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StoryBook

 

SUMMARY: A much inferior product to both WriteItNow4 and yWriter5. It is free (but so is yWriter5 if that's your absolute criterion), but the cost in time is too much. Their website: StoryBook Software for writers


Detailed Review:

StoryBook, like yWriter5, is a free novel writing software. Unlike yWriter5, however, the owners canvass very proactively for donations. Many of the blank sections (in which you'll write your story points, more of that below) have a request to donate in them, just to remind you. And remind you again. To be honest I found this annoying. A gentle reminder is one thing; but this was invasive.

Anyway, the product itself ...

It is an information management system, like yWriter5 and WriteItNow4. But it is clunkier than either of them, and not nearly as easy to navigate. In short, I think you'd be far better off going for either of those. But by all means read on for my detailed review.

You have three options for the screen, picked by a dropdown menu along the top. The visible option is 'Chronological View', which is shown here. The other two are 'Manage Chapters and Scenes' and 'Book View'.

You'll see on the left (I hope you can read it) that each row is labelled by date. You're given a calendar and can pick the date the story starts on. Each subsequent row is the following day, by default, but you can of course choose a different date if time has passed in your story.

One thing I did like about this novel writing software product was that you can have different strands indicated, and each one is given its own colour.

You'll see the 'Please donate' text in the bottom right hand corner.

 StoryBook Review

 

As with all the different novel writing software products, you fill in the details of your characters, and locations. You can access these options either from the on the right of the screen - shown to the right here. Or from the menu at the top of the screen - shown below, circled in blue.

(Also, to show you, I've circled in red another donation request.)

StoryBook Review

StoryBook Review

The 'Manage Chapters and Scenes' screen-view is below. You'll see that the scenes, which are shown in 'card' form above, are listed. They're shown as being unassigned as yet (you'll see their colour coded according to the strand). There's also the first chapter set up to receive information. But try as I might, I couldn't figure out how to assign the scenes to the various chapters. I'm sure there's a way; of course there is. But I couldn't find it, even with a reasonable amount of time. And this was a black mark for the software.

StoryBook Review

Below is the 'Edit Scene' screen. You'll see that it's coloured for Harry's colour. Note the (HW) after his name? This program allows you to provide a short way of recognising your characters, which seemed a bit silly to me. Why not just use the first name? Less to learn.

You'll see also that you can link this scene to other strands. I'm not entirely sure what benefit this gives you - I imagine that it's shown elsewhere how this works, but I couldn't find it.  

And you'll see (from the drop down menu) that you can allocate this as your outline, draft, 1st edit, 2nd edit or done.

StoryBook Review

The next image shows the characters and locations screen. You can link your characters to your locations, and again I don't really see the point of this.

StoryBook Review

 And below is the 'Manage Strands' screen. Again, I'm not entirely sure what to make of this.

StoryBook Review

 

One point I really did like is that it is available in many different languages. Despite that, in summary, this software doesn't seem to be the easiest to use, or the most intuitive, or the most useful. I would recommend instead either WriteItNow4 or yWriter5, for similar products which are much better.

Visit the StoryBook website here.


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