript editing software, as we have for the past four years. In fact, we’re so certain that our manuscript editing software is miles above the competition, we’re discussing their pros and cons and linking to their websites below so you can check for yourselves. (Crazy? No, just incredibly confident.)
Throughout 2016, we reviewed some innovative writing platforms, programs, and other online tools for writers of all shapes and sizes. As 2016 wanes, the techie nerds at ProWritingAid wanted to throw out some must-have tech to dream about in 2017. With an eye to making your life better, easier, and finding more time to write, consider the following tech.
We love technology at ProWritingAid and how it helps writers improve. Over the past few months, we’ve been checking out some of the best writing technology out there. We've already reviewed Scrivener, The Novel Factory, Ulysses, and ILYS, this month we look at a new app called Rough Draft.
Writing narrative essays, short stories and other creative texts is a meandering path. Creative writing skills do not appear out of nowhere, they require determination and effort. To master them, you need to work not only hard, but also smart. Creativity is a tricky business. Your notebook is a great place to apply your inspiration, test your skills and boost your energy – or to fail. And this is how you evolve. Failures and mistakes provide valuable lessons. However, to progress faster and to make your creative juices flow better, we have collected some practical and useful resources that will improve your skills. Let’s get started.
I’d heard about ilys, this amazing online program that lets you only see one letter at a time of the words you’re typing. You can’t see what you’ve already said, which helps you focus instead on what you’re going to say. This puts you in the flow. It lets your creativity jump ahead of your internal editor and crank out the words without worrying about typos and spelling errors. All you see as you write is the last letter you typed...
After a painstaking process of planning, writing, and editing your work, it’s time to consider publishing it. For most writers, this is the most exciting and fear-inspiring task (possibly a greater heart-stopping experience than editing alone). Your work will be on display for public consumption, and you want to ensure it’s the best work possible. If you’ve decided to join the ranks of the intrepid self-published authors, then you have one—and only one—person you can rely on: yourself. Back before we tech-savvy geeky writers existed, self-publishing was considered vain and a bit silly, and your work wasn’t taken seriously. David Wong, with his novel, *John Dies at the End*, broke that stereotype of the self-published novelist, and here we are. Now, traditional publishers are nervous (and rightly so) due to the wonderful world of technology.
Using PDF files can be beneficial in more ways than you can imagine. It’s been more than 20 years since the creation of this file format they’ve always had a special place in the world of writing and editing. If you have PDFs that you work with, or would like to start working with, you might want to check out these 5 tips:
If you’re old enough, you remember the days of pen and paper writing, or dragging out the typewriter or word processor to write your novel. Planning your novel typically involved a notebook (or ten) to outline your plot, structure, list of characters, list of places, and timelines. If those notebooks were lost, stolen, or worse, destroyed, all that original work was gone. Wiped out. Never to be seen again. Luckily for all of us, with the advent of technology, we have one less headache when planning a novel and can avoid devastation should the worst happen. The savvy geek writer knows to use the wonderful world of the internet to plan out their novels.
There are two common causes of writer’s block: no ideas, and too many ideas. When you have no idea of what to write about, your mind is literally a blank page. It is like a car with no gas; it can’t get started. On the other hand, when you have too many ideas, your mind locks like a flooded carburetor, and you have to clear it to get going.