Writers play a very major role in the world today. They write books, one of the central forms of entertainment for humankind. Books teach, influence, and alter the way we think. Some books are so important and enlightening that they help the world and its people evolve. If you would like to be a part of that, if you love to read, and you express yourself better in writing, then maybe you are called to be a published author! However, being the next JK Rowling or John Grisham, won’t happen in an instant. We don’t mean to discourage you, but it may take years before your writing gets noticed. Writing tools can help with that.
Struggle Stories Of Famous Authors
Stephen King submitted his novel, “Carrie,” to more than 30 publishers and got declined by every one of them. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was rejected 20 times before becoming published, and Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen: Chicken Soup for the Soul received 134 rejections.
Even the great writers of our time have tried and failed and failed some more. So even if you’re a totally fantastic writer who’s going to be remembered for decades to come, you’re still likely to receive a bucket of criticism, rejection, and perhaps even mockery before you get there, so be ready for that.
Make Your Writing Better with Writing Tools
Before you can start writing incredible content, you need to understand the basic principles of writing, and you also need to sharpen your writing skills. Luckily, there are many tools that can help you sharpen your skills and enhance your overall writing process. Word counter, character counter, Pomodoro timer, and mind map maker are a few of the more popular ones. These tools fall under the category of productivity tools.
Productivity Tools as Writing Tools
Productivity tools help people stay on task and organized. If a certain website or app or feature helps you accomplish tasks in a short amount of time, shorter than how you would do it before, then that falls under the category of productivity tool. Did you know that most of the popular chat apps and websites you use are in fact, productivity tools? Like Slack, Clockify, Google Drive and Google Calendar, for instance.
Word counter, Pomodoro timer, and mind maps can help you the most. You can use them as writing tools. They help boost writing efficiency, and they can help fight procrastination—every writer’s worst enemy. Lots of people procrastinate, of course, but for some reason, for writers, it is a peculiarly common occupational hazard.
Having said that, in order to fight procrastination, we need all the help that we can get, so why don’t we go over them one by one.
Using Word Counter as Writing Tools
First up, let’s begin with the word counter tool. Put simply, a word counter tool is an online word counter. It is a handy online app used to count words, letters, phrases, and paragraphs in real-time. This tool will help you monitor the number of words you write in a day. You can start with a few pages a day, then eventually work your way up to more and more pages per day.
Be A More Effective Writer With The Word Count Tool
Can you believe Stephen King wrote the 304-page book “The Running Man,” in just 10 days? He does it by measuring the number of words he can write, he can write as much as 2,000 to 3,000 words in a matter of hours! If it makes you tired just thinking about it, remember you don’t need to be that fast in the beginning, start at a pace you’re comfortable with, then slowly add to it. Before you know it, you will be finishing chapters in a day!
Knowing your word count can also help you stay within a required limit. For example, if your publisher tells you that your novel should not go beyond 200 pages, you need to adhere to the limit even if you want to say so much more! At the end of the day, it will also be for your own good, it will help keep your book from becoming too long and dreary to read.
Have you ever experienced reading a book, then getting bored in the middle? You don’t want your readers to experience that when they pick up your book. You want your readers to be glued to the pages of your novel from beginning to end! In order to do that, you need to make sure your paragraphs are palatable for the target audience; they should be neither too long nor too short.
How To Use Word Count Tool
- Go to wordcounttool.com.
- Copy and paste your work onto the word counter, and the word counter will automatically get to work.
- When it’s done counting, you will see boxes for the Word Count, Character Count (with space), Character Count (without space), Sentence Count, and Paragraph Count of the text you submitted.
- Change the font, size of your text by clicking on the corresponding tab. You can also alter the letter case of your text. There’s also another option that makes the text into a title. Lastly, there’s a clear tab that allows you to erase the whole text box and start with a new, blank one.
- Congratulations, you’re finished!
