Novlr users are the best…!

We’ve been working a lot behind the scenes of Novlr with the performance of the tool lately making it faster and more accessible for you. During that time, our users have been sharing their love with us. We love receiving emails from new and seasoned Novlr users as it reminds us exactly why this app was built. A few recent emails and tweets put a big old smile on our faces….

“Absolutely genius! I had all my writing saved on multiple devices, backed up to USB flash drives, Google drive, external hard disks, obsolete PCs and now… now a miracle has occurred and I have all my manuscripts… all of them… ALL OF THEM.. saved in one single safe readily accessible organised location. Novlr has revolutionised my life. Thank you.” Catherine O’Neill

“You folks are awesome! Keep up the great work. One day I’m going to be a writer and I’m happy to know my Novlr account is here for that very day. :)” Cheri McLeod

If you want to let us know how you’re getting on with Novlr drop us an email at hello@novlr.org or tweet us @novlrtweets. We’re always listening out for ways we can improve, what you love, what you don’t love and what you’d like to see – we look forward to hearing from you!

Kari Sayers: Guest contributor

About Kari: Kari Sayers is an online entrepreneur, published author, and founder of BookishBizness.com. She specializes in empowering creatives to pursue passion, purpose, and passive income.

How to Use Novlr to Support A Non-Fiction Writing Business by Kari Sayers

In May 2014, I stumbled across a random tweet about a tool called Novlr. It hadn’t quite launched yet, but by the description of it, a simple tool for writers by writers, it was just what I needed.

At the time, I was struggling to find a user-friendly writing software to help me boost my writing productivity and keep me organized. Like many ambitious writers, I had already tried my hand at using Scrivener–and failed.

I consider myself a semi-tech-savvy gal, especially given the fact that I previously taught myself how to build WordPress websites and learned how to use basic HTML code on my own accord–which kind of makes me a baby ninja by some standards, don’t you think?

via GIPHY

But like so many other writers, I quickly learned that Scrivener, albeit a great tool with a lot of bells and whistles, is like an intricate puzzle that takes time to piece together; time that I would have much rather spent writing.

So, after a few weeks of trying to make it work, I realized that it simply wasn’t the best tool for me and my writing needs. I needed something simple and intuitive to help me organize my short works of fiction and non-fiction, and to keep me on track with my writing goals.

Enter Novlr. I signed up to get a beta invite, and when the beta program launched in August 2014, I became one of the first people to use Novlr.

Almost immediately, my writing productivity shot through the roof. In a matter of two weeks, I’d outlined and written my first book inside of Novlr with more ease and confidence than any book that I’d ever written inside a Word Doc. Needless to say, I was floored!

via GIPHY

Since then, I’ve used Novlr in my writing process for 10+ books. As Novlr has evolved, so have I evolved in the different uses I’ve found for this awesome tool. I’m currently using Novlr not only to quickly outline and write my short works of non-fiction, but also to outline my online courses before I record and publish them. I’ve even started using the tool in my blog post planning.

My goal is for writers to read this post, and understand that Novlr can be used for more than just plotting your next epic novel. It’s a tool that can cater to the everyday simple tasks of non-fiction writers like me who not only write books, but also create online courses, write blog posts, and more.

I hope this post encourages you to start getting even more value out of your Novlr subscription. It’s a great tool that continues to evolve in an effort to make our lives easier as writers. Whether you are a fiction or non-fiction writer, it can help you better organize your writing business and be more productive.

Happy Writing!

Interested in learning more about growing your writing business and diversifying your income? Connect with me on BookishBizness.com.

 

 

If you’d like to be a guest contributor to our blog, send us an email at hello@novlr.org – we’d love for you to share your wisdom with fellow Novlrists!

Notebooks and Notes

Notes.

Notes are such an important feature of life; to help you remember that significant detail to tell somebody, to insert it into your writing later, to recall the spelling of a place name, a shopping list for the supermarket, to tell somebody you love them, to make somebody smile or simply to test whether that beloved ball point pen you have been using for the past 6 months has finally run out of ink and it’s time to find another one that writes as smoothly with the correct thickness of line (yes, ball point pen thickness is an issue of life).

So when I fell across and read this article by Lawrence Norfolk from the BBC , it made me think about our notebooks that we carry around with us and what we actually write in them. Is it all random words, paragraphs, lines and drawings that don’t relate to one another, or is it a story of its own waiting to be written?

In the article Lawrence says…

“A full notebook potentially contains the rest of your writing life. Or nothing of value at all. It is transitional. Work passes through it on the way to becoming something else.”

