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Writing Books/Writing software -New Novelist, Dramatica


I am currently writing my first book, and I know more is involved than just putting ideas on paper, I have been research the web for advice, help, etc..., I ran across a site, that offered New Novelist and Dramatica Pro as writing tools.

What do you think about such software?  I just wanted your opinion before I invested money.  

Also is there somewhere I can find the elements of creating a outline?  I am also slightly confused with scene/chapters, is one scene per chapter or could you have more than one?

I appreciate all your help, thanks in advance.

Hello Dianna:

I am sorry, I can't give you any information about such software as I have never used them. The only thing I can say is they might help with organization, which seems a subject you are grappling with. I would suggest you go to and ask if anyone there has ever used this software.

You may include as many scenes per chapter as you like, there is no hard and fast rule.

The ouline comes after the premise. The premise is your "guiding principle," it's what your story is "about," and can also be described as the "takeaway," what you want the reader to take away from the book. It should be universally applicable (same for all people). This statement will describe one principle - something your life has taught you, something you feel passionate about and think the world needs to know )or be reminded of). An example would be "Love plus plenty of money makes for a good marriage." True or untrue, it should reflect your views on the subject. This is the most important part of your book, so choose carefully.

Once you have your premise, get some 3x5 cards and on each, write a few words around an story event that supports your premise.  Keep going until you feel you have enough events to fill a book.

At some point, a pattern should begin to show itself. Sort the cards around this pattern until the arrangement suits you. From that, make an outline, keeping the premise in mind at all times. Make sure there's some kind of progression some movement from A and B toward C.

I don't know what expensive software can offer you that is simpler than this. This process allows you to seize hold of your material and control it. It is essential that you keep control of your material at all times. Despite popular opinion, the characters do not write the book, YOU do.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 700+ questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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