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WriteItNow 4

WriteItNow 4

 

SUMMARY: An excellent Information Management Product. Very easy and intuitive to use. More info here: WriteItNow 4 WriteItNow 4


Detailed Review:

 

WriteItNow 4 novel writing software is an excellent product - I am very, very impressed with it. It provides so much, and at such a good price (only $59.95). It's very intuitive to use, and has all the elements you need to help you write your novel.

Developing Characters

One feature of WriteItNow 4 which I really liked was the way you develop your characters. All novel writing software gives you a section to describe your characters, and many of them offer a questionnaire to help you. But WriteItNow 4 goes further:

You create a page for them and put in their name and gender. You then click on the calendar and put in their date of birth, and it tells you how old each character is in the 'today' of the story. (The default 'today' is the genuine today, but you can set 'today's' date to any date you want, if it's a story set in the past.)

Then you go to the 'personality' tab and you're offered a drop-down menu of traits. Click on the one you want (you can add as many as you want, you just do it one at a time). That trait is added to your character's profile with a default score of 50 (indicating that your character has that trait in moderation). Click on the '50' and you're presented with a sliding scale from 0-100. Drag the bar to wherever you like to decide if they are moderately that trait, extremely that trait or very little that trait. Clever!

WriteItNow 4

When you register to buy it, you'll also get Add-Ons which allow you to design characters using any of the Enneagram, Myers-Briggs or Joseph Campbell's Archetypes.

WriteItNow 4

One further element is that when you create a character you have the option of describing their relationships: family relationships, personal relationships, and 'other' relationships. The 'other' relationships can include relationships to objects, for example a talisman. When you click on the Charts tab, as in the image below, it will show you a visual of the character's relationships, and this is very good for picturing these. One thing I didn't like was that if there's a three-way relationship then it duplicates the names. Let me explain. In the example below, Paul is husband to Helen, and fears Alex. If Alex and Helen have a relationship, e.g. brother/sister, then Helen will have a line out of her name to a new Alex icon, showing it's her brother. It can be confusing because it can look like there's two Alexes when there is only one. What you can do, however, is to drag the two Alex icons to be on top of one another, to rectify this.

WriteItNow4

Another thing I liked was that it gives you the facility to upload an image of your character. I find that images of characters are really helpful, and having the image to hand is a great idea.

WriteItNow 4

Developing Your Plot

You then begin to develop the plot of your story, using the chapter options. (Well, in practice you can do the plot and character in any order.) WriteItNow4 doesn't help you with the structure of the story, unlike The Marshall Plan or NewNovelist. I prefered this as it gave me more freedom; others may prefer the structure of the other packages. Having said that, The Hero's Journey is a very useful structure for stories, and you can simply apply that yourself to the software. So it's the best of all worlds - structure for those who like it, freedom for those who don't.

In the screenshot below, I allocated each chapter with one of the headings of the Hero's Journey, to show you how it would work.

WriteItNow 4

I especially like the option to further divide your chapter into scenes by using the 'scenes' tab at the top - this is very helpful.

WriteItNow 4

It's very easy also to re-order the sequence of chapters and scenes, as you choose, by clicking and dragging.

You can also see the chapters and scenes visually by using the Storyboard option:

WriteItNow4

You can re-order these too, in any way you want, by clicking and dragging. If you move a chapter its scenes move with it. But you can swap scenes around from chapter to chapter as you choose too.

WriteItNow 4

Events/Timeline

Another very valuable resource was the timeline. This is under 'Events' in the left hand menu list, and again you can display it visually. It really helps to keep track of complex events. You can also use the slider (circled in red below) to choose the scale of the timeline, from an hour to a thousand years.

WriteItNow 4

Other options include:

  • A prompt facility for if (when!) you get stuck. There is a default set of prompts, but you can add your own too.
  • Writing Targets - either by time or word count, to keep you focussed and on track.
  • Locations section - for you to describe your novel's locations.
  • Ideas and Notes sections - this seems a bit of duplication to me, unless I'm missing something, but it's good to have them.
  • References section - this seems to be more for non-fiction work.
  • Good tutorial section under the 'Help' menu. Athough the product is very intuitive and easy-to-use, and you can dig in without any training, the tutorials are very helpful. Note that the Web Tutorials section brings you to a screen which just gives tutorials on what's new on WriteItNow Version 4. You will need to click on the link bringing you to tutorials for WriteItNow Version 3 to learn about the options which are in both versions. Confusingly, some of the screenshots referring to Version 3 are out of date and not quite what you'll see in the real program. The manufacturers could do with updating those. But having said that, it's easy enough to figure out and does not detract from the usefulness of both the software itself and the tutorials.
  • There's even a section for you to keep track of your submissions. This is very useful as that can end up very confusing. And one nice thing - within that you can even keep track of your received payments! There's nothing like optimism.
  • Spell check facility
  • Thesaurus
  • Word count calculator
  • Readability index
  • Document formatting

So, overall I was very, very impressed with WriteItNow4, and I really do recommend that you check it out and download the demo version. The demo-version is full-use, you just cannot save your projects.

As I said, WriteItNow4 is one of the better value products at only $59.95. There isn't a money-back guarantee, but you can download a very comprehensive demo version so you know what you're buying before you commit (you just can't save your file on the demo version, and there are also some add-ons which aren't available).

You might like to check out yWriter5 also, which is a similar novel writing software product to this one. yWriter5 has the advantage of being free. I do think WriteItNow4 is a better product and worth the sixty bucks, but it would be worth your while checking them both out.

WriteItNow 4

Making The Most Of WriteItNow4

The aim of Making The Most Of WriteItNow4 is to help writers make effective, efficient use of WriteItNow 4. The book includes extensive help which describes each of the program's functions. This book doesn't duplicate this information. Instead it provides practical tips and help from a writer's perspective which describe how to use the software when writing a book.

The book is split into three main sections: "WriteItNow Essentials", "Create & Develop A Story" and "Exporting & Tips".New writers will find the first section particularly useful, especially the chapter describing essential tasks. Every writer knows that developing a story is hard and this is where the main part of the book concentrates. For example, Chapter 3 "Begin Your Story" has a very clear section helping writers get organized.The final section has tips, keyboard short-cuts and information on exporting.

 




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