How to Use the Novelist App to Plan and Write Your Book


Among the many services that can help you write and publish a book, the Novelist application is the one to pay special attention to, thanks to its multiple useful features.

The novelist has a certain learning curve, so here are the basic steps you need to know to make writing your book easier.

1. Add and describe your new book

Novelist is free and available on the web, as well as on android and iOS, with all versions offering the same layout and tools. But we will focus on online service.

To start a new project, click on the Add a book on the web application and fill out the form that appears with a title and description. You can also choose between getting the standard novel template from Novelist or a blank template.

When ready, press to safeguard and your project will appear on your dashboard. Then you just need to click on it or select Edit from three dot menu to start working on it.

Keep in mind that the menu on the main page offers a few additional tools. You can:


  • Restore a novelist backup from your computer.
  • Extract a file from Google Drive or Apple iCloud.
  • Restart the Novelist Tutorial.
  • Access the web app from a mobile device.
  • Adjust your settings, which include app mode, language, and theme.

2. Add and Organize Your Book’s Plot

In the Novelist editor, you will automatically arrive on the Ground tab, where you can compile all the contents of your book.

You get cards for your themes, events, characters, locations, props, and additional information. Everyone has a Add an item icon, which lets you name and describe each item in your book.

Add as many items as you want. Then you can click Move to transfer them to other cards, Select Tags to choose or create labels and organize your book, or Divide to duplicate an item.

There is also the Filters tool, which allows you to view specific information from across your entire project, which comes in handy when the details of your book start to overwhelm you.

Finally, you also have the Categories button that gives you a quick breakdown of how many items each card contains.

Among free world-building apps for writers, Novelist stands tall, giving you an online and mobile space to really flesh out every aspect of your book.

3. Plan your scenes

The next tab to use on the Novelist app is titled To write. He asks you to stage the scenes in your book in as much detail as possible and write them down.

Start by clicking Add a scenefill in the title and synopsis of the item, then press to safeguard. Once the new scene is on your To write dashboard, select it to access more features.

In addition to changing its description, you can click To add and bring multiple elements into the scene, including text, images, and elements of your Ground maps.

On the scene dashboard, you will also find its status, which you can change from Do at First, amendedWhere Final projectas good as Do.

Back on your To write page, you can edit statuses, add items, duplicate scenes, and use filters. To delete a scene, enter it, open the three dot menuand choose Wipe off.

There are a lot of tools in this tab, but its basic function is to let you write productively. This is one of the best reasons to use creative writing apps like Novelist; their ability to stimulate your creativity and help you improve as a writer.

4. Plan the sections of your book

The next step in writing your book is laying out its sections, whether they are chapters or appendices. In Novelist, select the Arrange tab, which has just a Add a section icon. Click on it and give each of your sections a title and description.

Then, if you open the three dot menu on an individual section you will find some additional tools. You can edit section information, add subsections, define existing scenes or create new ones, and more.


5. Set goals and track your progress

The Novelist app not only helps you write, but it also helps you set goals and stay on track. The tab to use for this is Program.

Once inside, click anywhere around Total words and Remaining days to open the Define aims form. Here you can specify how many words you need to write on which date.

Click on to safeguard and the app is ready to track your progress, using the sections you’ve created and the text you’ve written in each. The app will even count the days until you enter the Watty Awards, for example, if that was the deadline you set.

If you select the Define aims icon, you can also see your progress in the form of a graph, as well as your streak of writing days. Overall, Novelist’s planning tool is particularly handy.

6. Preview your book

In any Novelist tab, you can use the eye button Insight icon to see a rough layout of your book, starting with a table of contents with hyperlinks to your sections and moving on to the chapters themselves and everything you’ve written so far.

If you make changes to the structure of the book, they will automatically appear on the preview, so you can quickly see how they affected the manuscript and decide what is needed to make your novel look great.

7. Create a backup of your book

The three points The icon on your main dashboard opens a menu and the first feature you need to know about is Backup; very important for creative writers.

Considering the amount of work involved in planning and writing a book, the app offers this precautionary measure that saves all your project information to your computer or cloud storage.

For your peace of mind, get into the habit of saving your book after each Novelist writing session to avoid losing your work in the event of a power outage or site crash.

8. Compile your book

When you’re ready to share your manuscript with the world, click Compile in the three dot menu. First, you need to fill in its metadata, such as genre, language, publisher, and ISBN.

Below Settings, you can change the name of your table of contents, which you can check on the preview page. In the Selection choose the sections you want to include in the book before pressing Compile.

Novelist offers three formats for your manuscript: EPUB, ODT and HTML. The best choice depends on how you want to use the file. Do you load it directly into downloadable EPUB readers or tweak it further with HTML attributes for more complex tasks?

9. Create a template from your novel

If you like the layout of your book, you can make it a template for future projects, so you won’t have to start from scratch.

All you have to do is click Create a model in the three dot menugive the new template a title, choose if you want to include all your current elements and subplots, then press to safeguard.

When you start a new book on Novelist, your custom template appears next to the app’s default options.

Explore other creative writing apps besides Novelist

Whether you use Novelist on the web or on your mobile device, you’ll quickly realize how valuable it is for authors. Getting to know each of its tools takes time, but you can put the app to good use when writing your book.

Luckily, Novelist isn’t the only great app for writers. Go out and discover more for every step of your creative journey.

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