Writing should be simple; its storytelling. You have a story inside, which needs to be put to paper. How you do that varies, and I’ve found over the years I can even complicate things, but here are some tools I use for writing; Some of them, I’ve mentioned previously, but you should also find some useful links in this post:
Word processing- MS Word. I tried OpenOffice and even Scrivener, but return to Word because I know how to use it without needing to learn how to use it. I know the word count feature, all the formatting features, and set it up so my macros and default settings are geared towards my personal goals on publishing writing.
Backup- This is so very, very vital for any writer to understand the importance of backing up their work. For starters, I set the Word program to save every 3 minutes instead of the default 10 minutes. You can also opt for backup file copies to be made as well. I backup to Dropbox, but also every week, I backup to a USB Flash Drive .
Dropbox also allows me to access my writing on any computer, and even my phone. Its free.
Chapter-by-chapter– A very useful, and free program that enables me to organize the chapters of my novel. Each chapter becomes a document, and this program allows me to use find-replace through all the documents in the novel. It also keeps track of word counts for each document.
This works alongside of MS Word, and other word processors. This way, you don’t have to do any change to file formats.
Thesaurus– Although MS Word has a synonym finder in the program, this site which sits on my toolbar in my open browser, is readily available to look up just that right word. The same site also includes a dictionary.
Writing checking sites– I prefer Paperrater.com which checks for spelling, grammar, word choice, and style. By no means is it my only method for revision, but it offers some insight. Just remember any program can be stupid with words and context. I use it online, but you can also download the program.
Evernote.com provides me with organizing my writing. I use it for blogs, but also novels, short stories, and even writing prompts. You can use on the computer, tablet, or phone.
How to use the site is pretty easy. You make folders and then add files. Your options include text, graphics, and even video or sound media.
These tools are all optional, of course, but I found them useful over the years. Nothing takes the place of good old fashioned sit-your-butt-down-and-write method.