This month, we're starting a series of helpful advice on writing and publishing. We don't claim to know everything about the business, we don't. But in our readings and experience working with authors, we've come to know a few significant things that might matter to you.

Photo credit: Scrivener (

Writing your fiction / non-fiction book is only half the battle.

In case you're having a bit of a writer's block (or don't know where to start at all), here's a list of nifty tools to get your creative juices and linguistic gymnastics flowing:

1. Use Trello to outline your book. Trello is an online tool that helps you organize a project and collaborate with other users–useful for everything from remodeling your kitchen to work projects to plotting your novel. Harness its cards and lists to plan out parts of your book. Keep everything in one place, and structure/re-plan in an ad-hoc fashion by moving cards around between lists.

2. Use Google Docs. Mediabistro writes that you can use 3 worksheets in a spreadsheet. One for “Characters and Motivation”, adding a row for each character and fields for their name, their primary motivation or desire in the story, their ultimate fate at the end of the story, and notes. The second sheet is “Character Arcs” and lists the events for each character that are important to their overall arc in the story. The third sheet is ‘Important Events.’”

3. Use Scrivener. Dubbed “the biggest advance in software since the word processor”, Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context.

4. Use Evernote. This note management application is a fantastic note management application that sports numerous access points, including the standard website, desktop applications for Mac and PC users, and even an iPhone-compatible application.

5. Connect with writers and readers at Red Room. Red Room is a social network for authors to maintain pages and readers to get better acquainted with those they know and those they may not know so well. It is packed with blogs, essays, videos, podcasts, events and more. It’s one of those places which, the deeper you delve, the more engaging it feels.


– Spotify and/or Pandora: Internet radio options for when you need music when you write.

– Twitter: For conversations and links from your peers.

– Pinterest: A giant inspiration board to map out and plot your scenes.

One last thing.

Has someone edited it? Make sure it's as good as you can make it before thinking of publishing your masterpiece.