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Writing Software for Story Construction

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Greybeard, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Greybeard

    Greybeard Minstrel

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    I've seen advertisements for writing software which is intended for story construction. Some examples include Dramatic Pro, New Novelist, Contour and Movie Magic Screenwriter.

    Have you tried any of these? And are they helpful or harmful?
     
  2. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    The only one I've heard of is New Novelist, and that it has a loooot of bugs all the way through it - but I've never tried it myself. One would hope over the past year the bugs have been fixed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  3. Greybeard

    Greybeard Minstrel

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    I should have been clearer as to what I'm inquiring about. This software is intended to help an author construct a story step by step, offering suggestions along the way. It usually isn't used to write a manuscript. Instead, the finished product is generally an outline or synopsis which can be expanded into a manuscript in the word processor of your choosing.

    Perhaps the most widely used software in this category is Dramatica Pro. It is based on an original theory of story construction, and works with you to construct a story which follows its theory. Most software of this type guides you according to a template or model, such as the Hero's Journey. Dramatica Pro, like the others, also helps you to define your characters and their motivations.

    Some established authors, such as Tracy Hickman, use Dramatica Pro and find it to be worthwhile. I've been considering purchasing Contour, which is similar but simpler to use.
     
  4. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    I own a copy of Dramatica Pro, and have used it extensively over the years. I also have the Dramatica Theory book, on which the software is based.

    First of all, this software isn't for everyone. It is so complex that it drives some people nuts. I would never obey whatever it tells me slavishly. I treat the story suggestions that it gives me as just that - suggestions.

    What the software is good for is presenting me with possibilities which I would have otherwise never considered. It usually forces me to reconsider my story choices in new and creative ways, which has resulted in some fresh ideas. I find it to be just the thing when I want to think outside of my comfort zone.

    All things considered, I will likely continue using it in the future.
     
  5. daceymathers

    daceymathers New Member

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    I have used NewnovelistNewnovelist is a software program for the PC which helps people who want to write a novel complete their novel.NewNovelist novel writing software breaks down the process of writing a novel into manageable chunks.It uses a new, stunningly powerful Microsoft technology which brings a whole new experience to the aspiring novel writer.
     
  6. CicadaGrrl

    CicadaGrrl Troubadour

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    Screenwriter is helpful just because it formats what you write into typical screenplay format. It doesn't write the story for you, but it means you don't have to deal with the nitty gritty of spaces between dialogue, capping character names, etc. You just move through more quickly.

    I'll say again, and this is actually a teaching too, but as far as helping you outline and brainstorm, Inspiration is key. You can brainstorm and outline in a number of different formats. It is INCREDIBLY easy to use. Very intuitive. It takes about five minutes to learn. Your cluster maps can be turned into outlines and the other way around. It doesn't tell you what should go into a novel, but it sure makes it easier to see your novel. It is available on line for Mac or PC. If you have a student ID be sure to use it, because the price drops.
     
  7. samson smith

    samson smith New Member

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    Yes Greybeard, I have used the new novelist software. New novelist is the best writing software for story construction. I used this software to writing the stories. It is a very friendly writer tool and seems to understand our little foibles. It saves you the stress and organization of keeping together all those clippings, written notes and scraps of paper that you accumulate when you are germinating the idea for a book.:cool:
     
  8. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    Without being able to try before buying, I will either find, ahem, alternate means of acquiring software, *cough* or not bother. As the former has proved fruitless, this starving artist will do the latter. $50 is a bit much I think, $25 maybe.
     
  9. Kaellpae

    Kaellpae Inkling

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    I'll stick with outlining in Word. I don't think I would be able to figure out one of those programs.
     
  10. victoria stiles

    victoria stiles Acolyte

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    Loving this program as is. I'm using it. And since I think in a non-linear fashion having a tool that I can jump around in and add/subtract from any part. whenever I need. All views can be re-sized to fit to screen or to get a better overview. Storybook takes care of that by helping you keep all your data in order so your story will be more coherent, organized and easier to write.
     
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