The tools used in the creative writing process differ as wildly as the authors; some perform best when using old school pen and paper, while others prefer top-notch text processors.
I, for one, used to put my words down in Microsoft Word, although I never quite thought it to be the ultimate tool for the job.
These days, where programs can be found for every thinkable task, a dedicated creative writing application ought to exist, whether for writing out a script for the local play, or your next novel.
When I went looking for these applications, several candidates popped up, but there’s only one that I still use today.
yWriter is one of those applications and perhaps the most fitted tool for the job if you aim to write a story. Besides throwing down the words, yWriter also assists in other creative writing necessities, such as keeping a close eye on basic plot – and character development, amongst others.
As you can view in the above screenshot, every Project is defined by several Chapters. These chapters are then divided into several Scenes.
Extra information can be added to both Chapters and Scenes, as notations, and some information is generated automatically, such as a basic character and location overview.
The application features a rich text editor to write down the scenes. Though it might not have the looks of say, Office 2007, it features all the tools needed and more.
The interface offers options for easy highlighting and annotating your text, and lets you define your scene more specifically by choosing characters and viewpoints, scene importance, location, pictures, and even time and duration.
Note that the character viewpoints are specified per scene.
Adding a character, and filling out the details is pretty easy. Extended as well, as they can be divided into major and minor characters, and provided with a biography, notes, goals and a picture or concept drawing.
In StoryBoard mode, you can view and arrange the different chapters and their meanings, to shine some light on the overall plot development and to keep a clear view of where you’re going.
The interface is pretty simple, and thus also somewhat limited. A short note can be assigned to each scene, which are arranged according to the different viewpoints. To quickly change your story outline, you can drag and drop these scenes, and hereby alter their order and viewpoint.
Note that these StoryBoards don’t take on the whole story, but only separate scenes.
Daily Word Count
There are several other tools integrated in yWriter, but the one I probably like most is Daily Word Count.
This nifty tool allows you to set yourself a word count objective, and a set date to reach it. Word Count Target will then keep an eye on the progress, showing you how much you’ve achieved at the moment, and what lies ahead still.
Do you see the little Update button in the screenshot above? If you aim to write say, 800 words each time, you can use that button to reset your word count.
I certainly hope this application will prove as useful to some of you as it did to me. Feel free to share your opinion on this program or possible alternatives in the comments below, and don’t be afraid to show off with what you’re writing!