First and foremost: Scrivener. I honestly don't think I could write a novel without it--or, at least, it would be far, far more difficult.
Scrivener is, essentially, a writing program that is built for novel writers. It took me awhile to get used to Scrivener, but here's what I use most:
- All documents in one location: I'm writing a new trilogy right now, and I plan on keeping all my eggs in one basket--or, rather, all drafts of all three novels in on Scrivener file. Everything is right there in one place. No more lost plot threads or confusing between drafts!
- Character, setting, and tech sheets: I'm also keeping track of the characters, setting, and technology I invent for the novel--mostly so that I don't forget what Easter eggs I put in, but also so I can easily reference articles linked to each one, so I can compile a website for fans, and so I can keep track of who knows who and how. It also helps me to keep track of what's real and what I invent, in terms of the setting and the tech.
- Revision mode: I just discovered this feature, and adore it! Basically, in Revision mode, everything that I write new in the document is in a different color that I set. It's like Track Changes in word, but it doesn't crash.
- Split screen: My editing tends to be rewriting, so I have one draft in one window, and the next draft in the other one. Then I can easily cut and paste the new document, rewrite, etc.
Another resource I've been loving is Reddit--specifically the /r/YAWriters subreddit. Reddit is basically a bit forum for people to go to in order to ask questions, get answers, discuss anything, and more.
I've used Reddit a lot for research--my novel takes place in an area that I'm somewhat familiar with, but I've needed to get some extra info on it. I also go there when I'm looking for an opinion on writing. It's basically a giant water cooler for all us writers who don't go out in the sun.
Look, I swear it's not all just killing time!
Okay, truth time: a lot of what I do on tumblr is waste time. BUT. This is a great way to quickly refill your well. If I'm feeling drained, I pop on tumblr for a bit, and usually, I've either laughed, found inspiration, or just let my brain rest enough to get back to work within an hour.