Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Finally Found Some Wonderful Novel Writing Software I Like - yWriter - #TipsTuesdays 6

I suppose technically this could be for Writerly Wednesdays as well, but it's a tip, so I decided to put it here instead for Tips Tuesdays 6 :). I'm probably very late to the game, but I just discovered yWriter for Windows.

Finally Found Some Wonderful Novel Writing Software I Like

I have never found any novel assistance software I really liked ... until now. Either the software didn't do what I wanted it to, or it was difficult to figure out, or it simply didn't suit the way my brain works. Well yesterday that finally changed :).

I was searching for current novel writing software for a friend and up popped yWriter. It is totally FREE unless you choose to register it and give the developer some cash - the unregistered version has all the features of the registered version, registering just shows your support.
It is written by a computer programmer and designer (Simon Haynes - who is also a sci-fi author) which is probably why my brain likes it :).

I did run into a couple of bugs, for example, after I installed it, it would start, but none of the character, location or item adding screens would work until I rebooted. Also on the storyboard screen I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be able to move the scenes around, but I can and when I click on one the storyboard vanishes making it rather difficult to figure out where to put it :). However, these little problems are dwarfed by the wonderful things it does do.

Wittegen Press
$6.79 | £5.69
Amazon | Other
Mainly it can organise the mess my brain is when creating a novel! It's modular, with the scene as the lowest element.

It has just helped me organise my current WiP into chapters and scenes with ease. It allows me to see word counts and titles and makes putting everything in order so very, very easy.

The built in RTF editor is a bit basic, but it's good for making small tweaks and if you like editors with no frills, it would be perfect for you. It also saves scenes in incremental backups so you can't completely screw up and lose everything. However, I can't live without the features Word gives me, like auto-correct ;), and you can use that instead. It doesn't give you the backup then, but I can live with that.

There are manual backup facilities as well so you can backup an entire project anyway.

Organisation and the ability to use Word to do the typing - I am so there! :)

I especially like that you can set different scenes to different statuses - Outline, Draft, Ist Edit, 2nd Edit and Done. This means I can tell what I have to work on at a glance without putting - "need to finish" in the title or something like that.

It also exports to HTML and RTF and Plain Text and more and I simply recorded a macro in Word to convert the simple RTF into my usual Word Manuscipt format.

So far I love it for some many reasons:
Wittegen Press
$3.29 | £2.19
Amazon | Other
  • Easy to use
  • Very clear layout
  • So easy to rearrange scenes
  • Scene statuses
  • Outside editor use
  • Backups
  • Word counts
  • Word count logs of progress
  • Word count targets

Do you use any novel writing software? Would you recommend it? If not, what do you use instead? I have simply been using Word and Excel in the past.

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  1. I've never used writing software. I just use Word. I used to use Excel to keep a check on word counts, but I've recently stopped caring how long my novels/chapters are.

    1. I find the word counts really useful for motivation :) I've never found any writing software that didn't get in the way before and just used Word like you, but I really like how this one organises data. The fact that I just has the headache of restructuring part of one of my WiPs that yWriter would have made so much easier also helped :). I also like that you can have different sections for different versions of the books and just export to the different ones using presets. Useful for front and back matter for different sites.

  2. I've been using Scrivner for about a year, and I love it. It gives an automatic wordcount and an overall wordcount. Plus you can keep your research with your project, and copy it to the file.

    1. I tried Scrivner, but did not get on with it. Can't remember why at the mo, but I remember finding it most frustrating :). Glad you have one that suits you too. It's taken me so long to find one I had to let everyone know ::g::


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