On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our Outline is Better than YOUR Outline! -- Writing Software

Writing software. Like I've said, I've been working on this seminar (1/2 hour). And I'm basing it on my work I did in 2003 and the review site above.

I bought Dramatica first, after hearing interesting things about it and doing a long 3 weekend session with the download demo, and used it first, and use it a couple of times a year. A friend had demonstrated Writers Blocks for me earlier.

I also bought Power Structure and Story Base (and Inspiration) and Truby's Blockbuster. Of the new programs on that top 10 list since 2003, I've purchased Write Way (last year?).

So that leaves some of the others to take a look at, and play with the download demos, if possible.

I worked on Power Writer yesterday and made notes before it froze my machine.

I messed around with StoryBase for a while, a good brainstorming thing but a little lacking in the fantasy genre...there was no "Tage (hero, son of a dryad and satyr, full blooded LightFolk) convinces Jenni, his ex-lover (half-blooded LightFolk and human) to go on a mission to .... stop the development of the incredible evil." It did spark an idea for who the antagonist is, though.

But back to outlines. Power Structure is a story development, outline software. So is PowerWriter (going to trudge on with the tutorial), and Story View is too -- complete with I. A. etc.

If I had to use this outline structure to write my book, I'd stop writing. I can't conceive of anything so boring as filling in the same bits over and over again for each chapter, or even each act -- opening hook, conflict, particular subplot to be explored, major plot to be advanced, characters in the chapter. Or even writing the chapter and marking off the points -- WE'LL KEEP TRACK OF IT FOR YOU, ISN'T THAT GREAT! Urgh.

So I never used Power Structure (and the manual didn't quite match the tutorial which was frustrating), though it did have this cool story-tension graphic.

I'll continue with the PowerWriter and Story View demos to take a look and see if there's anything interesting, and what the differences are, of course, but I really don't think I'll be buying them.

Then I'll brush up on Writer's Blocks, and maybe peek at Dramatica. I think I have the beginnings of Jenni and Tage's story on it already.

May you enjoy your work today.


Blogger Holly said...

Interesting info, as always, Robin. :)

Just wondering - are you pronouncing Tage like "sage" or like "Tah-ghee?" I had a great-uncle named Tage, pronounced the latter way.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A reader..
Are Jenny and Tage in a Heart book?
or a new series?
I thought that you have Catrag/Marigold, Elena/Actor, and Laev Hawthorn?/ ?... sorry I get more confused as I go.
Anyway I will be glad for all their stories!
Hope you let us know the story on the peach House when you get it. I live near by a big lake in Canada, and for a moment I though it was a local house, I think it is called Castle Hamour or something like that but the style and coast line are similar.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Janice said...


Are you going to post which one you like later on? I had thought of testing those programs too but I like MS word.


1:06 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Holly, I pronounce it like Sage.

Reader, I know this is confusing. This would be a new series. The upcoming Heart books are, so far (though the 3rd might possibly change):

Cratag Maytree/Signet D'Marigold, Heart Change
Raz Cherry/Helena D'Elcampane, Heart Journey
Laev Hawthorn/** Tea, untitled.

Janice, though the learning curve is steep and it can still hurt my brain, for me and how I work, Dramatica works best. I do rather like StoryBase, and since I have it, I may use it, esp. since the rep I spoke with asked me to be a beta tester for a new version (there's a beta version online, btw).

I'm considering buying Thoughtful Muse, and I have Inspiration that sometimes works for me, too, in sparking ideas.

And since I've done this work, I'm hoping to get a proposal together for RWA.


11:50 AM  

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