As mentioned in my first post here, I first started on my upcoming debut novel about five years ago. At that time the idea of specific writing software was foreign to me, and I counted Microsoft Word as my only friend and enemy. The thing is I do not, and never have, written my stories in the linear fashion that Microsoft Word directs one to. I’ve always jumped around between the beginning, end, and middle of anything I’ve ever written. Even when I’d write papers in school, I’d jump around from place to place. It has always been a major part of my writing style, and eventually became a major stumbling block in me finishing anything.
So, after years of disenchantment with Word’s fancy fonts and endless layouts and reformatting, I almost gave up. That was until I did a search for writing software and found yWriter. Now I won’t say yWriter is perfect by any means, since it does have its own flaws to contend with. But, if you write anything like me, jumping from place to place in the plot of your story, it is a great tool to work with. Instead of writing one full length linear story, it allows you to write scenes. This in turn allows you to write with abandon, not worrying about where you will put everything until you are done. It also has a handy location and characters panel that allows you to keep track of who is who, what place is where, and what everything looks and feels like with description notes.
There are more features as well, like the audio feature that reads your story back to you, and the story board that gives you a brief overview of the storyline of your work in progress. But the feature that sold me the most, other than it’s hassle free, simplistic layout, is the fact that it is free. Yes free! And if you are an aspiring novelist, free can be a very good thing. Especially if you are on a tight budget like me. If you’re reading this and thinking, “well yeah I’d like to try that.” Here is a link to the free download on the ywriter website. You can also donate to the creator Simon Hayes, who continuously develops this great software, by registering your version of yWriter on the website.