Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Free Fiction Writing Software Tool.

I heard about some new tools and so I recently had time to check it out. This is called yWriter5 and it is a free download. It is user friendly and is an excellent tool for outlining your novel and keeping track of details. It will work to help you with a synopsis and also to keep track of character descriptions, locations, POV, and so much more.

Automatic chapter Features:
Organise your novel using a 'project'.
Add chapters to the project.
Add scenes, characters, items and locations.
Display the word count for every file in the project, along with a total.Saves a log file every day, showing words per file and the total. (Tracks your progress)
Saves automatic backups at user-specified intervals.
Allows multiple scenes within chapters
Viewpoint character, goal, conflict and outcome fields for each scene.
Multiple characters per scene.
Storyboard view, a visual layout of your work.
Re-order scenes within chapters.
Drag and drop of chapters, scenes, characters, items and locations.
Automatic chapter renumbering.

When you visit the website, you can see a demonstration that makes it very clean what this tool can do for you. Check it out.



Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds neat. I'm heading over to take a look.

Bruce said...

I've evaluated about 10 different writing tools for Windows, and yWriter5 is one of the best tools available (free or commercial). There's a commercial tool called Scrivener which looks ideal, but it's only available for the Mac platform. Of course, I think yWriter5 is one of the best because it does what I want. Others may feel differently depending on what they want to do. But yWriter5 seems to be one of the most flexible. Plus the fellow who programmed it is a writer!

Karen Lange said...

Thank you for the link:)

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Hi Sheila and Karen and Bruce. Thanks for dropping the note, and Bruce, thanks so much for letting us know it's a good tool. It looked like it to me. I try to do all these things on my own, and this looks much easier.


MJ said...

I would caution people about yWriter. I liked its simplicity and used it for my last WIP, but about halfway through it wouldn't save something. I pressed save, but then it didn't show up. I looked for a restore feature or recover feature, but it doesn't have one. It was just gone, even though I had done everything right. So that scared me enough I was exporting all of my stuff out of there. But then chapter 12 wouldn't export. And for some odd reason, I couldn't even copy and paste it out. It was like it froze up on me. So I had to retype one from memory and one I had to type out from looking off screen.

Loved the idea, but free is what you pay for, I could have complained, maybe even made a suggestion for a bug fix, but the hours that took me to fix was nuts. I'm pretty tech savvy, but this was some kind of internal glitch on 2 random chapters of mine.

And if you do decide to use it, when you export, you have to change the quotes to smart quotes, at least for Office 2007.

MiketheBook said...

Thanks Gail. I'm also going to check it out. I also tested many Windows writing tools and seeing Scrivener on a friend's Mac decided to make the move to Mac. I've not regretted it. If Scrivener is not your thing there are a number of other Mac writing software packages that are, in general, better than Windows alternatives. Scrivener's creator actually has a good website (www.literatureandlatte.com/links.html) on which he reviews a number of packages for both Mac and Windows. But many people love Scrivener and it has the most beautiful full-screen mode for distraction-free writing. Mac is more geared to the artist/writer than Windows and there is much more software geared to writing. I have a thesaurus and grammar & spell-checkers. Add to all that, Mac is so much more stable, virus-free and user friendly. You can also run Windows applications on a Mac through a variety of methods but not vice versa. I have Cliche Cleaner and Editor on mine. It was worth the move even without Scrivener. Sorry Gail, but I'm a bit of an Evangelist for Scrivener!!

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Lots of mixed opinions on the yWriter5 - so read them all. Bruce loved it and MJ had problems. One thing I would never do is write my novel on the software. I would continue to use WordPerfect which I prefer and then I send it to my publishers in RTF so they can open it without a problem. I do line edits and copy edits on Word Tracking though. I would mainly use yWriter5 for keeping notes and developing my character sketches, etc. I think it would be very helpful in that way.

One thing I also learned is when things stop working right, reboot the computer and sometimes empty the cache. That makes all the difference.


Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Mike - Glad you found something that works well for you. I'm on a PC. Many of my friends of turned into Mac users. That may happen one day but now for a while. I hate learning new systems.


Carla Gade said...

Thank you, Gail. I've been looking for some software to help me get organized and hadn't seen this one.

MiketheBook said...

Before I moved to a Mac, I used PageFour. While your checking out yWriter5 I do recommend you look at it. Very nice program.