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Advent Calendar of Christmas Books: My Plan by Imran Siddiq

This book qualifies as a Christmas book since it would be a perfect Christmas present. There’s still time to buy it and get it delivered in time for the big day. I’ve just ordered my copy.


Imran Siddiq is a young adult fiction author that I’ve been lucky enough to work with in the past. He always struck me as a very organised writer and person, and my hunch has proved correct. He’s come up with this very useful-looking weekly organiser. This is how Imran describes it:

Whether you’re a student, a writer, a creative genius, an employee in a business, or a manager – it’s easy to overlook important tasks or struggle to manage your workload. Use the ‘My Plan’ Weekly Organiser to jot down your key tasks, and then organise them for each day of the week. ‘My Plan’ provides an initial section to store notes and telephone numbers. Use the ‘To Do’ section to list items for the week that require your attention. Use the ‘Appointments’ section to keep track of your meetings/occasions. Use the ‘Brainstorm’ section to let rip with scribbles, notes, and anything else that comes to mind. The perfect place to brings visual stimulus to your ideas. The ‘Week’ page allows you to jot down tasks per day, and gives space to plan your day from 8am to 8pm. Also on that page is a project planning section for the week; list key tasks and which days of the week you’ll be planning them. Be in control of your tasks. Be in control of your day. Be in control. This is your plan.

I’ve been looking for an organiser like this for a long time and I know it will come in very, very useful in 2015 which is going to see me busier than ever, what with launching my The Book Farmer and Markey-My-Book! sites and services to go with my current editing and proofreading. Being an author himself, I’m sure Imran has designed something that will be a very helpful tool for all writers.

My Plan is available on all Amazon sites. Here’s the link to the one to get you started.


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LitLift – A Software Application For Novel Writers

I’ve just happened across this rather interesting software for writers. It’s called LitLift and its aim is to keep you organised as you create your masterpiece. It’s not a wordprocessing package, but a helpful tool to help you keep on top of the details of your creation. It was developed by Brad Marsh, a UX designer and developer who is also a writer. And he’s made LitLift available for free.

So how does it work? OK, first you create your account with your name and password. The main page comes up with tabs for Books, Characters, Settings, Items and Tools.

Books: you enter the title and a description of what it’s going to be about.

Characters: there are three tabs to start with – All Characters, Major Characters and Minor Characters. Highlight the category you want, and then click on the New Character box on the right. This brings you to a page where you enter the name, their status (major, minor etc) and a description. There’s a useful list of features to consider in your description eg  hobbies, education and so on. If you’re stuck, there’s a button that will generate a character for you! I was offered Wayne Hall, Cullen Ross and a couple of others. Rather useful, that.

Settings: you give a name and description of your setting.

Items: this is to help you keep track of who last had what – the murder weapon, the heiress’s poodle … it’s easy to lose tabs sometimes so this is a nice little feature.

Tools: this is the character generator I talked about earlier. There’s a note saying more features will be coming soon, but I’m not sure how recently that was put up.

I shall be certainly give LitLift a whirl with my next new fiction venture (starting imminently). I find I lose track of characters quite easily, and when it comes to naming them, I seem to have a fairly small pool of names that spring to mind. I end up with multiple Robs and Simons.

Thanks Brad – this is a well thought out and handy program.