I didn’t really own an official Swiss Army Knife but I did have a cool pocket knife with extra tools.
Extra tools are great. You can never have too many. Well, okay, maybe…No never mind. You can’t.
We have so many tools available to us as writers. Can you imagine handwriting 50,000 words dipping your quill every couple of words, in the light of your kerosene lamp with its sooty chimney? Yurgh! I know some of you hand write, even with fountain pens, but still, makes my hand hurt and my eyes burn just thinking about it.
Whew, enough horror stories for now.
When I started doing NaNo I used Microsoft Word. It was a few years before I tried yWriter (free). I love it and still use it. We also have Celtx (free; great for scripts but I haven’t done a novel on it) and Scrivener (free trial) available for computer use.
[Hmm. Now seems like an excellent time to switch gears.]
Hit SAVE more often than you think necessary. I was nearly done with this darn post and didn’t hit save. :p
So again, SAVE SAVE SAVE your work. Back-up at all opportunities. Once you’ve written that brilliant bit of prose there is no finding it again. It was the only thing you’ve ever written that was perfect the first time.
Anyway, back to the tools topic.
There are websites that are great tools too. WriteorDie.com (entertaining and motivating), WriteOn.Amazon.com (a rather social place for writing where you can hide or show new material and ask for feedback), and 4theWords.com (pretty new and still working out kinks but you can earn badges for different things as you write).
As far as editing, CritiqueCircle.com and WriteOn.Amazon.com can be great for getting beta readers and feedback. Just remember that you can end up with frustrated, nitpicky people so take what you get with a grain of salt.
What do you use? Why do you like it the best?
And BACK UP!