Saffron's Space

Get that Pesky Plot Back in Line – yWriter

I’m an author that has always loved big sheets of paper and colored pens; where you can draw the path of a character as she makes her way along the peril-lined path. The visualization appealed to my creative side and I found it easier to see where my story was going. Well now this process has gone digital.

yWriter is a simple, FREE, program that is perfect for all story boarders, whether for movies or novels. The interface is easy to understand and can be picked up in just a few short hours. yWriter has a range of features which makes story-boarding easy and will help you mold that plot back into something that makes sense.yWriter5


Don’t get me wrong though, yWriter does not provide the same word-processing features as Word or OpenOffice but it’s got pretty much everything you need. I know many people use yWriter almost solely in the production of their novels, taking it into other programs only at the very end for formatting. Personally I use yWriter as a notebook, it keeps track of all of my ideas as well as characters and places and those magical items which always seem to go missing!
yWriter has many subcategories and organizational layouts so that you can pick and choose what you want to use as well as a big-picture display. You can create character bio’s and even add pictures to the description should you desire. These bio’s have room for alternate names, a description, a history and personal goals.
As with characters the program allows you to add places, along with descriptions and images. This may not mean much if your story is set in the one location but for those novels that cover extensive vistas where the hero treks across the entire country it can definitely come in handy.
Similarly, the program allows you to add descriptions and images of ‘special objects’ which is great for those fantasy authors… my precious…
As well as these great features to keep your characters and locations in order yWriter allows you to split your story up into chapters and then further divide these into scenes. In this regard the program allows you to take control. Perhaps you’d rather not plan out your chapters but just write from your head- that’s fine although story-boarding software won’t be much help to you! For others, who like to plan each scene down to its finest detail, yWriter is the program for you. Ywriter allows you to allocate a ‘point of view’ character for each scene, a location and a scene description. You can also add broad chapter descriptions and give values to each scene in terms of its role in story/character progression.
The story board display shows you the scenes, laid out according to point of view and from here you can rearrange scenes with ease. yWriter can also provide stats on how much of your book is taken up with a particular character’s point of view and how many words you’ve achieved for that day.
yWriter is a simple program (as you’d expect for free) but it has everything you could want from a story boarding application. I would recommend this program to any author looking for a little help with organization, what have you got to lose?

Check it out for yourself here.

Get a FREE copy of the prologue of The Fallen Star from best selling author Saffron Bryant by clicking on the cover image in the top left hand side of this page.

Has anyone else used this software? What did you think?

2 Comments so far

  1.    Jason Andrew Bond on November 15, 2013 11:16 pm      Reply

    This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing. As we discussed on Twitter, I write like Cookie Monster eats, so I’m definitely going to have to give this a try. Maybe it will help me hone my production? We’ll see…

    •    saffron on November 15, 2013 11:25 pm      Reply

      Hey Jason,

      I’m glad you found it interesting. It’s been great software for me and it’s free so you can’t really go wrong. Doesn’t take much to learn to use it either 🙂
      I hope it helps you out!

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