I was reading my friend, Beverly Bateman’s, blog topic titled Writers Software Programs (Blogging with Beverly on Blog.spot) when I realized this topic was of interest to me and most likely other novelists too. I also began to wonder exactly how many programs I used when writing, plotting my novels, balancing the reading levels for my YA stories, etc. I feel the content would be of interest to writer, readers, and those who man be looking for a program help them make it through the rigors of an AP, university level, or an extension class.
My go-to program is Power Structure purchased via Write-Brain.com. Since I work in segments: Chapter 1 – 3, etc. rather than scene-by-scene or chapter-by-chapter, this program is adaptable to my thought process. I am able to work in three Acts, Chapters, Scenes, or any structure model of preference.
Conflict, Subplot, plot point. You can also change almost any term used in Power Structure to suit your personal preference. Long ago attended a class held at OCC using a writerâ€™s workbook written by Chris Vogler, a Hollywood screen writer, who uses Joseph Campbell’s “A Hero’s Journey” as a plotting bible. Since I have followed Joseph Campbell’s works and find the “A Hero’s Journey” the best way for me to write a story.
Beverly also mentioned Dramatica Pro. Pricey, yes. I believe for characterization, especially for detailed historical novels, or when writing a continuing series, this program was a good investment.
This program also allows you to work on levels for character development. If you so wish, you may print a StoryGuide at each stage of development. This program also has a number of templates to choose from, e.g., screenplay, novel, short story. Each comes with an appropriate number of archetypal characters already created, ensuring that each character has a clear dramatic function in the story.
A Plot Progression Window allows me to examine where to place a pivotal point. There is also a Spin-the-Model Brainstorming option. This helps when, heaven forbid, I have writer’s block–and much, much less painful than pounding my forehead on mt desk until my muse comes up with a plan.
On my iPad I have several program: My Writing (which I seldom open), A Novel Idea (where I have grains of thoughts/names of future novels) this takes the place of scribbles from my lip liner on discarded pieces of paper I’d find in the depths of my tote bag. I Do Notepad & I Do Notepad Pro that I will use but it have a devil of a time retrieving what I have saved.
The Journal app is good for free-flowing thought/plotting etc. and also for using as a writer’s journal. You can create labels, change the font and even add a background picture. This is where I many place the notes from my character interviews.
Of course, every writer has his or her personal method of developing a story.
If you have software programs that you cannot live without, please post a comment. Iâ€™d love to hear the details!