y Writer 2

Novel writers know that standard word processors, such as WordPerfect or MS Word, aren’t always the best tool to use in crafting their masterpieces.

Those programs just aren’t made to keep track of the data that goes into writing a novel, and are feature-overkill for what writers need. Commercial software for writing novel exists, but is often expensive, or even, for those who aren’t yet getting paid for their writing, out of reach financially.

Enter y Writer from Spacejock Software. It’s free, well thought out software crafted specifically for writers of novels and short stories. y Writer 2 is the current version, and y Writer 3 beta is available, too. The download is only 3 MB, and the program installs under anything from Win 95 or Win98 and above. (I’ve got it on Win98 and WinXP machines.) With a driver downloaded from the y Writer website, you can even install it as a portable app on a USB flash drive, for portable writing wherever you can find a computer. Working the program is easy. A wizard helps create your first project. Then add chapters, characters, scenes to build your novel from initial outline to finished product. Scenes and chapters can be added, moved and deleted as your work progresses. A storyboard allows you to see how the storyline of each character progresses. Once you’re done, you can export your work to many text formats: html, text, rtf, and even NaNoWriMo obfuscated, for those who take part in National Novel Writing Month held each November.