Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Top 3 iOS 6 Writing Apps - A NaNoWriMo Special

With the recent release of the new iOS 7 update for Apple devices, I was outraged when I discovered that the list I had acquired online of varying iOS apps for NaNoWriMo preparation were mostly only available to those with iPod Touch Generation 5 or higher. I - a happy user of an iPod Touch Generation 4 - am completely horrified by the lack of accessibility to apps that are exclusive to iOS 7.
Not only does this annoy me for the simple fact that we're limited to certain, lesser-quality apps and iPod interface, but this will majorly effect the productivity of many writers this NaNoWriMo - myself included.
Sure, I have an Android phone that I could use to track down all of the latest Android writer's apps, but seriously? Come on! This is the 21st Century and I do not want to have to be limited by the devices I use simply because some hot-shot company wishes to get a bit more money. If there is no iOS 7 developed soon for iPod 4th Gen, I refuse to pay out hundreds of dollars just to have it no longer supported 4 years down the track!
Anyway, for the sake of anyone who feels anywhere near the amount of anger I feel toward Apple right now, here are the top 3 apps I have found that are free to use and useful for the purpose of NaNoWriMo 2014 (plus another time-keeping app). These - I hope - should be useful for anyone that has the issue of having an Apple device that will only support iOS 6 apps.

1. Story Start.

With the choice of 3 galleries of images to visually inspire your novels, this app is for those who find it difficult to decide on story ideas and enhance their writing through visual cues. In addition, you have an ability to discuss with others, comment on the images and share your stories. It's perfect for visual writers! And the best part is that it is free!

2. Name Dice.
Name Dice is the perfect app for anyone who finds it difficult to name characters - or needs a random name on the go without having to track down a baby name book or website. While Name Dice provides a simple interface - how can it get any easier than two dice and a simple tap of the screen? - Name Dice is a free sister app to Story Dice. Personally, I haven't bought Story Dice so I don't know what it's like. Yet if Name Dice and its great-quality name pickings are to go by, I would be willing to spare some expense in the fortnightly budget to give it a try. Name Dice is my go-to place now during the planning and development of new books.

3. My Writing.
My Writing is the go-to app for writing down all the places where your writing is available online. Being a self-published author, I find myself constantly losing track of everywhere that my books are available, but this app erases the need to destroy my brain trying to remember. Similar to Name Dice, My Writing has a very simple interface that includes three buttons: About (represented as ?), Add (represented as +) & Other (represented as *), My Writing is easy to use. About describes the app's usage while Add simply requires the name of your work and the link where it is available. The Other represented by an asterisk is a handy option to 'mass link' all the areas where your work is available from. Then simply select the work once saved onto the app and the in-app browser will open and you can visit the links without having to switch to a browser! This may not be as helpful in terms of NaNoWriMo, but the idea I've been using this app for is to compile all of my favourite inspirational links and writing articles in place of my writing links. Therefore I will be able to read all of my favourite articles and links on writing in one place!

Bonus App: Wunderlist
As far as I am aware, Wunderlist hails from German origins and is a to-do list planner. Not only is it great to keep on top of those pesky things that slip your mind, it is great to set times for writing and to keep on track with your NaNoWriMo quest. It's also great for studying! I pretty much live on this app day to day; it not only is great with its alarms and push reminders, but its facebook sign up means that I am able to use my Wunderlist reminders across my iPod touch, my mobile phone which runs Android and any other device that I download the app onto. This is the kind of app that everyone needs - especially those like me who have the most horrible memories and live on their iPods like there's no tomorrow!

There. I hope that these apps are useful for anyone who reads this. All four apps are available on iOS 7 devices, too, but they are all available on iOS 6 for anyone who refuses to spend hundreds on a newer version of their Apple devices. I've only ever bought two Apple devices - an iPod Nano 1st Generation and my current iPod Touch 4th Generation - and I refuse to buy another for the sake of 'newness'. I believe in using things until they no longer work and are unable to be fixed - and even then it is unwillingly! I still have my iPod Nano sitting in my room, in perfect condition aside from some minor scratches across the surface after I stupidly allowed a primary school girl to listen to it on the bus home from school three years ago. Never again.
On another note: NaNoWriMo 2014 has officially begun! For anyone who wants to join in on the quest to achieve 50,000+ words in 30 days, sign up at For those who already have and would like to buddy me up, click on this link. For fans of the Poseidon's Girls trilogy, you can also learn a little bit more about the final book on that link as I will be writing Tempest - the final book of the trilogy - as my NaNoWriMo novel.

How many words do you need to write each day?
1,667. That's the magic number my friends.
1,667 isn't that many when you write on a regular basis but it can be rather daunting. I would suggest that for those with an extra however much in their pockets, consider purchasing Scrivener (or wait until you win NaNoWriMo to make the most of their winner's offer). They offer for NaNoWriMo participants a free trial of their writing software that conveniently lasts long enough for you to complete your novel, verify your word count and win NaNoWriMo - then offer for you to buy it under a special, winners-only price. I did that last year and I loved the software. It's available for Windows and Mac and is honestly worth the money! Plus, it's perfect for keeping to your word count goals with their easy to use word counter that changes colour as you work toward your goal.

With this in mind, I wish everyone a happy NaNoWriMo 2014 and will hopefully see you all at the finish line, flashing the words 'NaNoWriMo Winner 2014!'

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