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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Free Software for Aspiring Novelists

Free Software for Aspiring Novelists

Ever been tempted to write a novel?  If so, you'll probably have approached it in the same way that most aspiring novelists do.  Fire up your favourite word processor, then start throwing random words, scenes, plots, characters and one-liners into  a document.  And then you realise that you've ended up with an impenetrable mess, and should have used something other than a word processor.  But what?  An outliner?  Database?  Spreadsheet?

Actually, what you need is a program specifically aimed at novelists.  And there are lots of such products available.  They're a cross between a word processor and a database. You can still throw scenes, plots, characters etc into the app, but now there's a structure to your work so your data ends up in the right place.  Which means, when you have a couple of free hours to work on your book, you can get started quickly and easily.

Among the commercial products available are New Novelist ( and Writers Cafe (  There are also some excellent free programs available too.  My favourite is yWriter (, for which there's a useful intro on Youtube at

Another handy app is Storybook (  Alternatively, if you don't want anything so rigidly structured, have a look at the free version of Treepad (  It's not a specific novel-writing app, but more a personal information manager and structured text editor. 

Go there see Screen Shots and comments...


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