8 Things to Look for When Buying Novel Writing Software
A fiction writer doesn’t need novel writing software, but it can help in a number of big ways.
That is, if you can get used to using it.
For many of us writers we have spreadsheets and documents covering every aspect of our story.
Character development alone creates a whole slew of material. We create individual documents
for each character in the story, defining their character traits, background, and if not the lead,
their connection to the lead. If we have 20 characters, we have 20 documents and they’re all
located in the character file.
We have a document, or several documents for each element of writing the novel: the story
summary, the plot, subplot, beginnings, middles, and ends, timeline, settings, bits of dialogue –
if you’re a novelist, you know how the list goes on. And if you are crazy detailed like me, each
one of those elements has its own file.
The problem with this way of writing and organizing your story is that these files aren’t
connected to each other. We have to search through our files and documents to find the piece that
say, reminds us whether the lead’s confidante has blue eyes or green, or if an event you’ve
written into the story screws up the timeline.
What Can Novel Writing Software Do for the Writer?
There are several creative writing software brands on the market, and most of them do about the
same thing, some to a lesser extent than others, and some not as well as others. Novel writing
software allows novelists to develop elements of the story individually and then helps to bring it
all together into a finished manuscript. Some of the programs also offer scriptwriting features as
well as formatting for e-publication.
Several programs include questions about plots, characters, conflicts and settings that lead you
through the novel writing process and help you to organize ideas you have for the different
elements of your novel. Creative writing software is available in many forms – there is
everything from novel writing to poetry to screenplay writing available. But here, we are
focusing on novel writing software and what it can do for the novelist.
What writing software can’t do for you is write the story – that has to come from your
imagination. But by helping you with organizing the details and structure of the story, the
software might just help you to be more creative and spend more time on the actual writing of it.
What to Look for When Buying Novel Writing Software
Good Novel Writing Software has the following features:
1. An organizational tool; the best programs will be all-encompassing and contains templates for
building characters, setting, plots, subplots – all the aspects of writing a novel – all in one
2. Flexible plotting and outlining features to help you develop a storyline. The features should
be flexible enough that changes to the plot can be easily made by moving things around or
weaving in subplots and events.
3. Character development features that include templates for defining character traits. Some
programs even offer a name database for finding the perfect name for your characters.
4. Features and templates that help to structure scenes, settings, and conflicts.
5. A good word processor with a grammar and spelling checker imbedded in the software.
6. Easy to use and navigate so that a writer doesn’t have to spend weeks or months learning
how to use it.
7. Easy to install and set up.
8. Good instructions, documentation and sufficient, timely support/help from software
company’s customer service.
You can finish reading this article on our website about novel writing software.