I’m working on the last story for SHIFTY, the short story collection set in the world of SAGE, my fantasy trilogy. I revised the story before this using Scrivener, so I decided I would revise this one using yWriter5, a free (yes, I said FREE) program from Spacejock.
I like yWriter5 better. How to write and what tools to use will always be idiosyncratic. I know many people who love Scrivener, and others who can’t wrap their heads around it.
After having used both programs on real-time projects, I find yWriter5 both simpler and more flexible. yWriter5 lets you list important items and locations as well as characters, sort them. It lets you chart viewpoints for each chapter and scene, date (down to the hour and minute) when each scene happens, and I don’t know what all!
You can view a timeline of when each chapter happens with the chapters appearing on each character’s timeline.
In each scene, you can note characters, items, locations, scene title (brief description), and a longer description. You can note whether the scene is action or reaction, and other details that it’s fashionable these days to call “granular.” When you’re all granulated up, you can generate an outline using the brief descriptions, the long ones, or both. Instant synopsis!
Hey! Call a theme or a motif or a red herring or a clue an Item or a Location and keep track of it at a glance.
You can export a list of characters and their descriptions. Export locations. Export the whole damn project to a Word doc, rtf, html, or an eBook.
AA-aa-and, there’s a Wiki with all kindsa helpfulness.
yWriter5. I think I’ll keep it.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character finds something free that they like better than something that costs.