Why yWriter? #amwriting

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.

There’s even a Linux version and a version for Windows 8 and up. Alas, none for Mac. Sorry Macsters. ๐Ÿ™

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.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Why yWriter? #amwriting

  1. A.C.Flory

    September 5, 2016 at 9:34pm

    lol – I’m so glad you’ve found something useful! I must admit I was impressed by the ability to keep a timeline. I think I might mention that to a certain programmer because it’s something I could really use too!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      September 6, 2016 at 7:56am

      I made my own timeline when I was writing SAGE, because I hadn’t yet discovered yWriter. I drew it on a biiiiig piece of paper.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • A.C.Flory

        September 6, 2016 at 8:26am

        lol – I’ve been making mine too, on Excel. I emailed the guy who created StoryBox and asked about the possibility of a timeline for a future version but it’s still in the ‘thinking about it’ stage. -sigh- I like StoryBox too much to change.

        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Jane

    September 6, 2016 at 9:28am

    Hi. Glad you like it!
    Me, too.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Jeff Chapman

    September 7, 2016 at 1:47pm

    I’ve been using yWriter for about a year now. I haven’t made use of all its capabilities yet, but your article has given me some ideas. I don’t understand why anyone would pay money for something when yWriter is there for free.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      September 7, 2016 at 3:29pm

      Some folks find Scrivener more useful. “Some people drink Pepsi, some people drink Coke….” ~grin~

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  4. Marion Driessen

    September 10, 2016 at 3:57am

    So far I’ve been using Scrivener, but inspired and encouraged by your words, I’m going to give yWriter6 a try!
    Have muse-ful weekend, dear.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      September 11, 2016 at 9:10am

      Some like Scrivener better. yWriter works better for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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