1. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    Dramatica or Power Writer?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Petra Huber, Sep 21, 2009.

    Hi all of you. :)

    I am not a writer yet but I want to become one. I have a huge story in my head, very complicated and to write a series of books and not just one novel.

    I know, I know, many people warned me and told me to start with a small novel first but I love that idea so much that I want to make it in a series of at least 5 volumes.

    But my problem is the organization of that huge thing. It is so much to keep track of and I have another job too and sometimes can't write of my novel and when I get back to it, I have forgotten again some of what I wrote earlier.

    I read that the reviews of Dramatics and Power Writer software is not bad but I have not yet found any information as to what software to use when writing a series of fictional books.

    Which one would you recommend for writing a series of fictional books.

    I read so far in those descriptions about one main figure and one antagonist but I have numerous of those. What if I have more characters than the software permits? What if it does not let me break my story in several volumes?


    Do you have any advice for me?

    I thank you already in advance for your input.

    Best wishes,

    Petra
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I stick with Microsoft Word. I don't see any value in specialized software for writers, except for the guy raking in bucks selling it (and it still may not earn back the development costs).
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    imo, a good writer won't need any fancy software... just ms word... with that, you can do all the organizing you want or need...

    and you should know that agents and publishers won't want to hear about and won't look at anything more than your first novel and that MUST be able to stand alone, as no one will buy a series from a brand new, unknown writer...
     
  4. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    I know that but I want to self-publish my books anyway.

    My problem is not the lack of ideas but how to organize 5 volumes in my head or in unorganized notes with lots of complicated characters and a large family tree from 1546 until present time.

    I have MS Word but it doesn't trigger my memory that much. I forget stuff, e.g. because what I worked out is so huge and I don't want to make it smaller as recommended by a writer because I like it that huge.

    Petra

    Basically, I agree with you Cognito, but I try to organize the ideas in my series of 5 books in MS Word and Excel but I constantly have to re-write stuff because I forgot something, a character trait, an event, etc. because I don't have the time to write full time and because my story is huge, spanning over several centuries.

    Memory, that is my problem.

    Petra
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Why do you want to self-publish? It's better to get a real publisher. They offer much more resources and services for writers.
     
  6. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    The only writing software I think is alright is only for Scriptwriting. Other than that, perhaps you should organize a notebook or something. That's how I'm doing it, and I plan on a trilogy. This first novel is proving quite difficult to finish though...
    My notebook was not organized, just a warning. Maybe that was just me, but I wanted to get the ideas down before I lost them and I'd scribble things down, spells down, character's down etc.
    MS word is the best. 2007 even has a built in dictionary!
     
  7. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I'd recommend learning to write first (stories, I mean). You can use a word processing program or handwriting or whatever you're comfortable with. Certainly so, before you go trusting ANY software program to be helpful for any reason at all--least of all as a tool for writing a series of novels! Reason being that the first thing you have to do is to get the idea out of your head and onto paper somehow. That in itself is likely to teach you a lot!
     
  8. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could just make seperate word documents for characters, plot ideas, subplots, random ideas, and well whatever you need. You could then just put all of this in one folder. You could also make a new word document for each book outlining the general idea of what you want to happen in each. Might make it easier if you make a Character Document for each book that would contain all the characters introduced and are only present in that book.

    ...

    am I making any sense?
     
  9. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Knowing how to use Word helps. Word can do everything you need if you know how to use everything it has to offer. However, if you want something straight forward, try YWriter. It's free. It's very good for organizing all your notes and such.

    As for coming up with the story, I use the method linked in my signature.

    For tightning up my manuscript, I love Master Edit, or AutoCrit if you care to pay yearly and are limited to online use. Do a Youtube search for "Master Edit software" if you care to see it in action.

    Finally, it takes a lot of dedication to write a novel, let alone a series. Seriously! So many people jump in head first, excited, and never even finish the first one. My recommendation is to develop a habit of writing everyday for at least an hour. Force yourself to sit at the PC and do nothing else. If you aren't writing while you sit there, then allow yourself to do nothing else but think about the scene you are working on.

