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Jobs, Hints, Tips, Tricks and Anecdotes for Editors

Archived Issue # 01, May 6
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yWriter 5: Focus on Your Muse

Written by Frank

If you've ever worked on a novel, you've probably run into the limitations the standard word processor has with fiction pieces. You need at least one file for character information (or even one file for each character). You have at least one file for locations and important items. And that's just background information! When it comes to writing the novel, how many files do you have? Just one for the whole thing? One for each chapter? Each scene? If more than one, you have to have a naming system, and don't even think about the hassles of moving a scene from one chapter to another. Then when it's time to put it all together, here comes carpal tunnel from the repeated cut-and-paste.

Enter yWriter. Written by an author frustrated with the above, the free yWriter download lets you listen to your muse instead of focusing on the "bookkeeping."

The best features include:

  • Easily reorganize/delete/insert scenes and chapters.
  • Track characters, locations, and items by scenes they appear in and, for characters, how many scenes are from their viewpoint.
  • Automatically draft a synopsis of the work based on scene and chapter descriptions.
  • Ongoing word counter (pause in typing, and yWriter updates the count).
  • Word usage stats (total words, unique words, and how often each word appears).
  • Track the number of words written today.
  • Highlight characters names (and listed nicknames) as they appear in the scenes.
  • Import an existing work into a yWriter project by following just a few formatting rules.
  • Export the finished product to multiple formats (HTML, RTF, NaNoWriMo obfuscated text, etc).
  • Share characters, locations, and items between yWriter projects. Great for series authors!

yWriter aims for the novel writer, but short story authors will benefit from it also. You can't beat the price, but yWriter beats all the pay novel editors I've seen.


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