My New Writing Software Passion: Fictionary

I get very passionate about software and writing tools – I don’t know if you’ve noticed that about me. I find something new and I have to have it, play with it, use it… for at least one book, if not more.

I’ve tried out a lot of writing software (you can find my list here), but somehow this newest find slipped right past me, but, boy, am I happy I found it now! Fictionary is AMAZING! I am SO loving this software!

It’s got two versions—one for writers and one for editors and coaches. I’m not entirely certain what the difference between them is, aside from the much higher price for the editor’s version.

This is software you can use to either plot your story (in the StoryTeller version) from scratch if you’re a plotter or you can import an already-written manuscript and edit it using their extremely helpful tools.

To begin with, it lists your characters for you. Every name it finds, it puts into a list. You can then go through and combine characters (in the list it found Fitzwalter, Archer, Archibald Fitzwalter, and Fitz – I combined all the iterations of my hero’s name into one entry). Of course, there are some names that aren’t characters – I mentioned Benjamin Franklin in the book. He’s not a character, just a mention, so I deleted him from my list of characters. I can’t tell you how useful this list is! I discovered that there are a number of instances where I misspelled a character’s name – it listed them as two separate characters. I popped back into my manuscript in Word, did a search, and replace and corrected all the misspellings. Whew!

Once your character list is set, you can watch as the program draws a graph of your story. It’s a very simple graph with just Instigating Event, Plot Point 1, Midpoint, Plot Point 2, Climax, and Resolution as the points. I would love to have the option of other story structures – even just Freytag’s Pyramid would be nice, a W-Graph would be a dream.

 

Going into the Evaluate section gives you all of your scenes in a list. You can then go in and fill in the details for each one—who the pov character is, see a list of the characters who show up in the scene, say whether the scene is a major plot point and if so, which one. You can name the scene and give details about the setting (where it is, sights, sounds, even smells!).

Once all this information is put into the software, you can then show a table with a list of the scenes and whatever other information you want—however you evaluate your scenes. This is all information and work I used to do by hand in an Excel spreadsheet. Now it’s just done for me! I love that!

A subscription to Fictionary is a little expensive ($200/year or $20/month for the monthly subscription), but you can put in up to 3 manuscripts in the StoryTeller version (the StoryCoach version charges you $99 for each additional manuscript and has a higher price to begin with). For members of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) there’s a 20% off coupon (another fantastic thing about joining ALLi!).

Yes, I’ve just found my new software passion. Oh, and Kristina, the CEO, is quick to answer any and all stupid (and not so stupid) questions.

Merry
 

Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith’s heart belongs to her husband and two children. Meredith’s second favorite pastime is teaching others to write.

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