Camp Nano is coming, I have started writing my novel as have a few friends of mine. And the biggest problem I’m having is a construction going on nearby. The constant noise and dust is making me lock my windows and feel stuffy. The ideas aren’t as free flowing as I would like and I NEED something to give me a push, no, a kick, in the “write” direction. So I started browsing my app store in hopes that some sort of To Do app would threaten me into finishing my book by flashing a blinking deadline and I came across these apps instead. I hope they are as useful to you as they are to me.
An app that I’ve just started using, this is perfect for those who like taking notes on their phone instead of in a notebook. It features multiple books, plotting space and even a lock code to prevent anyone else from accessing your story. Pretty safe if you’re afraid of idea thieves.
The bottom panel i divided into five panels, Novels, Scenes, Characters, Locations and Ideas. While I personally prefer writing things down in a notebook this is perfect for when on the go in case I don’t actually have one with me. When you type in your novel you’re also asked to provide the following : Title, Setting, Theme, Tone, POV, Premise, Plot and group. Below these you can also attach a scene if you’ve entered one. The pro version costs 2.99$ and contains Dropbox Syncing between devices, Scene writing, Word count, Export to iTunes, is Ad Free and has Email export.
This app has less features than A Novel Idea but there are certain things that set it apart. You can choose your project : Markup, Novel or Screenplay (some features for the 2nd and 3rd are only available in pro), you have themes, Day, night etc and finally, you have an inbuilt community at Werdsmith.com
The other offerings are an alarm to help you keep a ritual of writing everyday, morning/afternoon/evening or custom. I’ve chosen custom. To top it off you also have the option of sharing your writing with friends and family to get feedback. This is not something I would do but I see this being particularly useful if you’re involved in a group writing project like a screenplay or a play. There are pro version features and each one of them has a different pricing.
Coming from the same people who made Werdsmith, Unblock is an app that will help you get rid of writers block. It features ideas and questions in a deck of card form and helps you discover things that you didn’t know about yourself. They provide you 30 free credits to help you buy your first deck and then you’ll have to buy more to get more.
I would suggest this for the complete beginner writer, maybe if you’re really young or don’t know what you want to write about. For me the first deck, they don’t give you options on which deck you buy first, was of no use since I’m a voracious reader and I have been writing as far as I can remember, this was a waste of ten credits. But if you are a complete beginner those ten credits will be very helpful. Exercise two was sort of helpful, I would have ultimately liked to get Creativity but let’s see about that in the future.
This isn’t just a writing app, it would probably work for many other things in life and in art. but for now, let’s talk about how it works for writing. The app instructs you to think about a problem/block you’re facing, shuffle the cards by opening the app and shaking your device, tapping your screen to generate a random card which with then spark a new idea. You can also buy more card packs to help you along.
While some of the ideas were really helpful, others seemed to just be random inspirational sentences that sound more like affirmations than helpful idea triggers. For instance, “mock it up” was very useful for me because I’m writing a murder scene. So I went onto sims and mocked up the apartment, set things the way I wanted and voila, I had the layout perfectly in front of me! Whereas another one, “Believe in yourself” completely turned me off writing that day. Take this app with a pinch of salt, but I will keep it because some ideas were such amazing triggers that I thought it was worth recommending.