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Helpful - and FREE!! - programs for writers

STORYBOOK:  Storybook allows you to easily organize characters, locations, and objects important to your story.  It also allows you to organize chapters and scenes within chapters, and rearrange as needed.  The basic version is free, and for just US$29 you can get the pro version for more features.  Click here to download the free version.  Click here to buy the pro version.  Click here for a user manual (it can be a little confusing to use at first without this).

DARK ROOM:  Dark room is a very basic word processor.  Unlike MS Word and other programs, there are no tabs for things like font or style.  It’s just a blank screen for typing, which is great for eliminating distractions and focusing on your story.  You can change the background and text colors, as well as the font and size to best suit your needs.

WRITE OR DIE:  This is great for when you find yourself staring at a blank screen and can’t seem to get anything out.  This program forces you to write, or face the consequences.  The settings range from gentle, where the screen slowly changes color to encourage you, to very harsh, where the program will play annoying sounds (like a crying baby or an alarm), or even begin deleting what you’ve written so far if you go too long without typing.  You can use the free version through the website here, or for US$10 you can download a copy to use any time.

FREEMIND:  (When you click the link it looks like Wikipedia.  It’s not, just scroll down.)  This is a simple brainstorming software that lets you create a map of your ideas.  It’s great for visual-learner type people.

These are the programs I have and use, all of which I highly recommend.  You might also find something helpful to your needs in 25+ Pieces of Writing Software You Should Know About.

If you know of other programs, especially free ones, reblog with a link!

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