    Good luck :)
     
  10. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    Hi Petra. Buy Microsoft Office 2007 and use MS Word on that to write your novel/s. Also included in Microsoft Office 2007 is a product called OneNote. It's like a computer version of a filing cabinet. You have a tab for, say, characters, and underneath that tab, you can have various tabs for each character. Go to the tab that you have an idea about and just click anywhere in the screen and start writing. It's really quite helpful.


    I would. In fact, after I have read an author's first foray into a series, I search for more series by that author. And in almost every case, the subsequent series are not of the quality of the first. If a publisher has thought a brand new author's series is worth publishing, I would buy it if it appealed to me.
     
  11. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    I had a literary agent once but he just contracted me and never promoted my book and this might also happen with publishers.
     
  12. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    Perhaps I should try it with notebooks, I so far flip between lots of Word files back and forth and it didn't work out and is confusing.

    I found not the writing process is difficult but organizing that huge project.
     
  13. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Then that means you had a bad agent. Your best bet would be to look for another agent and let him or her get you a deal with a publishing company. Like I said before, self-publishing is risky and can get expensive as well. A lot of times, the writers who self-publish end up losing money. You may want to do a quick search on the costs of self-publishing.
     
  14. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    Yes, you make sense and I did exactly what you suggested but my memory isn't good enough to remember everything again that I worked out before.

    As I said, I have another demanding job and sometimes have no time to get back to my novel in a while. Then I re-read it and waste all the time that I need to write to read what I wrote before because I did forget important details.

    I was thinking that perhaps some software could help me remember.
     
  15. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    Thanks for the advice.
     
  16. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    Dude, if this is what you were doing, then OneNote is for you. Google it, trust me!

    Edit: I know we don't like external links here, but I'm pretty sure the Microsoft Website can be trusted. Here is a demo of OneNote:
     
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  17. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    A friend of mine published a book for 500 Dollars and got it in bookstores.
     
  18. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    Thanks, A2deDre, I did not know this about Word. Thanks.
     
  19. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    How many copies did your friend get printed and how many have sold?

    IMO, it's not a good idea to pay to get your book published. With a real publisher, they pay you, not the other way around. In the end, it's your choice, but I think you should do some research on agents/publishers before deciding to self-publish.
     
  20. SayWhatNow?
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    SayWhatNow? Senior Member

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    JK Rowling, Stephen King, John Flanagan, and Christopher Paolini all use MS word.

    So I stick with MS Word
     
  21. Twisted Inversely
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    Twisted Inversely Senior Member

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    The problem with word, and indeed any computerized writing tool, is that they give you too much power.

    If I write something by hand and I don’t like it I just cross it out and keep going. Then when I go back and re-read what I have written later I can still make out what I have scribbled over before. Sometimes it’s as awful as I remember, other times it’s actually quite good but doesn’t really fit the scene, or it got crossed out simply because was frustrated when I wrote it and considered it crap (this happens more often than I would like).

    With word when I don’t like something I highlight it and smite it into unbeing with the almighty delete key. My advice, the delete key has no place on a writer’s keyboard. Instead keep a second blank document open. If you write something that you don’t like, copy it across. If you’re writing something and a cool sentence crops in to your head, write it down and copy it across. If you stumped for ideas open it up, chances are you find some little snippet that will get you going again.

    Hope this helps.
     
  22. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Twisted why go through all that trouble? Just click Review and then track changes. Also check out the track changes options. Then you can flip between final, adn final mark-up. This what when you hit the delet key, if you view in final mark-up, what you deleted appears is red, strike-through text.

    Like I siad, getting to know how to use Word is great.
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Twisted, don't blame the tool. You can save drafts, or you can track changes with annotations, or you can put the strikeout icon on your toolbar. Woerd has all the power you need, but no one forces you to use any particular feature.

    Bottom line, most publishers will want the electronic copy of the manuscript in Word format.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a2... i was referring to publishers there, not book buyers...

    petra... agents can't 'promote' your book till it IS a book... and until they find you a publisher for it, it isn't one... so i don't know what you meant about the agent that you say you had a contract with...
     
  25. Petra Huber
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    Petra Huber New Member

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    Yes, thanks, that sounds like a good approach.
     

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