Have you ever wondered about tools for writers, and how they work?
Well you’re in luck because today I have a special guest that has come to discuss ‘Four Top Tools as an Author.’ Please welcome fellow Chindi author, Lexi Rees, Chindi’s Author of the Week.
Thank you Patricia for hosting me on your blog to coincide with my Chindi Author Spotlight.
‘Top Tools For Authors’
I’m actually pretty organised usually, but when I published my debut novel I discovered I was totally unprepared for this new world. Over the past year, I’ve come to rely on a number of tools to keep me organized and help me spend more time writing and less time on admin, so I thought I’d share my favourites.
Scrivener: the ultimate writing tool
I got a discount code for Scrivener following a successful Camp Nano a few years ago. I was using word but battling to keep on top of changes as the novel got longer. Cutting and pasting sections became an absolute nightmare as I kept dropping bits into the wrong place, or getting distracted by the kids/ dog/ postman mid paste and losing chunks altogether.
I fully admit I’m barely scratching the surface of Scrivener’s capabilities, but I couldn’t live without it now. I adore the word count target setter. This helps me keep my chapters a roughly even length, which I do as I know many kids like to finish reading at the end of a chapter, and for parents who promise to read a chapter only to find out it’s 27 pages long. I also love the cork board layout which makes it super easy to see the plot outline, and to move chunks around.
CoSchedule: fab blogging tool
I only use the free Headline Analyser at the moment, but I know they have lots of great tools for blog planning and other stuff which I really want to explore. The Headline Analyser helps you create blog post titles that are interesting (without being pure click-bait). It’s super easy – you just type a possible headline in and then it scores it based on the types of words (emotional, power, unusual etc). It usually takes me three or four attempts to get a headline that works well, but I’m getting better the more I use it. Check it out here Coschedule
Canva: best design tool ever
If you haven’t used this, you must! It’s a free design programme. I use it for everything from posters to FaceBook and Twitter banners. There are millions of templates and pictures on it. There is a paid version, but I can’t see why you’d need that. You can even share designs with other people – I was recently working on a poster with a library and we were able to edit the same draft.
Trello: my “trying to stay organised” tool
I love a list but was finding that all my new lists post publication were getting confusing on my phone, and I was definitely dropping a few balls. A productivity specialist (did you even know such a job existed??) suggested that I looked at Trello. It’s a free tool. I’ve got the app on my phone, but it works on your desktop too and is a bit easier to see things. It works a bit like a cork board (I guess the corkboard style appeals to me).
So far it’s really helping me keep on top of the million things an author has to do on top of writing a book, but I’d still love a virtual assistant though – maybe I’ll get one for Christmas … hint hint …
Have you used any of these? I’d love to know what tools and tips other authors have – please do comment below.
I hope you enjoyed Lexi’s article, ‘Top Tools for Authors,’ I know I have, and found it very informative. Scrivener is already on my list to learn after I attended a workshop at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in August. I just need to find the time to put that theory into practice. I came across Canva earlier in the year and don’t know how I managed without it. I haven’t heard about CoSchedule or Trello so I shall be investigating these.
I’m sure you’ll all agree that these tools look invaluable. Thank you Lexi for sharing them.
If you have any questions or comments for Lexi, please leave them at the end of this blog or via her social media links.
Lexi Rees grew up in the north of Scotland but now splits her time between London and West Sussex. She still goes back to Scotland regularly though.
Usually seen clutching a mug of coffee, she spends as much time as possible sailing and horse riding, both of which she does enthusiastically but badly.
Her first book, Eternal Seas, is a fast-paced adventure with just a touch of fantasy for 7-11 year olds.
Eternal Seas blurb
Such a small parcel shouldn’t cause experienced smugglers much trouble. But this parcel is far from normal.
Chased across the seas, Finn and Aria must solve the mysteries within the parcel.
What does it mean? Who should they trust? What will happen?
The fate of an ancient people depends on them and time is running out …
Where can you buy Lexi’s book?
Where can you find Lexi on Social Media?