Plan Ahead With The HiveWord Writing Tool

You guys know me…I sort of have a thing for writing tools. I love to find & share them with writers. One that I keep right in my toolbar is the Writer’s Knowledge Base, a search engine for writers. Yep, think Google for Writers. It’s awesome, and even better, customizable to your likes & remembers your searches!

So, I sort of kidnapped Mike Fleming, who is the brains behind WKB (with successful mystery author and Twitterific Guru, Elizabeth Craig). A software developer, Mike creates tools that make writing so much easier and he’s here to tell you about his newest website, Hiveword, so please read on!

‘Hoping’ For The Best

I live in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay. We have the Bay Bridge to quickly get us across the bay to the land of blue crabs and Ocean City. There’s talk of building another bridge over the bay to accommodate the expected traffic increase over the next decade.

Sounds good, right? The problem is that the public and newspapers are blasting Maryland’s civil engineers for their decision to save money by doing no design or impact planning of the bridge. They’re going to quickly pick a spot, dump off some materials, start building, and hope for the best.

Obviously, taxpayers are furious at the state’s waste of time and resources. But Justin Kidd of the State Highway Administration famously said “We’ll be as surprised as the public when the bridge is completed but this is a great way to allow the bridge builders to showcase their craft and create something wonderful. It’s going to be great.”

Luckily, the paragraphs above are a dream sequence. While it is true that Maryland is considering another span across the bay the state would not even begin to consider building a bridge by the seat of their pants. Time, money, rework, safety issues, and wasted materials would all factor in to make the project a disaster.  

 How about your novel?

Doing no planning at all is like the sheer hopefulness of the the fictional Mr. Kidd. You start your novel, go with the flow, write some scenes, and hope that in the end it all comes together in an artful, thrilling, satisfying whole.

Good luck with that.

Going with the flow will cost you time and money. It will cost you time because during the writing process you’ll have to conjure up the next scene when one is finished. Rework will kill you, too. You’ll have to go back and potentially do multiple drafts as you fix the mess you made in the first draft.

How can no planning cost you money? Because the time spent rewriting, rewriting, rewriting is time you could be spending writing another novel. The first one could be out the door making you money while you work on your next book. Do you want your current novel to be your life’s work or do you want to get it done?

So, the solution, of course, is to do some degree of planning up front. It’ll give you a road map or vision of where you want to end up so that you can get there as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Another benefit of planning is that you can make all of your decisions while changes are the least painful as they will ever be. Isn’t it easier to to make a wholesale change to a plotline described at a high-level in a spreadsheet versus making modifications to who knows how many scenes in a 100,000 word document? It’s much more effective and efficient to thrash at the beginning of your writing process rather than at the middle or end.

There are tons of ways to organize your novel ranging from note cards to full-blown novel organizers. I happen to offer a free online novel organizer called Hiveword that you can use today to start getting your novel under control.

Hiveword tracks scenes, characters, settings, plot lines, POV, etc., in a simple-to-use interface. Hiveword is purposefully built just for novel organization so it already speaks your language and is optimized for the task. Unlike a spreadsheet, for example, it makes sorting and filtering scenes super easy. Best of all it’s completely free.

It’s OK if Hiveword’s not for you. I understand. But you can use note cards, a spreadsheet, outline, or any of the other novel organizers to make the process of writing your novel less frustrating and more efficient. The important thing to remember is you still have the freedom to deviate from your outline if a better idea comes along. You don’t need to be a slave to the outline.

The next time you start a novel why not try to plan it first? I bet you’ll be happy you did rather than simply hoping for the best. How about you? Do you find planning more efficient or does the siren song of just type-type-type work better for you in the long run? (See what I did there? 😉 )

Mike Fleming is a software developer who runs two sites for writers. Hiveword is his online novel organizer and the Writer’s Knowledge Base (WKB) is a search engine for writers. The WKB now has personalized features for accessing the 18,000+ articles on writing as curated by Elizabeth Craig. Both Hiveword and the WKB are free and share a common login!

