googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: Composing your novel using yWriter

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Composing your novel using yWriter



Simon Haynes author of yWrite
Building your novel is tough, but not thinking about how it will be structured is a sure recipe for disaster. 

If you just plunge into writing, without thinking structure, characters, and scenes, you are sure to end up with a mish mash and waste a lot of time.

I’ve just dipped into a FREE program named yWriter which was written by Simon Haynes, a designer and programmer, and also an author. Here’s his website: http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html

What does yWriter do? It’s a word processor that breaks your novel into chapters and scenes, so that you can keep track of your novel as it progresses. That’s all it does: no plot suggestions, no critiques of your writing style – none of that.

But what it does is take a load off your shoulders by making your writing easier and more focused.

Here are some of its features, lifted from Simon Haynes’ website:
1 
  Organise your novel using a project.
Add chapters to the project.
Add scenes, characters, items and locations.
Display the word count for every file in the project, along with a total.
Saves a log file every day, showing words per file and the total. (Tracks your progress)
Saves automatic backups at user-specified intervals.
Allows multiple scenes within chapters
Viewpoint character, goal, conflict and outcome fields for each scene.
Multiple characters per scene.
Storyboard view, a visual layout of your work.
Re-order scenes within chapters.
Drag and drop of chapters, scenes, characters, items and locations.
Automatic chapter renumbering.

All of that, for nothing!

The program focuses on scenes.

Why?


Once more from Haynes’ website (my underlining):

“A scene is a pleasant chunk to work on - small and well-defined, you can slot them into your novel, dragging and dropping them from one chapter to another as you interleave strands from different viewpoint characters and work out the overall flow of your book. You can also mark a scene as 'unused' if you've written yourself into a dead end, which will keep it out of the word count and exports without deleting the content.

Of course, you can't just write a bunch of unrelated scenes. You need an overall design goal ... your plot. yWriter will generate a number of different reports from your scene and chapter summaries, from a brief scene list to a comprehensive synopsis. If you update the 'readiness' setting for each scene it will even generate a work schedule showing what you have to do to meet your deadline for the outline, first draft, first edit and second edit.

yWriter also allows you to add scenes with no content - just type a brief description and you can pretend you've written it. This is great for the parts you're not ready to write yet, or for when you get blocked. Skip over that part and come back later! Unfinished scenes, rough ideas ... it's so much harder to keep track of them when they're all pasted into one long word processing document.”

Here are two Youtube videos explaining how to use yWriter:


It’s worth looking at.

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