yWriter for NaNo!

7 10 2010

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a new program I’ve just found: yWriter5.


Now, following my previous post about NaNoWriMo 2010, if you’ll be joining the fun too, perhaps you should start thinking about what program you should use this year. Yes, I know it can be a good idea to stick with Microsoft Word, especially if you’ve already used to it, but it doesn’t hurt to try something different. And indeed, yWriter has a completely different system of writing that you’d have to experiment before NaNo began.

The beauty of this program is only one thing: It’s thousands times more organized than Word. If, for example, in Word you have to write everything directly in one window, and when you notice that this scene does not stick with the others, you’d have to search the parts you think would be more suitable and then cut + paste it again. And then, just as you try to read it again, you notice they just doesn’t work at all, and you then have to rewrite all over again until you get the result you want.

Well, I’d just say to you that it’s exasperatingly exhausting.

I’m sure, by the first time you open yWriter, you would start thinking, “Hey, wait a minute! Is this a word-processor or what? Why does it look like Excel and Access?” Believe me, that’s the first thing that comes into my mind, before I start practising with it.

Now, the first thing you must understand about this program, is that yWriter sticks with scenes. Yes, scenes. When Microsoft Word sticks with writing, this one sticks with scenes and chapters.

What does it mean? Well, in short, before you start writing the contents, you have to decide which scenes go first, and after that it’s followed with which scenes, and which scenes, and like that until you finish the story. And after you make a draft of what kind of scenes you want to happen in the story, you can start writing the contents, following the cue cards you have had before: your own scenes.

Of course, considering in NaNo you really shouldn’t edit anything, yWriter can be a good choice if you want to move one scene to another. It’s very simple; you just have to drag it up and bottom, depending on where you’d like it to be placed. And after you put it, you don’t have to write it again to make it fit with the story—nooo, you can always do that later. First, stick with what you’ve made for your cue cards, and follow them until your target has been gained.

And another best part of yWriter is this: you CANNOT see what you’ve written in the previous scene. At the first glance, it might be considered a fatal disadvantage, but if you rethink it again, by not being able to see what you’ve written before, your internal editor is dead. He/she doesn’t remember what garbage you’ve written before, where you’ve made mistakes, and which scenes need to be improved. It can be very useful if you think you’re not so easy to be motivated.

Lastly now, think about what you’ll do after NaNo. Since you’ll barely edit in November, mistakes and errors and garbage cannot be avoided, and if you’re using the usual word processing program… well, you continue what I want to say. It can be very difficult, except if you’re taking advantage of the easy scene-changing system in yWriter like I’ve mentioned before. remember: better to make your scenes friends, than enemies.

Okay, folks, so here is the summary of the advantage in yWriter:

1. Easy to make the story scene by scene. You can always prepare the draft before NaNo starts, so if you love to arrange things, yWriter is the best choice for you.

2. Easy to move scenes you think is wrongly put. It saves time—really.

3. You can’t see what you’ve written before—your internal editor is therefore died.

4. Consider editing months later! If you want to make it all easy, yWriter can be a fun choice!

5. …And have I mentioned it’s free? 🙂


You can download yWriter here. I’d suggest you better practice with it a bit, or else you’ll get stuck with the system usage this November. You won’t want to get stuck by then…. 😦


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