15 Sep

You've thought of an idea for a story, but how do you put it all together? Today I'll be talking about different helpful programs you can use to solidify your manuscript and keep your notes in order.

SCRIVENER-      For about $50, you can own this useful writing program which replaces Word by meeting the author's needs. It sets goals and targets, such as daily word count, and monthly deadlines, and can be used for scriptwriting as well.  Scrivener uses templates for term papers, dissertations, and essays.  It helps you research a topic, organizes that research into files, and uses a cork board for story building. It also has a special feature that adjusts for formatting for self-publishing needs.

AMAZON STORYBUILDER AND STORY WRITER- Amazon is similar to Scrivener, as it uses a corkboard and a text box for each chapter. It is a free program, and fairly simple to use.  Storywriter is a scriptwriting program that sets up a page exactly the same way it would look as a script, including dialogue, scene breaks,  and act structure.

GOOGLE DOCS-A stripped down version of  Word you can only use online. It is a free writing program that saves all your files online, avoiding the nasty habit of not saving your work.

GRAMMARLY- A  $30 a month editing program that corrects grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word usage. A useful program for a self-published author who has limited editing sources.                                                                                                                                                                                Which ones do I prefer? I'm partial to Grammarly and use Amazon story builder for my cork board.  They are both simple to use and can be accessed anywhere that has internet.  It might be helpful to mention that you should use whatever best suits your needs; if you like to keep a large database for your characters; their history, family backgrounds, and the such, even a program like Excel or Access could be useful. I mostly use Excel to track my sales, expenses, and upcoming shows, but it can just as easily be used as a database of characters.

The above programs are just a few useful products for writers, but they aren't the only ones. There are several good programs for organizing your story out there, so make sure you do your homework to make sure they are legitimate and not some site trying to scam you.

In my next post, I'll be talking about the next step: should you or shouldn't you hire an editor, and what type of qualifications should they have.


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