Writing fiction with Writer’s Cafe and StoryLines


Article from Issue 70/2006

If you’re looking for a way to organize your next novel, try StoryLines and the Writer’s Cafe suite.

You’ve had enough of writing code in a garret, and now you’ve decided to make some REAL money by writing a novel. But how do you keep track of the storyline, the characters, the settings, etc? A word-processor, no matter how advanced, is just not built for this sort of thing, even if it has a good outline function. You could use something like a wiki or KDissert [1], but with these it can still be difficult to keep things organized? They are good for building trees of data, but in a story, part of the attraction is that these trees overlap and interact.

Enter StoryLines, part of Writer’s Cafe [2], a software toolkit designed especially for fiction writers. StoryLines will not generate story ideas or plot outlines for you, but it is rather a collection of tools that will help you to turn your ideas into a properly-structured and well-written narrative. Julian Smart of Anthemion software [3] developed Writer’s Cafe with input from his wife Harriet, a published novelist, and in using the application, it is clear that its design flows from practical experience with the writing process.

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