I used to write in WordPerfect, but now I use Word. I have a folder for each project containing several files: one for each character study, one for details of each scene in the book, one for notes, one for bits that I cut, but might want to use later, etc. The problem with this method is that I often have several files open at once and have to click back and forth between them as I check my character facts or events timeline.
Twice, I’ve tried using writing software. I don’t remember the names, but they seemed needlessly complicated. The other day I downloaded another one … it was FREE. I can’t remember how I found out about yWriter … maybe I clicked a link on Twitter. But author K. M. Weiland likes using it so much she even made a how-to video. She says she still writes in Word, but uses yWriter to keep everything organized and to make it easier to avoid mistakes by being able to quickly check the notes for each scene and chapter. I think I will still write in Word, copy and paste the chapter contents into yWriter so I can make use of all the tasks the program can perform.
This program would have been helpful when I decided to go back and add a scene several chapters earlier from the one I was writing at the time. Twice I realized I had referred to something in the added scene that hadn’t happened yet in the chronology of the story. I could have easily checked that if I had filled out the scene description section in yWriter.
Anyway, I’ve just begun entering my character notes and scene descriptions for my current WIP, so I can’t give you my full opinion of the software. And I suppose it would be easier to directly enter the information for a book you’re just starting to write. The creator of this software says he uses it to organize his short stories, too.
Do any of you use yWriter or other writing software?