Writing Update and Dabble

I can’t believe it’s already November 17th. I should have 20-25k words finished on my NaNoWriMo challenge by now. I haven’t been as dedicated as I first envisioned I would be, sitting at only 8,834 words for Nov. But I do have 23,354 words for the entire novel, since I started in September.

My problem: continual editing. Each time a sit down to write, I read back over the previous day’s (or sometimes week’s) work and start editing. Yesterday, I rearranged entire sections before adding new material. Granted, I was adding a character’s story that occurred on the day before, and I think it fit better in the previous chapter. However, I am never going to get 50k words on paper (or into Word) if I edit as I go.

My other issue concerns plot lines and outlining. I don’t outline, not at a level that lends itself to smooth plot development, so I find it necessary to return to previous sections to maintain continuity.

I will say I found a product through NaNoWriMo that could be helpful, Dabble, with one flaw, that at least for me, makes it a deal breaker: no spell checker in the Mac version (it does appear to work in the web version, I have not used the Windows app).

Dabble was developed by Jacob Wright and was offered to NaNoWriMo participants with a 30-day trial (https://www.dabblewriter.com/). It is a document writing program that has a few cool features, like plot cards, character development, sections for scenes, and chapters. Dabble makes it easy to break your work up in to chunks that you can track, move around, make notes, and organize by event, character, scene, etc. But for me, not having spelling and grammar checking on the platform I use most makes it unworkable as an alternative to Word.

You’re probably thinking, you’re a writer, you shouldn’t need a spell checker, or, you can do that when editing. Let me tell you, it is so difficult to catch minor spelling errors when you know what you meant to say. Also, I wasn’t an English major in college (so I’m going to need lots of support when I try to publish my book!). Plus, I use the built-in thesaurus, a lot. – Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.

At any rate, if you are a writer and you like to organize your work on note cards, or separate sheets of paper, or move around scenes and chapters, give Dabble a try. For now, I have my character notes in it, and I’ll be waiting to see if they add spell-checking feature to the Mac OS version


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