By Kate Sise
If you’re a novelist, you’ve probably heard of LivingWriter. Although LivingWriter has been helping writers draft and compile their books since 2018, the latest update, has made the the web app even more feature-rich. I can safely say that Livingwriter is truly the best writing app out there!
But first, do you need a novel writing app?
Do you need special book writing software to compose your novels? Not necessarily. I still use Word after I’ve written a complete draft of a novel. I love Word, and I’ll probably use it as long as I can type. That said, I’m glad LivingWriter did come along. I started using it first in 2018. Even if you can’t imagine life without Word, LivingWriter can help you streamline the novel writing process and make the best of your book’s many moving parts.
I’ve published five novels. For the last two, I used LivingWriter, and I’m using it for my novel in progress as well. I’m also using it to write a collection of essays. I’ll explain why it works for me.
LivingWriter for non-linear writing
LivingWriter is especially useful if you write in a non-linear fashion, like I do, because LivingWriter makes it easy to move chapters around and visualize your novel. It’s also got a great built-in way to keep all your research, notes and story elements all in one place.
LivingWriter also helps you to understand and manage narrative patterns. Let’s say you want your subplot to come back every six chapters; you can easily manage that in the LivingWriter Board view as well as on color-coded index cards. You can also use tags to easily search characters, settings, subplots and more.
Great for motivation and maintaining a writing habit
I also find LivingWriter useful when it comes to the pesky matter of maintaining a writing habit. Daily Goals and targets allow you to easily see how much you’ve written each day and how far you have progressed toward your goal. Seeing those progress numbers tick up day by day, and even hour by hour, is so encouraging. I’m not a numbers person, but when I’m at 32,560 words, it says, “Just 440 more words to 33,000!” And then, when I see that 33,000 in the progress window, it says, “Just 2,000 more words to 35,000.” It really does keep me from setting my laptop aside to binge-watch Friends for a second time.
A streamlined corkboard for your laptop
My favorite feature of LivingWriter is the digital corkboard that automatically generates index cards as you add scenes and chapters. When you move the index cards around on your Board, it also moves the chapters/scenes within your manuscript.
How LivingWriter helps you focus and be more productive
I also love writing in LivingWriters’ Focus mode, because I’m not great about cleaning up my digital desktop, and there are so many folders on top of screenshots on top of apps on top of notes that writing with icons in view stresses me out. When you’re writing, LivingWriter fades your screen so the only thing there is a blank (hopefully not for long) page and just a typing cursor.
How LivingWriter Will Help You Improve World-Building
One of the cool features of LivingWriter is “Story elements” which allows you to list all the characters, research, settings, objects or whatever in your story. The cool thing about this is that those elements show up as you type. Kinda like how typing on a phone will auto-suggest you words, now your characters will also be autosuggested. And when you click on a character in your text, it’ll bring up the notes for it! To me this is invaluable in keeping track of my characters.
Export is Better in LivingWriter
Another feature of LivingWriter that other apps do not have is freedom of Export. In LivingWriter you can export your manuscript in all types of ways. You can even export your book into “Amazon Manuscript” format. Although I don’t know why they call it that. Basically it exports your book into a format that allows you to easily push it into Kindle Self Publishing!
LivingWriter manages to keep all these great features nice and tight. There’s almost no clutter on the app!
I should mention that LivingWriter has a ton of features that I don’t use and probably never will. You could easily get lost in the funhouse, but theres no reason to use all the features to get your moneys worth. The Board, flexibility, project targets, focus mode, organization tools, iOS/Android Apps make the ($9.99 a month) price tag a no-brainer for me. I’ve dumped all my other writing apps in favor of LivingWriter.
For drafting, organizing, focusing, maintaining a writing habit, and rearranging sections of your novel, LivingWriter is the best writing app out there.
Try LivingWriter completely free at https://livingwriter.com