More tools to consider as you prep for NanoWriMo

Yesterday I mentioned (for the umpteenth time) Scrivener – today, some alternatives. A lot of people put these lists together this time of the year, but stick around, you might find something new šŸ™‚

Storyist (commercial) – The Literature and Latte folks do an amazing job at nurturing their community, which is part of the fervor folks feel around Scrivener. But lurking on the sidelines are the folks that bring you Storyist. With its latest release, Storyist is very similar to Scrivener in both price and features. How individual documents are handled is different, but other than that the two products are largely similar. Why mention it? Because Storyist does win in one aspect – it has an iOS app. If being able to seemlessly work on the iPad and desktop is important to you, then this is the way to go. The iOS app is missing only the ability to do split screen views between documents – everything else is the same. If you want to spend the money andĀ need that bridge, this is the way to go.

Focuswriter (Free/Donation) – I always mention Focuswriter because I love it that much. Focuswriter can edit both vanilla text and ODF documents, has a robust wordcount management (great for NanoWriMo), a rich theming environment, and my favorite – optional typewriter noises as you type. Living somewhere between a text editor and a writing suite, Focuswriter is a favorite.

yWriter (Free/Donation) – If I were a windows user, I’d probably Ā be using yWriter. Another suite that tries to be more than just a simple document editor, Hayes has put some amazing effort and features into this software over the years. In particular, the metadata that helps shape your story – character indexes, location and item tracking, dynamic storyboards – are easily tracked and kept up to date, freeing you to write.

Plume Creator (Open Source) – As robust a product as Scrivener or Storyist, Plume brings a fresh combination of the commercial software with features I like in yWriter. It’s a little clunky, but that’s just eye candy. Beneath the surface you’ll find Plume to be a very capable alternative to the commercial writing suites.

And so, these are a few of my favorite things. Not your usual list of Evernote and Notepad, but software I think you’ll find works as a true alternative. When the day is done and you have to write, though, it doesn’t matter what software you use, or if you end up doing it all with pen and paper. The only thing that matters is that you have fun and get some words down. How you do it? Bah.

Scrivener NaNoWriMo 2014 Offers

I’m biased – I really like the full toolset of Scrivener. If you’re doing Nanowrimo this year and want to check out Scrivener, see below. For less firepower (but easier budgeting), I’d also highly recommend FocusWriter.


NaNoWriMo 2014 Trial – for Mac and Windows

Scrivener’s first users were Wrimos – I posted an early beta of Scrivener for the Mac on the NaNo Technology forums back in 2005, and those initial users kindly spread the word about Scrivener and provided feedback that has helped shape and improve the program. It has therefore been our great pleasure to give something back by sponsoring NaNoWriMo for the past few years, and so here we are sponsoring NaNoWriMo 2014, with some great offers for those taking part. We’re also offering a special trial version that will last you all the way throughout November, even if you’ve tried Scrivener before – read on for details.

Special Trial Version

Scrivener’s trial normally runs for thirty days of use, but so that you can start using Scrivener before NaNoWriMo begins without worrying about the trial expiring part-way through November, the special NaNo trial available on this page will run from the moment you start using it all the way up until 7th December. So you can download it, get used to its features, use it for your writing throughout November, and if you like it you can buy Scrivener at a discounted price using one of the special offers below.

50% Discount for All NaNoWriMo 2014 Winners

If you achieve your personal target to become a NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner, you will be eligible for a 50% discount off the regular licence of Scrivener (which is normally $45 for the Mac version and $40 for the Windows version). Details will appear on the Winner Goodies page at the start of December.

20% Discount for Everyone Else

Even if you don’t reach your target this year, you can still get 20% off the regular price of Scrivener by entering the discount code NANOWRIMO into the coupon code text field of our online web store.

via Scrivener NaNoWriMo 2014 Offers.

It’s that time of year again

Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All down the lane, pumpkins are hung with care. Little boys and girls, their faces covered in mock blood, drift to sleep. Visions of overflowing bags of candy bring the children peace. While nearby, burrowed in their alcoves, huddling behind their keyboards, the season’s true denizens stir. Steamy mugsĀ of caffeinated bliss leave ringed stains on makeshift desks.



They fly through the night, seeking homes. Words forming sentences, sentences forming paragraphs, dialog, and thought. The season of darkness is upon us!

It is NanoWriMo once more!

For those of you new to the blog, or at least unfamiliar with Nanowrimo, every November there is a friendly little contest known as National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo. The idea is that for one month (November), folks gather around and try to hack out that novel they’ve always said they were going to write. To win you just need to reach 50,000 words before December 1 – not necessarily finish writing, but 50k. In the last 5 years, I’ve made it twice, failed twice, and abstained once.

The question before me is: am I going to do it this year? Unlike past years, this year I’m working from home, which means I don’t have to deal with the trials of a commute sucking at my time. In theory, time has always been the biggest hurdle for me, and I technically have that time this year. I want to waffle and say I have nothing to write about, but I know that’s not true. That’s just me trying to avoid writing the novel. Ironic, since I just explained that the point of Nanowrimo is to get off your duff and write that novel you’ve been avoiding.


I have a little over a week to decide, but I think we all know how this ends.