This page will give you a brief overview of Novel in 30. The app was designed to easy to use, but if you're unsure of how to do something, look for a button like this: info button. Tapping that button will bring up the help for the current screen. If you get really stuck, you can always send us an email at novelin30@gmail.com and we'll help you out.

Setting up your project

When the app first launches, you'll be shown the project setup screen. This screen allows you to give your project a working title, and lets you set your word count goal for the project. Finally, you will be able to set how many days the project will last for. Choose wisely, because once the project is started, the settings are locked. The app won't allow you to cheat by giving yourself more time later on.

Novel in 30 project setup screen

Once you tap on the Start my novel! button, the challenge is on!

The dashboard

Novel in 30 project dashboard

The dashboard provides a heads-up display for your writing project. All the essential information is available at a glance. You can see what day of the project you're on and how many days you have left. You can also see your total word count, and how many words you've written so far today. Finally, the dashboard will tell you if you are on pace to hit your final word count goal, and will let you know exactly what word count pace you'll need to maintain to achieve your goal.

The dashboard serves two purposes. First, it will show you how you've performed relative to the necessary pace on previous days. If a day is green, then you were ahead of pace for that day. If a day is red, then you fell short of your pace that day.

Tapping on a day will bring you to the writing for that day. Note that you cannot tap on days in the future.

Writing

Novel in 30 writing environment

When you're actually writing, the dashboard will automatically get out of your way and you'll be left with only your words. The writing environment is purposefully distraction-free

Novel in 30 features an enhanced on-screen keyboard. We've brought some commonly-used keys right to the main keyboard, instead of leaving them buried on secondary keyboards. This will let you maintain your flow and get the words out even faster. Novel in 30 also fully supports external keyboard, and using one will allow you to use the entire screen for writing.

If you'd like to change the writing font or font size, tap on the "Aa" button in the top right corner.

Your writing is saved automatically, so you don't have to worry about hitting Ctrl-S every other word.

Hitting your milestones

Novel in 30 writing achievements screen

Writing a novel is hard work. It's a marathon - not a sprint. Novel in 30 recognizes this and so it will congratulate you when you hit certain milestones within your project. Even better - it will let you share your accomplishments with your friends on Facebook, so that you can receive accolades and virtual high-fives from them as well.

Backing up or resetting your project

Easy backups

Your work is precious, so Novel in 30 allows you to back your work up several different ways:

  • Every time you sync with iTunes, your entire project will be backed up to your computer. Using the document sharing feature of iTunes lets you export your project from iTunes to anywhere on your computer.
  • You also have the option of emailing backups to yourself. You can choose to back up a single day or your entire novel. Your backup will be stored as a plain text file attachment to the email.
  • If you've got a Dropbox account, then you can back your project up to your Dropbox with a single tap. This can be done from the project settings screen (shown below). If you don't yet have a free Dropbox account, then you can create one.

All project files are saved as plain text files, making them usable by any word processing or desktop publishing application.

Novel in 30 project settings screen

Starting fresh

When you're ready to start a new project, you can reset your project from the settings screen (accessible by tapping on the button with the gears). Resetting your project will delete all the current project files, so you should back up any project files that you wish to keep before doing so.