Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Downloaded free novel-writing software

After reading this Writer’s Digest article by Jenna Glatzer , I decided to download YWriter4, a free novel-writing software.

I’ve always written directly into my PC and/laptop, or longhand. I’ve considered using software for longer works, but like every old-school writer, I thought a novel written freehand would be richer.

I also wondered if today’s writers were a tad spoilt, wanting software to manage their works, when their old school counterparts wrote by longhand and typed up their manuscripts as many times as it took them to revise the story until it was exactly as they envisioned it.

Somehow it seemed lazy, even weird that I’d want to input data into a software programme, jiggle things a little bit, and voila, you have a novel!

OK. It’s not as ridiculous as that; you do actually have to write the novel, even if you use a software programme, but you get my point.

I haven’t had time to play with the software, so I can’t judge whether YWriter4 improves MY writing processes or not.

But I liked the bits of the software I tried out last night. Firstly, it was easy enough to start a project. There was practically no learning curve in navigating the programme, and it’s flexible, allowing me to jump from scene to location to creating a character at will, saving the info as I went along.

Firstly, I started a project – that is, the story that I have been thinking about writing for a while. I can’t talk about what it is for now, as it’s still crystallising in my mind and I don’t even know if it will even be worth submitting anywhere.

Then I input the data I had on some of the major characters. The software asked detailed questions, prompting me to think deeply about my protagonist’s looks, biography and goals. The software even asked for his picture.

Once I’ve developed all my main characters, I’m going to start outlining the locations, build up scenes and create chapters.

The tech writer in me is more comfortable filling the little slots of info, rather than trying to fill a page with words. I also like the fact that the owner/developer, who is also a novelist, has no plans to charge for the software at a future date. (It’s 100% free, not a trial)

So if you’ve always wanted to write a novel but were too intimidated by the blank screen, or the management of all the information pertaining to your novel, download YWriter4.


Janet Grace Riehl said...


This is an interesting conjunction of technical and creative writing! I like this idea.

Janet Riehl

Root Digger said...

I have been looking for a writing software program. I think I will try this one. Thank you for posting this information...This is how I found your blog.

Damaria Senne said...

Hi Yvette. Thanks for visiting storypot. I hope you do find the software useful. My co-blogger Pam recently published two posts on plotting a book. Check them out too to see if they help (see posts for 15 and 17 august 2011). And please feel free to ask us any questions that you may have to help you with your writing process.

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