A lack of organization can sometimes mean the difference between starting a novel, and finishing one. If you’ve been looking for a way to keep everything in one place to keep you on track, I hope you’ll check out Hiveword. Nano is fast approaching, so this might be a great time to try it with a new project!  

Oh! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that WKB also has a newsletter, which features some of the most popular searches month to month, and a ton of other useful content for writers. I enjoy reading it, so check it out if you like! 🙂

 Okay Musers…do you know/use Writer’s Knowledge Base or Hiveword? If you could create the perfect Writer’s Tool, what would it be?


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing Resources. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Plan Ahead With The HiveWord Writing Tool

  1. Pingback: Technology and Writers - Hiveword Blog

  2. Hi Angela,
    Thanks for uncovering and sharing Mike’s program.
    I’ve just signed up.

  3. Yüz Germe says:

    Good efforts. All the best for approaching posts. I acquire bookmarked you. Able-bodied done. I apprehend and like this post. Thanks.
    Yüz Germe

  4. Woot! I am so glad that I’m able to act as matchmaker between writers and the awesomeness that is Mike’s tools!


  5. These are new to me. I’m anxious to give them a whirl.

  6. Denise Covey says:

    The Writers Knowledge Base is my go-to place for synopsis writing and pitches and any other need I have at the time. It is awesome. Now I’m going to try Hiveword. I’ve tried Scrivener and can’t make it work for me. Maybe this one will be simpler. And, yes, I’m planning my current novel for NaNo instead of pantsing it.

  7. Wow, both of these tools sound terrific. Thank you so much. (And they’re being offered for my very favorite price, too!)

  8. Jemi Fraser says:

    I’m just taking my first baby steps into the world of plotting and planning out a novel – sounds like a great tool! 🙂

  9. I’m awfully partial to my post-it note story board wall, but I’m open to new ideas, so I’ll be checking out Hiveword :).

  10. This is really useful! I’m terrible at planning :O

  11. LD Masterson says:

    Bookmarking this post to come back and look into. Thanks for the tip.

  12. THANK YOU. Both sights sound incredible!!! Definitely checking out NOW.

  13. Interesting! I’ll have to check out Hivewood. Thanks, as always, Angela!

  14. I know about Writer’s Knowledge Base, but forget to use it. : ( Hiveword sounds interesting. I’ll have to give it a looksie. Thanks for sharing about these tools.

  15. R. E. Hunter says:

    The WKB search looks like it could be a very useful tool. Thanks for providing it.

  16. Judy says:

    I put your Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine data base on my tool bar that way I am reminded to utilize the wonderful articles more. I am definitely checking out your writing software as soon as I post this. I have Scrivener but rarely use it mostly because I don’t take the time to learn the program better. Thanks for the awesome post.

  17. I didn’t know about both these sites, but Hiveword sounds super. I will definitely check it out.

  18. Bish Denham says:

    Thanks Angela. I’ll be checking these out!

  19. Natalie, Do check them out–WKB is basically a collection of all the #amwriting links on twitter. I know you aren’t on there yet, but trust me when I say this means a TON of great writing posts being collected and saved. Elizabeth works so hard on this!

    @Mike, thanks for stopping in. I am super passionate about making like easier for people so when I can point them toward something that might help, I do! 🙂

    @ Linda, I hope you enjoy these & thanks for stopping in!


  20. Linda says:

    Have never heard of Writer’s Knowledge and Hiveword. Thanks for sharing! Interesting post!

  21. Mike Fleming says:

    Thanks for hosting me, Angela. Also, thanks for being such an ardent supporter of our work!

  22. I don’t know about either of these sites, but I’m definitely going to check them out.

    I know what you mean about the cost of not being organized. That was the problem with my first book and it’s taken me ages of revisions to fix it all. Don’t want to do that again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.