I have always been an iPhone and Android tablet user, but when I decided to write my book I had a hard time finding anything that worked across both platforms. It seems like most writers prefer Apple. I kind of get that, but Android offers more storage for less money and there are phones available with a Stylus (Samsung Galaxy note series and the LG Stylo 5). You can’t use Apple pen on an iPhone which is dumb to me.
So, what do I use? Well, I discovered Novlr during NaNoWriMo and it was great! It’s website based so you just go to Novlr.org and you can write your novel. It keeps your chapters in order and you can write on any device. It’s amazing! Unless you write on your Kindle and it decides when you delete one word to delete everything on that page. The only drawback for me (besides the Kindle) was when I decided to change a character’s name around chapter twenty-three and there’s no find & replace option. It may be coming, but that’s something that would make me switch back to Google Docs.
After using Novlr for almost thirty days, I discovered Dabble. Dabble is Scrivener without the learning curve. You can have your book, character profiles, and notes all in one place. What I didn’t like was how it formats your novel for you. Dialogue does not get indented, but Dabble does it anyway. That’s frustrating, but it’s still a neat tool.
Another website I found is Hiveword. If you are a planner then I think you will love it. You can plan characters, scenes, settings, chapters. Pretty much everything. It only works on a computer. It’s a tiny screen even on a 10″ tablet. That’s okay, though, because it is still awesome. I didn’t use their novel writing software so I can’t say if it’s great or not.
If you are wondering why I was trying so many things when Google Docs is free, I’ll explain. First, writing a 50,000 word document and then trying to find the section you want to edit is a nightmare. You can break it down into chapters, but while it’s a work in progress your chapters are going to be shifted around. Unless you number them, but I have moved chapters before. It’s time consuming when you have 30 chapters and decide to add a chapter between say 2 and 3. Now chapters three through twenty have to be re-numbered. Actually, they have to be first. It’s time consuming when all you want to do is write your novel.
So the point is that nothing is perfect. I recommend trying a few of these if you’re curious. I will write about Scrivener once I try it out next week. For now, I think this is a good start.
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