Well, I don’t know about you, but when I sit down to write a novel, I come armed. Very armed. And tonight, when I realized that my motivation for my current plot (but not my motivation for my novel!) was weakening, I whipped out my toolbox and took advantage of several to get my word count taken care of.

Let me share!

Write or Die! - I bought this two or three years ago for $10, and it was the best $10 I ever spent. What it does is simple – based on your parameters it will take your goal and time limit and keep you on track. It will delete your words if you stall too long in Kamikaze mode. It will play the sound of babies crying or wretched violins. And when you meet your goal, there is the lovely sound of trumpets cheering you in your victory!

Why does this work for me? I’ll be honest – I do not know. Perhaps it’s the very real threat of a deadline and certain doom if I do not keep typing. It frees me from my inner editor better than any other method I’ve found.

And yes, the writing might not be as good as if I agonized over every word, but that’s not exactly what NaNoWriMo is about, now, is it? So I pulled this out of my box so I could get the words in without worrying so much about the content. It got my story to where I need it to be to make it interesting for me again, and it was even almost painless!

Yarny – This is an alternative to some of the other novel-writing software out there that you have to install. Personally, I tend to drown in all the options of those other software programs. Yarny gives you some options to combat this. You can create what they call Groups and Snippets. Groups, in my case, act like chapters. The Snippets like scenes. I can tag them which is super convenient because I’m already used to doing this in Gmail and Evernote, and so I tag them with people, events, and the date I wrote them on.

Really, the only downside to Yarny is that it is entirely online (for now), and if I don’t have access to the Internet I’m stuck trying to remember what I wrote last and how to tie it together later when I realize there’s a hole. On the upside, not only can you export all your writing (backup, backup, backup!) into a text file, but they’re working on an offline version for the future.

I am really digging this as a tool because I can set my word count goal (actually 75,000 this year), all my writing, no matter how it’s segregated, gets added to my total word count, and I don’t have to hit any extra buttons to see said word count – only move my mouse to get out of full-screen, no-distraction mode. *squee*

Netflix - Creativity-sucking media as a writing tool? You may think not – but I was surprised at the pull my favorite television series had when I thought about not being able to watch it until I was finished! So yes, Netflix was my reward at the end of tonight, and man it felt good.

So what kind of tools are you using? I’m interested! I don’t have time to learn them all, but if you have some goodies you’d like to share, let us know!

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