My dream is to be a full-time author. But until then, I am juggling a 50 hours-a-week job, spending time with my family and just living. Therefore, finding time to write can be difficult and this is why my actual writing time is precious to me. When I sit down to write for an hour, I want to write for an hour. Not get caught up with writer’s block or sucked into the vortex which is social media.
It took me almost two years to write my first book, Guardians of Wundor. The second book in the series, Child of the Moon, will be completed in less than six months (in fact it should be going to my editor by the end of the week). How did I do this in a quarter of the time? A number of factors have contributed to this, but the 10 free tools mentioned below definitely had a major impact. I hope that they help you as much as they helped me.
Struggling to think of a name for one of your characters? Don't get stuck with writer's block, instead, try out Behind the Name. This website shows you the history and meaning behind names from around the world. It also includes mythological names, common names, and surnames. This tool is perfect for finding a water name for a dryad or a warrior name for a hero.
Along the same lines as Behind the Name, this website generates name ideas for fantasy names, real names, place names, and more. In fact, the site boasts more than 1200 different types of name generators. Originally designed for gamers to find names for their D&D characters, this site has grown to become a great resource for all creatives. If you are looking for werewolf pack names or ideas on what to call a spell shop, this is the site you want.
Whether you are writing about mythical races or romantic interludes between two (or more) characters, it is important to keep in mind the height of each character. Nothing says amateur like having something blatantly out of proportion. If her head reaches his shoulder it is impossible for her to kiss his brow without standing on something – tiptoes will not do it unless she has giant feet. Also, remember that neck strain is not sexy.
Notebook.ai is the digital notebook designed for world builders. Now, you no longer have to try and remember character details, town names, who wields which item or whether a gold crown is worth two copper pennies in your world or four. In the free version, you can create up to five universes, perfect for when you are working on more than one series at a time.
The tagline says it all – “With Google Docs you can write, edit and collaborate wherever you are. For free.” You can outsource your team to anywhere in the world and all share access to the same document (which auto-saves so you never have to fear losing your work). Plus you can access your files on any phone, tablet, computer or laptop enabling you work on your projects at home, at work or in the local coffee shop.
While Grammarly will not replace a professional editor, (which is a MUST for all authors, self-published or otherwise) it is brilliant for checking your blog posts, Facebook posts or any other writing you wish to put out into the world. It is an extension which can be added to Chrome but it can also be downloaded on your Windows platform for when you want to check word documents. Poor spelling and grammar in your posts will not encourage people to read your books.
While having a social media presence is important in order to build your fan base, it can also be a whirlpool, sucking in your time and attention. Who hasn't logged onto Facebook to do a 5-minute post only to find themselves browsing status updates over an hour later? Buffer lets you create posts in advance for multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can log in into the website or install the app on your Apple or Android phone.
If you want to sell your book in paperback, you are going to need a barcode. When you purchase a batch of ISBNs, you can choose to have one of the ISBNs in barcode format for an additional fee. Save your money and instead use this free online generator.
Once you have your beautiful book cover, you are going to want to show it off. Rather than paying a designer, use this free 3D Mockups tool to create your own eBook and paperback covers. I have tried quite a few different generators and this is by far my favorite. It has options for Kindle, iPad and phone images as well as composite layouts and is very simple to use.
Create stunning graphics without needing a degree in graphic design. Easy to use templates for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as every type of promotional material you can dream of. Hundreds of templates can be combined with dozens of beautiful fonts and color palettes to help you build the perfect style for your brand.
Time is essential when you are writing. Not only the time you spend doing the actual writing, but also what you spend with your close ones and yourself. Using even one the above tools can help you save a lot of time and money enabling you to move forward at a much better pace. I hope this article helps to make a positive difference to your writing process.
About the Author
By day, Miranda is an Inventory Controller battling numbers and spreadsheets. At night, she adventures into fantasy worlds of her own imagination using her powers as a wordsmith to bring her characters to life. She lives in Perth, Western Australia, with her husband and two fur babies, Bronson and Kira (who can often be found wandering the pages of her books). Her first novel in the Rift Magic series, Guardians of Wundor, was published on September 18th 2018, which also happens to be her birthday.
Amazon Author: amazon.com/author/mirandaharvey