Writing a novel is never as simple as starting at the beginning and working your way through to the end. For most people, a novel is made up of separate elements – chapters or scenes – that are moved around, rewritten and finally stitched together to make a coherent whole. While tapping your story into a word processor is perfectly possible, keeping it organised can be a frustrating experience.
What you need is a program that offers you all the editing capabilities of a word processor, but is geared towards the process of writing stories – and that program is yWriter. It’s been written by a published author, designed around his experiences and needs, and has been honed into the ultimate writing tool.
yWriter has all the word-processing tools you need, but it’s structured in a completely different way to the average text editor. Your novel is broken down into chapters, and these chapters consist in turn of “scenes”, the smallest unit of composition used by yWriter. This allows individual scenes to be worked up in isolation to each other, then slotted into place, with the ability of moving them around if circumstances dictate.
The program also allows you to build a comprehensive collection of notes – general project notes, characters, locations and items. Each can be used to store specific information – for example, characters can have bios, goals, notes and a photo – which give you the tools you need to record all the nuances and details you’ll need to help you when transforming your novel from outline to reality.
It’s all very simple to set up – once your novel is complete and ordered as you like it, you can export the finished book in a number of formats for reading through and submitting to publishers. The program is written in Mono, making it a true cross-platform program – Mac and Linux users will need Mono 2.4 or later installed to use yWriter – detailed installation instructions are available for both platforms (Mac and Linux).