In my continuing wrestling match / cliff dive / blind fighting with my next novel, Light of the Outsider, I’ve been procrastinating experimenting with different writing software that might help me keep my head on straight.
For Brave Men Run – A Novel of the Sovereign Era, I outlined in a custom spreadsheet template, which was okay for that book’s single point of view and very linear structure. “LOTO” is too complex for that.
I’m lucky enough to have received some full-version promotional copies of all the stuff Write Bros. puts out (Dramatica, StoryView, and so on) and gave ’em all a go. Dramatica was great for organizing my ideas, but then it wanted me to learn a whole new methodology for storytelling… um, no thanks, I can delay actually writing all on my own. StoryView could be a good outlining tool, but using it simply for that is like driving to work in a tank.
All I want is an outlining tool I can also write in. After a lengthy Google search and plenty of false starts with various demo versions, I found yWriter, from Spacejock Software. Basic outlining, scene breakdown, some basic character tools, storyboard view, able to print scenes as index cards, customizable story element tracking… and, hey, how about this: it’s free.
yWriter is one of several free applications offered by the brains behind Spacejock, Simon Haynes, who just happens to also be the one of the brains behind Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, the Australian science fiction magazine that’s been around since 2002. That gives yWriter a little added clout, if you ask me — a writing application written (and actively used by) an actual writer / editor.
So if you’re hunting around for a light (but not lightweight) tool to help organize your fiction, give it a go.
Did I mention it’s free?