Charlotte Bronte’s

Mark Twain’s

I’m sure you all, as writers, have a notebook where you write your ideas, lightbulb moments and general day-to-day wonderings. Mine is blue with an embroidered feather on. In the front of the book, is a journal which I only ever write when I actually remember to do so which unfortunately isn’t that often. Each entry is more of a “life update” every 3 months or so. In the back, are random pages of pictures, lecture notes, telephone doodles, presentation notes, train times and random poem verses. In the middle, ripped pieces of paper for when I have needed a note to push through someone’s letterbox, to wrap my chewing gum in or to start a game of charades. All completely separate to each other but could actually connect together and tell a story of its own.

Co-founder of Novlr, Kim, has started a new pukka pad just this morning – and has a new pen (side note – the thickness looks good). Check out the post @novlrofficial on Instagram.

What do you go for in a notebook; moleskin, pukka pad, fabric, categorised or whatever is in the shop at the time of need?

Lesson from this blog post – don’t throw away previous notebooks however much space they may take up, they could cure that thing that comes up quite a bit in a writer’s life called Writer’s Block!

Feel free to share your notebook stories and pictures with us!

Happy Note-Taking Friday Novlrists 🙂

Podcasts to get stuck into for readers and writers…

Mix up your daily commute by listening to podcasts- the perfect thing to listen to on the way to work, waiting for a bus or before you go to bed. If you don’t have the time to read every blog or article on writing, this is an ideal way to keep up to date with the writing community.

These podcasts have been created to provide tips, inspiration, story ideas,  guidance on the world of writing and a whole host of writing resources. Check out these podcasts for writers and readers which could help you on your way with your novel.

The Dead Robot Society was created by Justin Macumber and has transformed into a popular podcast with multiple hosts. On a weekly basis, they gather and discuss their personal stories and writing journeys along with topics related to the writing world. Give it a listen and see what you think!

Pic_DRS-300x300

Writing Excuses is a weekly educational podcast for writers, recorded by writers. The show has four hosts with occasional guests featured on the show. The great thing about Writing Excuses, is that each podcast is 15 minutes – short enough for you to listen to on the go or before you start your writing.

Writing-2BExcuses-2B-2BCover

Helping Writers Become Authors is another short podcast, most being less than 10 minutes. Perfect for on the go and for short attention spans! They cover a whole host of issues writers face, focusing on story arcs and finding inspiration for your story.

2e41262a-21ef-4393-ae66-ff6d0fda57ce

The Guardian Books Podcast may not specifically be for writers but is a great podcast for keen readers to listen to author reviews, readings and discussions. Hosted by Guardian Books editor, Claire Armistead, the podcasts makes for interesting listening with multiple angles and inspiring guests.

guardianBooksPodcast_288

The Nerdist Writers Panel is an interview series podcasts where writers are invited onto the show to talk to Ben Blacker to talk about their writing, their specific field and journey. Guests come from all different writing backgrounds, not just novelists, but a great listen for a wider perspective of writing.

WritersPanel618x410-241x160

Get those headphones in and be inspired – happy listening!

Why a good book is a secret door…

Another TED talk this week. This one, “Why a good book is a secret door” is delivered by award winning children’s author, Mac Barnett. Now we know not all of you will be budding children’s authors but this talk was so good we couldn’t resist sharing it with everyone. It can be related to many other genres as the creativity displayed through the ideas of these people are ingenious – if only everywhere was like the pirate shop and the time travelling supermarket! So let your imagination run wild, have fun with your novel and engage your writers in some inspiring way. Enjoy the talk!Customized Inflatables

Catching Creative Ideas

Wonder out loud – boost your creative thoughts through everyday occurrences.

TED talks offer a vast array of views, opinions, perspectives and banks of information on multiple subjects. I stumbled across this particular TED talk and as soon as I started watching, Brad Herzog, an award winning freelance writer, captured my attention straight away. Some of his ideas and ways of finding subject and content is genius. So when it comes to thinking up a new storyline, a unique new novel idea or next time you get writers block, think of the little things you come across every single day and think how and if you can write it into your story. Who knows, you might get your next idea when opening a fridge as well!

Your Number 1 Writing Rule!

