Novlr is My Mini Cheerleader
I wrote my first short story collection, Rutherford Manor, on Novlr. Some days, I wasn’t sure how to put one word in front of the other. What I needed was a gentle nudge of encouragement – with a sense of humour.
This April, I started Camp NaNoWriMo, and I realized how valuable Novlr can be to a project like that. Not only does it have the mobility of Google Docs and the versatility of Scrivener, one small feature, in particular, is my favourite: the word counter. Every writing program has a word counter, ranging from utilitarian to flashy. So why is Novlr’s different? For start, it has a sense of humour.
I wrote Rutherford Manor, and some short food fiction pieces for Binge.co.in, a food news website, on Novlr. Both projects had hard deadlines and firm word count expectations. The story collection especially was a dive into the unknown; it was my first contracted gig, my first published book, and my first time working in the horror genre. It was tough and stressful, and some days, I wasn’t sure how to put one word in front of the other, so to speak.
I started writing to get anything down, spinning out placeholders like, “description of mansion here” and “look up poisonous plants of Alberta.” A lot of “he said and then she said” type of dialogue happened in that rough first draft. And then a little notification would pop up. “You’ve reached 100 words,” it said. “Give yourself a mini high-five!” And then another quirky message would pop up at 500 words. Then 1,000. Each one was a nudge of gentle encouragement telling me I could do this. Even better, I could surprise myself. I could forget about the numbers and simply write because Novlr would tell me when I hit those milestones.
Novlr also kept track of how much I wrote over a day, not just what I did in each sprint. I could take advantage of those quick writing breaks during my work day and add them to the head-down, marathon writing I did evenings and weekends. The words added up, and soon, I had a complete manuscript. Novlr’s mini cheerleader seems to be an ingrained aspect of the program.
It has added several brilliant features since I finished Rutherford Manor. The proofreader colour codes improvements on passive voice, weak verbs, and readability. The goal tracker lets you set personalized daily or monthly writing goals, perfect for Camp NaNoWriMo. And the best one? Novlr has collaborated with author and poet Tim Clare to create an in-program workshop through Clare’s Couch to 80K Writing Bootcamp. For me, ten minutes of writing a day added up to over 17,000 words of concrete, visible effort.
Who could ask for a better cheerleader than that?
Jordhana Rempel is a Canadian writer and editor. Most recently, she has published a collection of horror stories, Rutherford Manor, and several non-fiction articles in New Trail magazine and UAlberta Business magazine.
If, like Jordhana, you have written, or are writing, something you’re proud of on Novlr, we’d love to hear about it.
We’re keen to share your stories with the rest of the community, so get in touch with our Author Support, Clare, using the blue chat bubble in the bottom right or email us at [email protected].