Review: WriteItNow software for novelists and writers

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WriteItNow is writing software geared to novel writing. It features a storyboard format which is not unfamiliar to most writers. This software is an uber-wordprocessor with some nice features including a nice, large work area and rather robust tools to help a writer organize their thoughts and materials. The purpose of the program is to enable faster production of a novel or story.

WriteItNow’s good points

I liked the spell check, import and export features, readablility checker and word count – things every writer wants at hand. The ability to save or export manuscripts as in a variety of formats like PDF, text, rich text and HTML is helpful and streamlines the end process.

For the experienced writer, this package may be like an art kit is for a painter. All of the tools you use are together in one container and you can rotate easily from working on a concept, to polishing a chapter, to setting a scene. Then, using the charts tab, you can see how they manage the relationships between elements or even between characters. Just an an artist wants paint, brushes, cleaner, pencils and sketch ideas all together at hand when it’s time to work, so an author can benefit from having this neat package. WriteItNow allows you to work productively without searching all over your hard drive for the last set of notes you made, the final graph of chapter 12 or your missing character sketch.

If writer’s block rears its ugly head and you’re stuck, there is an idea generating feature that’s cumbersome, but workable once you get used to it. You select the characters involved in the situation you’re trying to create, then choose which type of event will be central, and WriteItNow will theoretically hand you an idea of where to go next.

There’s a free trial download http://www.ravensheadservices.com/download.php.

Note: WriteItNow’s producers offer free background editor add ons intended to reduce research for certain novels. Currently, they have one for Tudor Britain and the other Ancient Egypt. The editor is pre-loaded with cultural and physical details of those subjects. The company will accept additional subjects from anyone who wishes to share their research. An interesting value-added idea.

WriteItNow’s tragic flaws

The tutorials run very quickly and are a bit of a challenge to follow – they really need audio in order to be of much use. Additionally, the screen size is too large for even an upscaled laptop, requiring the user to scroll in order to see the call outs in the video or to find the controls for the video. My laptop screen is a 17″ wide format and I could not see the entire movie screen at one time. The documentation is not well organized and, again, not very intuitive. It is not easy to learn this program and I can see where some users will give up and find something else.

It’s interesting that customers must download and install add-ons, ten of them, to get the full funtionality of the software.

Conclusion

At price points of $19.95 to $59.95, depending on whether you’re upgrading, doing a new install or buying a CD version, WriteItNow is competitvely priced.

If you have never used writing software before, this is probably not your best choice as it isn’t intuitive or beginner- friendly and has a substantial learning curve. I’d like to see the producers redo their tutorials as step-by-steps with sound. If you are a working writer who has written manuscripts before, this program may serve you well in helping to organize and track your pieces and elements. WriteItNow isn’t the best software out there for writers working to understand and perfect the process of creaitng a novel, nor is it the worst. It’s a set of capable organizational tools for working writers.

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