shout outs


Written on Monday, October 20, 2008 by haleigh

Today, the pirates were discussing all the people that make us who we are as writers - teachers and critique partners and community groups and the romance community in general. And as I was thinking through all the people I need to thank in my journey so far (there are a lot! And I'm sure many many more to come), I realized I left one item off the list.

Not to be a corporate whore or anything, but I have to give a shout-out to the writing software I use, because otherwise, I'd still be a disorganized mess of scenes and chapters and notes and character sketches. As a non-linear writer, organization is a must, and this little baby keeps me organized.

For anyone unfamiliar with the deity that is Power Writer, here are a couple screen shots of what it looks like.

The center portion - the word processor - has the same functions as Word. It doesn't have every feature, but it's got the important ones (like formatting options and copy/paste and a thesaurus most importantly, spell check)

To the left you have your outline. In my opinion, the outline feature alone is worth the price of the software (which, by the way, is right around a hundred bucks). The outline to the left sorts your novel by scene, chapter, and act (yes, this was originally developed for screenplays - I use the acts to separate beginning, middle and end, so I can collapse the outline for whatever section I'm not working on).

Now here's the really hand-dandy part about the outline. Ready? You can drag and drop!!!!!!! (all the exclamation points are the equivalent of me doing a cheerleader squeal over this feature) Select a scene title, and drag and drop it into a new chapter! Wanna re-arrange your chapters? Drag and drop! Move act 3 to the beginning? No problem! This is where being a non-linear writer works - I can rearrange anything!

The scenes are also automatically separated and labeled in the document itself, but the scene titles will be removed when you export the document as an RTF to send it to agents and editors.

Also, you can label your scene titles in the outline - I mark them in pink for heroine's pov, blue for hero's, gray for villain's, etc. You can also put a little icon beside - I use a checkmark for when I'm finished, and exclamation point if I need to come back to something, etc.

And the final feature is the bar across the bottom. This is where you can store notes, character sketches, etc. They have a section for each character allowing for tons of info (along with a name generator), notes for each scene, each chapter, each act, and a general section for research.

Also, you can embed notes in the text - highlight a portion of text, attach a note to it, and later when you scroll over with the mouse, your note pops up in a little box. Freakin genius, man!

So anyway, that's my rambling shoutout to Power Writer. If you're looking for reasonably priced writing software, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I did have some snags switching from XP to Vista with it, but their support staff is great. And hey, Christmas is coming up, and you just know your mother-in-law is dying to splurge on something useful this year, right?

Thanks, Jessie, for reminding me I haven't posted in a while - hopefully soon I'll come up with something actually writing related to talk about! But in the meantime, hey, I've been productive (two more chapters revised!) so at least I'm keeping up on something!

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to our feed


  1. Jessica |

    Hey, this is so cool. I've heard of writing stuff but didn't realize all the stuff you can do with it. Since I'm a pantser, I tend to forget sometimes what I've written (LOL) Maybe not because I'm a pantser, just my personality. Anyways, very neat.


  2. terrio |

    It's a terrible confession but I bought the WriteWayPro more than a year ago and I've never used it. I'm sure it would make my life much easier. But I never take the time to figure out how it works. Maybe someday when I have free time *cough*never*cough* I'll try to work with it.

    This program looks incredible. I'd love to have all of my scenes right there and labeled and even color coded for POV! Amazing!

  3. haleigh |

    Jessie - I forget half the stuff I write too! And I'm a plotter. So it's not just you :)

    Terri - that's what I loved about this program. The majority of it is so much like Word there's nothing to learn. Otherwise, I'd have it sitting on a shelf, waiting for me to get more spare time too. And the labeling and coding of scenes is definitely my favorite feature!

  4. Christie |

    Interesting. Maybe this would help when I'm ready to write up a synopsis with just having it already outline in program. Hm. I might have to ask for this for Christmas. Thanks babe!

  5. haleigh |

    I think it's make a great Christmas present Christie ;) Excellent plan!


Post a Comment