Starting Anew: Is That How You Capitalize That?

So, at the beginning of this year, one of my New Year resolutions was to blog every other week on something.

…You can see how well that has been going so far.  So now that we’re nearly a quarter through the year, I’ve revised this and now declared Friday Blog Day: The Day In Which I Blog.

I’ve got some things planned to talk about at a later date.

But as an opener, I will share some of the internet writing tools that I use or just think are awesome.  Consider this a brief tool kit, things I keep stashed under my desk in a dented metal canister along with more string than you know what to do with, a hammer, and thumbtacks that never get used either because the landpeople would string you up by them for damaging the walls or because they’re just really crappy thumbtacks and you can’t, for the life of you, remember which it is. 

Well, something like that anyway.

750 Words: This is one of the best tools I ever found.  It challenges you to write 750 words every day and keeps track of which days you’ve succeeded and the length of your writing streak.  If you join and fail the monthly challenge, there’s a wall of shame for you, but otherwise there are no site repercussion for failing.  Personally, I have a lot of Writer’s Guilt.  No matter what I do, it’s never enough.  But 750 gives me a goal to achieve every night.  If I only hit the minimum, well, I’m not excelling.  But I’m passing, at least, and that helps keep the judging voices in my head a little quieter. And you can get a lot done on just 750 words per day.  That’s roughly 22500 words per month and from there, it’s not hard to push up to 25000, which is roughly a quarter to a third of a novel in a month.  Three or four months of dedication, you might find yourself completing something in spite of yourself.

Zen Writer: Not free, though you can get a free trial.  Creates a space for writing without lots of distractions.  You can upload your own music too, if music is important to you.  I know it is for me.

Storybook: Free noveling software. Helps track characters, plots, events, and places in your novel.  I’ll admit, I haven’t used it much yet, but I like the look of it.

Leech Block: Add on for firefox.  A useful tool if you have trouble focusing.  Or if you are anything like me and will click through sixteen different sites, including the same site six of those clicks, instead of sitting down to do your writing, you may just find this add on useful. It will block all sites from access for however long you need.  So if you have a night where you need to write, but find yourself obsessively checking webcomics instead, this addon helps.  You can set up filters for sites that you can access, so if you do your writing on, you’re not doomed.  You can also tell it to direct any errant clicks to a specific page.  Mine is set to go here

Seventh Sanctum: This one’s just fun.  It’s a generator site, full of all kinds of generators.  A good place to go for ideas and quick fixes.  Need to name the weird piece of technology your scientist just invented?  They’ve got a generator for that.  Getting sick of referring to your evil organization as “The Bad Dudes?”  They’ve got one for that too!  Need foreign currency for your made up world?  They’re so on that.  Completely fed up with your plot and need anything else to write about?  Yup. They’ve still got you covered.  Like I said, mostly just fun, but can be useful, especially on a brain dead day.  I’m sure I’ll mention these guys again.

That’s all I think I’ve got for the moment, but I’ll make an effort to mention new ones when I think of them. 

Next Week: The Portland Bucket List, hopefully


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