It’s no secret Microsoft Word is mostly an absolute pain to use. Quite frankly, most word processors don’t make the cut. Novelists need to keep track of their notes, outlines, and organize everything accordingly. Word processors don’t have the tools to help.
So, ditch Microsoft Word and find a good piece of writing software. Yes, unfortunately, you’ll likely have to throw down a little cash to get the software but it’ll save you a ton of headaches.
I personally use Scrivener when I write my first draft. It has flashcards built in to keep track of my outline, a notes database to keep track of my characters, backstories, plots, and anything else I need to know. It has everything. Fair warning, it does have a learning curve but once you figure it out, you’ll never want to go back to Word again.
Of course, other writing software is out there and likely just as good if not better. Whatever you decide to use, I’ll wager it’s superior to Word and will meet your specific needs.
If you must use a word processor, I’d recommend making the switch to Google Drive. Everything is stored in the cloud so you won’t have to worry if your computer crashes (this happened to me a long time ago. I lost roughly half my manuscript).
I will make one caveat. I do use Microsoft Word when I’m moving into my final edits. It has solid grammar tools and if you’re planning to move your book into an eBook format, Word is more straightforward than Scrivener.
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But for first drafts, which is what NaNoWriMo is all about, then you want to use something like Scrivener.
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