Visualizing Your Success: Visual Aids for Improving Your Novel

Sometimes a good cup of coffee is a visual aid, in and of itself. . .
Sometimes a good cup of coffee is a visual aid, in and of itself. . .

If you’ve written your novel, received feedback, and are now in the deep trenches of editing to address the lingering issues in plot, tone, and character development (which all of us inevitably have), you might find yourself at a loss for where to begin.  Luckily, there are a variety of effective tools available to writers, some available through digital advances and others based on traditional pen-and-paper approaches.  A few to check out (and some that I am using myself):

1) Scrivener is a project management tool that allows you to visualize your plot, splice your prose into sections that need to be viewed together, and embed and easily access background information and relevant research.  At $40, it’s a very reasonable investment to help streamline your writing/editing process.  .

2) Check out Justine Larbalestier’s use of spreadsheets (i.e., Excel) to map out her characters and plot.  Genius!

3) Writers Helping Writers offers a lengthy list of tools available for free download, spanning from Character Pyramids and Personality Questionnaires to a Weak Verb Converter.

4) Looking for apps to help you along the way?  Check out these 10 identified by Brit +Co.  Some of them are only available for Apple products, but all of them offer support for the aspiring (or accomplished) writer.

5) Lastly, many other bloggers have created compendiums of writing tools on their sites.  One of my favorites is Scott Westerfield’s, which offers several links to writing aids shared by published authors on their blogs.

Editing may not be “fun”, but it’s often what separates writers and authors.

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