7 Novel-Writing Tools for NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a challenge to creative types everywhere to write an entire 55,000-word novel in 30 days. Daunted? Sure, you might not think you’re ready, or have a novel fully outlined in your head, but the idea is to push yourself and think creatively. But don’t worry — we’ve rounded up seven tools, tips, apps, etc. to help you crank out your own Pulitzer-winning opus.

Writing on Your Computer

If you’re like us, Microsoft Word reminds you of non-creative drudgery from school or work, with its robust but distracting menus and extensive features. If you’re going to be endeavoring on a longer writing project, it’s worth the time to look around for a word processing app that allows you to focus and will get you excited about writing. One choice (free, for Macs only) is Ommwriter, an app that fills your screen with a choice of pleasant backgrounds and plays ambient music. The minimalist menu only appears when you move the mouse, and you can even move and reshape the window you’re writing in. Check out the demo video below.

PC users, or those who want a few more menu options, may like Focus Writer, a free program that works on all platforms. Focus Writer lets you go into similar distraction-free modes but doesn’t do away with helpful tools like spell-check and tabbed documents.