Dealing With Writer’s Block
As you move forward with your writing journey, you will experience writer’s block from time to time. Writer’s block is real, and it happens to everyone. You want to write, but no words are coming out. When you’re stuck, when you feel like your mind has run out of ideas, it can be frustrating, confusing, heck, even a bit soul-sucking.
The good news is, there are ways to fight it. This is where writing tools come in. Most of the time, you can’t write because you don’t know what to write about. This makes it very hard to get any forward motion. Oftentimes, it feels like you are creating something out of nothing. This is known as the Blinking Cursor Syndrome.
You have no idea what story you really want to write about. This makes it very difficult, (if not impossible), to step forward. And it sometimes feels like you’re making something out of nothing. That won’t happen when you use the Pomodoro Timer. The timer allows room for writers to take plenty of breaks in between their writing.
Pomodoro Timer To Inspire Creativity
For many writers, relaxing their muscles, sitting in silence for 3 to 5 minutes can make a big difference. Oftentimes, an idea, or a random spark of imagination flies into a writer’s head when he or she isn’t thinking of a lot of things. Think about it—how can you put an item inside a box that is already full? The same principle applies to our minds.
So, how does that strategy fit into the Pomodoro Timer? Well, the Pomodoro Timer is a well-known productivity interval that has been shown to increase a person’s productivity. It functions based on the Pomodoro method, or Pomodoro technique. A man named Francesco Cirillo developed this technique in the 1980s.
The Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro Method revolves around a series of 25-minute cycles, each called a Pomodoro. A 5-minute break separates each Pomodoro from the others. The first 3 breaks each last for 5 minutes, while the fourth break lasts for 15 minutes, after which the cycle resets.
This technique is an excellent time management tool for writers. How so? When you do this every day, your brain will naturally be programmed to focus within the desired time, and relax within a given time. You won’t feel the urge to procrastinate, you won’t feel the need to check social media, play games, check your email, etc.
Types Of Pomodoro Timers as Writing Tools
Like word counters, you can easily find a Pomodoro Timer online. On our website under the function Pomodoro Timer, and you will find three types of timers. The first type is the traditional Pomodoro timer. This is made up of 25-minute cycles with 5-minute breaks in between. To use it, just log in our time, and it will do the rest!
The second timer you will see is the custom timer. Here, you can decide the length of each time period. Pick the hours, minutes, or even seconds, and off you go.
How To Use The Pomodoro Custom Timer
- Simply log in the digits duration using the “+” and “-” keys on each side of the timer.
- Press the start button, and you are good to go!
- If you want to change the time you set, just click on the reset button and it will automatically go back to how it was before.
This will help you stay focused and on track. For instance, you can time how long it will take you to research a topic, write a page, a chapter, or a synopsis. If your publisher is giving you a shorter deadline, the Custom Timer will help monitor your time so you can write faster.
The third and last timer is a one-time timer, a timer for a set length. To use it, you just input the duration you want, the precise number of hours, minutes, and seconds. This is the best timer to use if you need to do something that isn’t in your normal routine, for instance, you’re busy with work but you need to revise a few pages of your latest crime novel.
Mind Maps as Writing Tools
Got an idea in your head but don’t know how to execute it? Jumping straight into writing without taking the appropriate steps would do nothing but slow down your momentum- leaving you frustrated. It could even stop you from putting the story together. Creating a good outline for your story will give you the boost you need to start writing. Your characters and your plot will look a lot clearer on paper.
Create Narratives With Mind Maps
It is true that many authors won’t put emphasis on how to outline a book. But the value of detailing the outline of your novel is huge. In reality, it should be the first step after the generation of ideas. Believe us when we say, missing the benefits outlining a novel comes with is not something you want for your story. There are many tools that can help put your narrative together with greater ease, and the mind map tool is one of them.
Essentially, the mind map is a diagram used to visually organize details. It is often based on a single concept, drawn as an image at the center of a blank space, to which related representations of ideas such as pictures, phrases, and parts of words are attached.