 

 

Writing fiction Do’s and Don’ts

We posted a link last week to an article by the Guardian titled “10 rules for writing fiction” which you can read here


Lots of authors contributed and wrote their 10 rules – some favourites of ours were:

Do back exercises. Pain is distracting – Margaret Atwood

Do, occasionally, give in to temptation. Wash the kitchen floor, hang out the washing. It’s research – Roddy Doyle

Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire – Geoff Dyer

It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction – Jonathan Franzen

Laugh at your own jokes – Neil Gaiman

Remember you love writing. It wouldn’t be worth it if you didn’t. If the love fades, do what you need to and get it back – Al Knnedy

So we asked our users what their number one rule would be – and here is a selection of replies –

  • Don’t take yourself so seriously, you are playing with imaginary friends and sometimes need to be a kid yourself. Write like you’re a kid. Enjoy it.
  • Write what you want to read. So that’s what I do. You should write more for yourself than for others.
  • Simply – “Show don’t tell”…easy to remember too!
  • Write every day
  • Try not to weep all over your keyboard when one of your characters dies
  • “Don’t tell me about sunbeams tell me about the silver flashing leaves” describe the effect not the item
  • I don’t agree with “But “said” is far less intrusive than “grumbled”, “gasped”, “cautioned”, “lied”.” Said said said drives me nuts. . I prefer grumbled, growled, whispered, etc. .

So you should now be feeling motivated and pumped to show not tell, to not take yourself seriously, and to use every different word under the sun to describe the effect of something. Go and make yourself a tea or coffee, sit at that desk and let the creativity flow out of those fingertips and onto your keyboards!

#NaNoDiNo

NaNoDiNo November madness 2015

2015 NaNoWriMo has finished and it’s fair to say that everyone using Novlr absolutely smashed it. I can honestly say we have never drawn so many well-deserved dinosaurs in our lives! Now it’s time to re-fuel, watch Jurassic Park a few more times, and get some more inspiration ready for 2016’s #NaNoDiNo’s (yes it takes that long…!)

As you can see from the picture above, we drew many, many dinosaurs and that’s not even all of them. Our imaginations were stretched as to how we could draw each one differently to the last and there is some pretty strange looking ones in the mix!

Now, we love a good statistic here at Novlr but this one blew our minds. Throughout NaNoWriMo 2015, Novlr users wrote 60,755,096 words! Thats an average of 2,025,169 words written each day, 84,382 words written every hour and 1,406 words written a minute!! We loved hearing how you were getting on each day through Twitter and Facebook and as it says in the picture below – it’s only the beginning.

CVGTQ6TWwAApP4U

So to everyone who took part in NaNowrimo – we want to say a huge congratulations. Anyone that takes on writing a novel is incredible, let alone trying to do it in 30 days. Now it’s time to sit back with a cup of strong coffee and edit that bad boy – Good Luck!

Release blog: 0.2.0 (Redesign, multiple novels, user statistics and more)

Boy have we been hard at work! The last couple of months has seen myself and our superstar developer Mark Muhleder working flat out to bring you the second major release of Novlr since being in beta. To give you an idea of the scale of the change, the version of Novlr before this release had 700 commits (changes to the code) and Novlr-0.2.0 has 1,267! That is a lot of work.

Summary of changes: We have redesigned the whole settings screen, including a hint at what is to come in the next few months. We have added your most-requested feature of all time – multiple novels. You can now write as many as you like, you prolific bunch. We have added some statistics that shed a bit of insight on how, when and how much you write. And we’ve added much more besides.

All changes are outlined below. As always, if you want more details, technical or otherwise, about any of these features, I’d love to talk to you about them, kim@novlr.org.

Novlr release 0.2.0

Major changes

  • Multiple novels
  • New statistics of every word you write in Novlr*
  • User settings full redesign
  • New notifications system
  • Versioning in case of need to restore – we save a version of your work with each change so if anything goes wrong we can track back through all your changes and rectify it**

* “Words written this year” and “time spent writing in Novlr” for existing users counted only from 1st July 2015.
** Currently this is for admins to help rectify issues but once more robust we will move it into the app so that each writer can track every single change they ever make. Exciting!

Minor

  • Now allow signup with postfix emails (a “+”)
  • Now allow signup with emails with capital letters
  • Checks for newer versions of Novlr and prompts to update
  • Prepared payment system for release in October
  • Improvements to dealing with offline conflicts arising from using multiple devices
  • Added an email verification step to secure your account further
  • Hitting Alt+C will open and close the chapter list in chrome (for all other browser and OS, see which access key +C is required)

Bug fixes

  • Chapter title not updating in status bar when changed until refresh – fixed
  • Scrolling to the top when using bold/italic etc.

With massive thanks to…

Novlr is a handful of passionate people trying to build you the best writing tool out there and we could not do it without funding! These Lifetime Heroes have paid $100 to have Novlr free forever in order to help fund this crucial build stage. We can’t shower enough praise onto them. The people who helped fund release 0.2.0 are:

Andrew Hodges · Wendy Matheson · Nicola White · Catherine Emmett · Jim Moran · Katarina Takahashi