Using a (Galaxy Note 8) Tablet to Write a Novel


  1. Google Drive/Docs is another option for automatic syncing between devices. All you need is a web browser on your device.

    With Google Drive, however, I *strongly* recommend downloading and saving locally a copy of the latest version of your files. You just never know if your account access will get cut off, and the last thing you want is all of your hard work to be stuck in Google limbo.

    Organizing your Google Drive using Folders makes downloading simple: For example, I have a “Writing Projects” master folder under which I have sub-folders for individual projects, marketing collateral, etc. All I have to do is ‘Download’ the “Writing Projects” folder and I get a nice, neat .ZIP file with updated copies of everything else in it that I can own/store on a storage device that I physically control.

    1. Author

      I’m glad you’ve found a method that works for you!

      I like Google Drive as well, except for the whole offline bit.

      My problem is I’m often in a wifi-less (or data-less) zone, so I can’t even tether with my phone to get my documents. So I download ahead of time, do my updates, and once my device is back in wifi, it automatically updates via Dropbox to all my other devices.

  2. Stupid question maybe, but what program do you actually use to write? I’m thinking of getting this tablet but I’ve never written using a stylus before. Is it a slow process turning the handwritten text to type?

    1. Author

      Not a stupid question at all! This is a great question where I feel like taking video of my process might be useful.

      So I use WPS Office, formerly known as Kingsoft Office, because it is a free app that can read Microsoft Word documents. When you pull the stylus out from its handy dandy hiding spot, the tablet knows you have released the stylus and will pull up a yellow legal now pad view that takes up about half the screen. As you write, you can watch the words transcribe into typewritten text.

      Sometimes it misinterprets letters… I’ve realized if I want a lowercase “s” I need to write it in cursive, things like that. But I think they updated the algorithm recently, I feel like it doesn’t mess up as often.

      1. Great! Thanks. I’m going on tour soon with my job and was thinking of getting one of these. I have a novel to edit and I’d like to do a new one as well for NaNoWriMo and beyond.
        I was worried it wouldn’t actually be any good, but I think you’ve convinced me! :)

  3. Great article with loads of tips. Now I finally know why my cursor was jumping around, and how to stop that madness. Never realized the flexibility of Evernotes, either. I used it in a limited way in grad school. I’m still fuzzy on Dropbox, though. Will look it up now that I know something of its value. Again, many thanks!

    1. Author

      Glad this helped! Dropbox is a way to save files to “the cloud,” i.e. to a place that isn’t your computer hard drive. Like another commenter mentioned, you could also use Google Drive to do the same sort of thing, and it might be more convenient if you have a Google account already.

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