Benefits Of Mind Mapping
Mind mapping, how to mind map, the process of creating a mind map, is an activity that is both intellectual and imaginative, it engages the brain in a much, much richer way, helping in all its cognitive functions. In other words, creating a mind map will help both your brain and your finished product, how awesome is that!
Mind Mapping To Outline Your Novel
Mind maps may be as complicated and diverse as your book intends to be, but the basic concept is simply to convey ideas and then relate them meaningfully. The resulting map packs a lot of information into an easy-to-understand format, taking the burden off your memory and giving you a new tool that can serve as both a reference document and a fresh way to explore ideas.
For example, if you’ve got a story in your head, but don’t know where to start, use a mind map to get all your ideas out. Add colors to show connections, draw new circles as you think of them, feel free to doodle and see what’s going to happen.
Create Characters With Mind Maps
If a character feels flat, put their name in the center of your mind map. Add branches of what you know about the character, and what you want to know about the character. Then, insert another group of branches to demonstrate the character’s relation to other characters. By doing so, you will track everything you need to reveal to the reader about a character. This will be especially useful when you’re not sure how to include certain details in previous drafts.
Build Plots With Mind Maps
Here’s another way to use the mind map, this time focusing more on the plot than the characters. If you have solid characters, but the story seems to be lagging, use a timeline-style mind map, to answer questions like, “’Where is the story starting?” “What would happen if I started to do it here instead?” “What if I jumped from here to here, what would be the explanation?”
Another way to go about this is by thinking of your story as a jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle pieces are plot pieces, and it’s your job to figure out where the pieces fit. Some people are good at figuring out the plot in their heads; others benefit from printing or writing the main points of their story on slips of paper and arranging them for visual representation.
Types Of Mind Maps
There are lots of mind mapping tools apps on the market to help you create online mind maps with ease. Some come with new and advanced features like predefined themes, stylish clip art, built-in presentation templates, etc. These are all good to have, but if you’re just starting out, it’s better to begin with a more standard mind map tool, like the one on wordcounttool.com It’s so easy to use, it will make your characterization and plot building seem so effortless!
How To Use The Mind Map Tool
We’re breaking down the steps below :
- Begin by adding a node. Press the blue button on the left side of the screen to do this.
- Add an image node by taping the NEW IMAGE NODE beside the ADD Node button.
- Feel like changing your node? Tap the EDIT NODE or REMOVE NODE button. It’s that easy!
- Want to change the color and text of your nodes? Just click on the TEXT COLOR BUTTON located below the five major blue buttons.
- Once you’re done adding and editing your nodes, remember to click on the SAVE FILE button at the bottom of the box or your work will be erased!
- Download your mind map as your own personal copy or share it with your friends. Either download your map as an image, or in .jm format. If you want to save your work on the site, to work on it another night, we recommend you save your file in .jm format.
- Congratulations, you’re done!
Spending a few hours sharpening your writing skills with all the writing tools we’ve discussed will definitely make your dream novel much easier and more rewarding to write. But, before you begin pitching your work to various publishing houses, don’t forget to ask other people to critique your book or essay, too!
However, the people you get should not be your friends. Why, so? Chances are, since they are your friends, they want to help, or they might even offer their services, but they might not be as honest as you want to be because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. It’s a sweet thought, but it won’t help you with your endeavor.
Writing Peer Groups
A few years back, there was a site called Author Unlimited. It was run by a team of seasoned writers and editors. They would email weekly newsletters to aspiring writers in order to help writers find their footing in the publishing industry. There are many groups and websites similar to that nowadays, it will be very helpful to join them.
Writing isn’t easy. Luckily, there are all sorts of apps out there to help get your creative juices flowing. Whether you are working on your dream novel, or on an article for your favorite online magazine, these writing tools will help you complete your project with ease. Yes, they will help you become a better writer, but they will never do the job for you.
First and foremost, it will all come down to you, what you decide to do, what you are willing to do to make your dreams come true! So, go for that dream, today!