Software Review: yWriter? Because I said so.

An ePublisher encouraged me to resubmit my Shadow Cat manuscript after making some revisions. So I’m trying out this new program called yWriter to look for holes in the storyline. So far I LOVE it. It’s a little clunky as far as the interface goes, but it’s highly functional in terms of what a writer might need. It has a place to keep character profiles, locations, notes, and many more. It works like a database. Think MS Access, but easier to use and tailored for writers with predefined fields.

As far as finding holes, I love the notes feature. It’s so hard to keep track of potential problems just in my head, because I forget so easily. I’ve inputted several chapters, and I’ve already found a few glitches I need to fix, which is awesome. Not awesome that I have glitches, but awesome I’ve found them. In my MS, not the software program…duh. I’m confusing myself.

Anyway, another nice feature is the rating system which is on a scale of 1-10. I haven’t used it too much, but will as I read through the chapters. The categories are predefined, but changeable. I changed one default from humor to romance, but left the rest the same (relevance, tension, and quality). The idea of quality is nice, because I know I get burnt out when editing. And like I said, I’m forgetful. Rating the quality of the writing before I leave it will act as a warning sign for me.

The information exports to an RTF file, which I’m not fond of, as I prefer the flexibility of DOC files. One way I’ve gotten around that is to continue to use Word for the formatting and then just copy/paste the scenes into the program. However, ywriter also has an import feature. I tried it out, and it works. Just need to be sure that the RTF file is properly formatted for the program. I tend to hop into things, so I didn’t try it out until I’d already inputted a significant amount, and didn’t want to screw up what I’d already done by an exporting glitch.

Well, it has plenty of features I didn’t mention. Check out their website and see if yWriter is right for you. Why? Because I said so.