If you need to know, for example, about popular ladies clothing in Victorian France, there is no reason that information can't be found online or at the very least, web research can provide you with a comfortable foundation on which to build with more in depth library research.
Both tools will help you visualize your novel while you put it down on paper so you always know what comes next and how the pieces that you're writing will fit together.
The image we have of writers is often that of a lonely person, sitting in their attic or locked in a hotel room typing away until they go mad like Johnny Depp's character in "Secret Window".
Auto-saving as you type; offline writing; mutliple projects, readability scoring; customisable writing environment and even a funky dashboard to help you track your progress.
It can also be awfully disheartening if you post your work to your blog, check Google Analytics to see how many people are visiting, and find out that your readership consists of only four people—your two closest friends, your mom and someone named Spambot1.
If your story is very character heavy, keeping track of all the people in your novel, who they are, and how they interact will be vital to making sure the continuity isn't interrupted.
Klems August 19, Q: Is it a good idea to serialize an unpublished novel in a weekly blog? If writing is more of a personal hobby and not a vocation for you, then Blurb might be a good choice for printing your book up in a very beautiful and readable format that you can share with family and friends.
Manage Your Thoughts Contextual inline notes including to-do items, photos and videos to help you keep your thoughts where they belong - with the writing they apply to. For those who need a more distraction-free writing environment, check out the recently launched MyWritingNooka full-browser-screen writing application that is great for just getting your ideas down without worrying about formatting or anything else.
Here is a toolkit for using the web to write a book. Connect Writing can be a very solitary task.