Being a writer is hard. It’s tough; it takes time; and you’ll feel like just giving up. But just like anything else, it can be made easier and less time-consuming with the right resources. Take writing a novel for example. It’s hard, and there are no shortcuts. But you can use writing software and word processors for writers to help you through the chaos.
What is Novel Writing Software?
Contrary to popular belief, most novel writing software is NOT going to write your story for you. Novel writing software is word processing software with added organizational functionality for writers. But it’s not going to prompt you with questions about plot, theme, and character traits. It’s going to help you organize your novel into manageable chunks.
Story development software, however, is novel writing software designed to provide some guidance in structuring a well-developed story. It’s still not going to take your answers and then spit out a perfectly written, perfectly plotted novel ready for publication. Each writer must still provide the ideas and creativity for their novel, but story development software will provide prompts intended to guide writer decisions regarding story plot, character development, theme, etc.
Why Use PowerWriter Novel Writing Software?
- Get and Stay Organized
- Develop a Well-Structured Plot
- Edit Your Manuscript
- Great Tutorials
- Who Uses Novel Writing Software?
New writers eager to tell their story will love love writing software like Power Writer, but writers at any stage can benefit from it. Again, the type of writing software you choose depends on the features and functions you need. For those who need a heavy organizational focus, novel writing software is better than word processing software such as MS Word or OpenOffice. Writers that need help with story and character development in addition to organizational features will want to consider story development software instead.
Main Components of PowerWriter: Novel Writing Software
PowerWriter by Write-Brain is appropriately named. It is a powerful creative writing software tool for writers. Power Writer combines word processing, novel writing (organizational), and story development functionality all in one. The only features that seem to be missing from Power Writer are a brainstorming feature, a dictionary, and a version for Mac users.
Power Writer has three main components:
- Outline View: Navigate within your story or book and move from chapter to chapter or any point within a chapter. Tree menu lets you organize your story chapters, scenes, and plot points in multiple ways. Drag and drop chunks of text using the tree menu, sections of text move automatically-no more copying and pasting!
- Composition Frame: Word processor component for writing the body of your story
- Story Tools: The story tools in the bottom pane of the screen is what it’s all about. With the story tools in Power Writer, you can create characters, assign traits, acts, access plot structure information, add research notes, and more. This section is the holding place for all the notes, research, and other materials you need to reference while writing your story.
The story writing guides are not quite as comprehensive as top story development software. But for those who have their story thought out, there is plenty of guidance to help you fill in the gaps. During each phase of your story process, PowerWriter prompts you with questions. If answered thoughtfully these will propel your story forward and keep your reader engaged.
PowerWriter also holds you accountable for your “must do” list, covering each act, plot point, etc. Through the use of these checklists, it ensures you cover everything you needed to occur in that scene or chapter before progressing to the next section.
Character development tools are very detailed and include a good amount of questions to help you to sketch out your characters and their role in the story. This includes general questions involving physical traits, assignment of roles and types, as well as more detailed questions regarding childhood and past events.
PowerWriter Review: Features for Writers:
- The “Must Accomplish” function in Power Writer prompts writers to complete vital details about the novel before moving on to writing the next phase.
- Use the search bar to get answers to specific questions
- The “What’s This?” feature transforms the cursor into a question mark for detailed explanations about the function and purpose of anything within the program.
- Hide other menu panes with a click, simplifying the screen for a distraction-free writing space
- Categorize plot points into six color-coded categories for an at-a-glance visualization of story elements.
- A “Notes Tool” helps to embed notes for distraction free reference. Notes can be tied to a specific section of your story or not and are quick and easy to find because they are searchable.
PowerWriter is just one of the many choices available to writers. WriteItNow, WriteWayPro, and Power Structure are three additional top-rated story development software programs. Budget conscious writers can consider something like StoryWeaver. Scriptwriters for film or theater need a little different focus and should explore programs like Contour (Mac, iOS), Montage, or Save the Cat: Version 3, or Celtx.
PowerWriter Review: Final Thoughts
PowerWriter’s price is $99.95 which is comparable to what you’d pay for MS Word for one year. The advantage is that PowerWriter has more features designed for writers than MS Word and it doesn’t have those recurring fees every year. If you’ve grown comfortable using a word processor, you’ll find the interface in PowerWriter familiar. With the great tutorials in Power Writer, the learning curve is smaller than software like Scrivener or even DramaticaPro. PowerWriter is well worth the price for those who want novel writing software with basic story development.