>In a recent post I mentioned a program that I am using for my latest novel. yWriter. Several people have asked for more information on this program, and since I’m fairly new to it still who better to share with you the program than the creator itself!  I had the privilege of interviewing Simon Hayes, the creator of yWriter and other fabulous programs. (my comments are in brackets …)

What is yWriter?

It’s project management software for authors.  There are programs out there which make wild claims about writing your novel for you, but yWriter is simple an organizational tool. For example, instead of having a long Doc file with your novel in, yWriter keeps it in chapters and scenes. There are other features like character and location records, but you don’t have to use them. (but I strongly recommend that you do … I have a picture of the house that is a main setting saved in this. I go back and look all the time to make sure I have all the details right. For the characters – everything you know about them can be saved in their profile. LOVE IT!)

Here is an example of what yWriter looks like.

Why did you make the program?

I had my novel in a long Doc file and I couldn’t keep track of everything.
(ok, so how many of you have had this problem! What about all those little subplot twists, or the description of someone who changes, but you need to find all the instances in your novel … augh)

If there was 1 reason to recommend this program to writers, what would it be?

Keeping track of everything! Seriously, if once you hit the 25,000-40,000 word mark your novel turns into a gang of hyped-up guinea pigs. You’re trying to drive them through a little gate and instead the little blighters run every which way. (those little blighters can be a pain the neck apparently … LOL)

Can you list the top 5 advantages to using yWriter when starting a new novel?

Planning, overview, progress bar, drag/drop scenes and chapters, summarize and plug in scenes you don’t want to write yet. (Here’s mine: daily word count target, reports you can see for your progress, the ability to copy/paste unlike other programs I’ve used, working on settings rather than chapters, being able to flip through settings/chapters with ease – especially when dealing with POV issues)

Do you use it personally?

Oh yes, since version one circa nineteen-ninety-something. I can’t write without it.

I noticed other programs on your site you created … anything else you would recommend to writers?

Freemind isn’t one of mine, but it’s ideal for plotting. yBook is nice for presenting your novel as a finished paperback, turning pages and all. You can read it on the screen as though it were a published novel, and it’s a good way to get a feel for the finished result.

My spacejock.com.au site is also loaded with articles I’ve written on writing and publishing.

So there you go! I’m not telling you to use it – but I love it and it’s been a tremendous help to me with this book so far. I plotted/outlined and began working on my first draft in 2 weeks and I feel confident about where my story is going. No more panster writing for me 🙂