Sunday, May 13, 2012

I'm loving this writing software

So, I downloaded a free writing software called ywriter5 and I LOVE it. Right now I'm using it for outlining in preparation to start actually writing on the 1st, but it's making everything soooo much easier. No more thousands of notebooks, with tons of scratch outs as I change my mind about things. The whole book is in one file and then everything else is in sub-files. So, I open up one file in the program and there it all is: my character sheets, that have actual charts for full name, nicknames, descriptions, everything; sheets for locations, that I can type up descriptions in; and the all-important scene sheets. And THOSE are some pretty nifty things, too. Drag and drop characters and locations onto the scene sheets, assign a viewpoint character, and pulling up the scene will tell me at a glance who is in it, where it is, and whose viewpoint I'm using. Then, there's a place to put a description of the scene, and the all-important actual writing section. So, as I'm writing, I'm never more than a click of the mouse away from all of the info I need to write my scenes. Great for someone like me who is lucky she remembers her OWN name half the time. But the best part is the storyboard. I haven't used it yet since I haven't actually started writing, but from my understanding all of the scenes show up on little things that look like index cards, and you can change the order around by simply dragging and dropping - and it automatically changes the order the scenes appear in the output. No more copy and paste of entire sections in order to reorder scenes! Yay! I find this feature especially useful because I don't really think in terms of chapters. I have NO idea how long a chapter is supposed to be. I just write scenes and figure the rest out from there. With this program I can write my scenes in whatever order they come to me, putting them in the section (what I'm using in place of chapters for my rough draft) where I think they belong, and then deal with getting it into chronological order before my first edit. Give the sections and scenes descriptive, intuitive titles and I'm off and running. And totally unrelated to my gushing about my new software, but a fun little comment on my "desciptive, intuitive titles": only in a book about a vampire can you have a section called "the mortal years"...This amuses me.

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