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Weekly Report: Current novel-in-progress, NanoWri Prize Software

Current novel-in-progress

It's in progress and I'm pushing on filling in the large gaping holes from the first draft, making some cuts and generally getting on with it. It's hard to imagine this time last year, I was attending the Faber Edit Your Novel class and drinking tea and eating biscuits.  I wonder how everyone has got along? Generally when there is news, course mates tend to send an email round. From my Curtis Brown course (yes, I've been around the writing course block) I think three people have been traditionally published now.

At this stage, I'm a self publishing writer so my motivation for going on these courses is generally to improve my writing and get new insight rather than getting an agent.  

 NaNoWriMo Prize Software 

Generally, I find the best time to test new writing platforms or software is during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place in November though they have camps and mini sessions all through the year. 

Normally start-up (and some long standing established) writing platforms and software would offer a discount to participants. Then there is also the Black Friday/Thanksgivings offers. I always recommend writers wait until November before forking out loads of money -full price - on any of these platforms unless they get a good offer.

The only software I didn't get a full discount on was Scrivener 3. I had downloaded the trial version and it update all my files to Scrivener 3 format - and there seemed to be no backward compatibility so I was in a fix. So I was forced to upgrade. 

Another warning is that some of these softwares automatically renew on credit cards so be careful and monitor your end dates, I had forgotten about this and paid for Fictionary for another year.  Ops! Very expensive ops!

It's difficult to recommend any software because people work in different ways, and I know I write all over the place. However generally, I'm now shying away from 'editing' software like autocrit and Fictionary because of the way I write. Those for me are more suited to a monthly subscription when I'm in a latter stages of editing a draft, otherwise I rarely use them. 

Autocrit is also very detailed and for writers who are really prescriptive about their text and comparables. It's very good - lots of different analytics and detailed craft reports. However there is a learning curve and it's really for intense editing. If I were writing short stories, I'd probably have signed up. A similar platform is ProWritingAid - I've been using this for years, from  when I was writing short stories and it was free, then only 3000 words and then started charging.  Eventually I signed up for a lifetime membership. 

The difference with autocrit was it took itself behind a paywall. When I first encountered it, it did have a free sign up (with a word limit) with some free reports, but the others were premium, however ProWritingAid was free, and then I was using it so often it became part of my workflow it wasn't a big deal to upgrade. 

This year, I'm trying out Novelpad, Novlr and Hermit. So planning and writing software platform no editing. Sometimes its nice to have a different writing environment. However my constants are Microsoft Word and at times Scrivener - though I find that clunky in some ways. However overall I just like software. 


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