Writing Tools Review: True Novelist

We all love trawling the web for a good bit of software. Especially when we should actually be writing our novels instead. It’s a great way to feel productive and still actually get nothing done. I have looked into a number of writing/publishing applications over the last few years so I am going to review them here and hopefully help one or two people out with their choice of software.

Today I will be looking at True Novelist. I will put the link at the bottom of the page. I went in search of a Scrivener alternative, mostly because I became frustrated with not having my paid for Scrivener software with me when I as away from my PC or my lame laptop (No battery life). True Novelist is a very powerful, simple and elegant piece of online software. I have spent a few days and am trying to get my January Novel Writing Goals going.

My favorite thing about True Novelist is the stats page and the Daily Word count. You can go check out a dedicated stats page, which shows you your stats for the last few days. Or you can monitor your word count in a small panel at the bottom right of your main writing window. It also has a “Hide Tabs” option, which makes for the highly sought for clean/simple/distraction free writing space. There is a very simple tree on the left to organise your chapters, scenes, characters, research, or anything you want. The tree is flexible and icons and names can be changed at will. Here is a screenshot of my project.

screen shot 2019-01-09 at 5.51.28 am

Check out the Stats review page below. I really
Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 5.55.41 AM.png

I wrote my first novel in all sorts of ridiculous little notebooks and in so many different apps from Scrivener to LibreOffice. I wish I had used True Novelist. Check out the free online software: https://www.truenovelist.com

New cover special


NEW COVER! Ebook special $0.99.

I am super excited about the new Days Ago Diary cover. My wife and I made the original one but we decided it was a little dull for bookshelf and got some help making changes.
Since I am working on the paperback at the moment, it seemed a fitting time to change the cover. I am not too sure how long the paperback will take to come out on Amazon.com but I will post a link here ASAP.

Writer’s Life: Fighting Resistance

I always find myself starting off my journal entries with “I haven’t written in a while…” I really need to stop doing that. I also need to stop telling myself to write and just dang well write.

All writing advice from across all dimensions and timelines comes down to this: “WRITE!” I have been reading “The War of Art”, by Steven Pressfield. He talks about this idea that resistance is an active force that pushes against your desire to pursue whatever art it is that you are trying to get started on, continue with, or complete. The things that stop us from doing what we should be doing are often the things that we suddenly want to do during times we know we should be doing what we SHOULD be doing. I know that’s a lot of doings, but Pressfield even suggests that the stress that piles onto us because we are avoiding our calling has some seriously bad effects on us. Read it to see what I am talking about.

So what resistance am I facing right now. Well my wife just had a baby so we have a newborn in the house. I am tired, but not tired enough to play Minecraft for a couple hours in between nappy changes and feeds etc. Now I am not saying Minecraft is the Resistance but I think Pressfield would. Minecraft is one of my all time favourite games of the last five years. I cannot stop playing it and it never gets old. But is gaming getting in the way of my writing?

The answer has to be yes. Instead of creating I am consuming. I suppose I could argue that Minecraft is about creating whereas other games like Skyrim are more like stories that you consume with some degree of complicity. You help to make the story as you go along, however in the end you have given over a hundred hours over to chasing awesome dragons around and crafting epic dragon hide armour, but sadly have little to show for it in the end.

I am not suggesting stop gaming, for some people that may be necessary but for others maybe some strict prioritizing. We all need ways to relax but do we need to throw hours of potentially creative time to consuming. If I spent some of these hours on writing the sequel to “Days Ago Diary” or the Epic Fantasy that I am trying to get together then I am sure I’d have a bit more to show for my time.

But dang it. I really love Minecraft.


This week I set my book up on Amazon. Being a South African writer don’t ask me how I am going to get those royalties and yes, I have sold 4 copies. Thank you to someone in Canada who bought it. Someone in South Africa (one of my good mates) and two people in Japan. I celebrated with a bottle of champagne that was way more than the royalties I will earn for a while, but what the heck, having finished my book and published it is a dream come true and I am just going to enjoy it now and become more marketing orientated later.

Check out the link to my novel:
Days Ago Diary: The Diary of a Survivor

I’m a writer!

Six years ago I wanted to upgrade my writing life. I had been writing for years, but admittedly I had been using most of my time aspiring to write instead of actually writing – that is something most of us battle with I suppose. In my quest to write more I stumbled across a little website called Nanowrimo. It’s challenge was simple: write 50 000 words in a month and there you have it, a novel. It was one of the best months of my life. I have the first novel I ever wrote printed out and bound in a very generic looking cover and I used “esquire” in the author title just to be fancy. It’s silly I know, but it was the first time I ever really finished writing something I wanted to finish writing.

That was all six years ago. Then in 2012 I decided to try and use Nanowrimo as a time to complete something I had started as a daily writing exercise to keep myself sharp. I had a lot of extra time in my job as an English teacher in Asia and I started writing a daily entry about a young guy who was trapped in a house during a zombie outbreak. Yes, it reflected my time being cooped up in my rather dull job at the time and  it was an excellent outlet.

Long story short, four years later I have finally edited and published my Nanowrimo novel from 2012 online. Thanks to Smashwords I was able to put it up in eBook format relatively quickly after a few rounds of editing.

Now I am not saying it’s perfect, or a literary work worth much merit, but it is mine and I am very proud to have written it. I think it’s pretty entertaining and worth a read by anyone who would like a little adventure into a post apocalyptic zombie infested city.

If you want to try this out yourself check out Nanowrimo at: www.Nanowrimo.org
If you have a novel you want to try and publish check out: www.Smashwords.comAnd if you would like to check out a free sample of my eBook check out my Smashwords page and my Barnes&Noble page.