Some wise soul once said that everyone has one good book in them, but unfortunately they forgot to mention how we’re supposed to dig it out and get it published. Luckily there’s no shortage of folk willing to take our money to help us produce the next Shades of Potter blockbuster, ahh…but if only they could guarantee success.
Fortunately there are also kind souls who spend their time producing free open source products to help the struggling writer in their quest, which is where StoryBook comes into play. This free program is designed for ‘creative writers, novelists and authors‘ and is designed to make it easy to manage and create all the essential parts of a novel, from characters to plot, locations and scenes.
There’s four ways to view your budding opus, chronological, chapters and scenes (rather like a movie), a book view and the conventional reading view as you would see in the finished product. The idea behind these views is to give you a clear picture of the story as it’s developing, how the various main and subsidiary plots fit together and generally keep track of the activities of all the characters easily and quickly.
The software is not designed to be a full word-processor but rather an organizer of ‘things’, but it can be used to fill out a fairly comprehensive outline and story text which can then be exported to something like LibreOffice (libreoffice.org) for full on editing late in the game. There is also a Pro version for $39, which gives more sophisticated export functions and more general tools for managing your book.
The whole thing is wrapped up in a nice clean interface with some valuable color coding to help make things even easier, and while it is definitely not going to make your clunker of a pot boiler equivalent to Hemmingway, at least it could show you quickly what’s wrong with your work and what you need to do to fix it. See you at the book signing.