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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars14
3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 15 June 2005
For designing and plotting it's great. It feels like it has been designed by a writer. I particularly like the ability to add icons to text that hot link - eg a note on a character name takes you to the character page.
But - occasionally it loses unsaved text as you move between tabs. Save often. And most annoyingly the time line function calendar isn't customisable, rendering it pretty much useless for fantasy and science fiction where calendars will have different structures.
Also there seems to be no way of giving feedback to the programmer or ask for support, just a link to the publishers who claim to have no contact with them. One can only assume they found it abandoned on their doorstep one day. Either that or they couldn't be arsed to help once they had my money.
If it combined its good features with the timeline/scene planning structure of Writer's Cafe and was more customisable it would be perfect.
Would-be writers should check out both but for £20-£30 you can't go wrong with either. I use both for different things.
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on 17 November 2005
The only problem with this software is that it could be better. If GSP created some 'add-on' downloads for users it would be lovely. This is a fun bit of software to work with and more 'clean-cut' than a lot of writers' software out there. Let me put one thing straight to begin with - this software does not teach you to write; neither will it help you write your novel as far as the process of writing itself goes. What it does is help you organise.
I have three main issues with it. The Submission tracker is great but is linked to the story - it would have been brilliant if it also had the option just to work as a tracker independently so you didn't have to open the story to work with the tracker.
This software could seriously do with a Grammar checker. It has spelling and thesaurus and the readability check will give you a word count but usually the most basic word processor comes with some sort of grammar checker included now and considering the price you feel cheated that one isn't included. On a side note regarding the price, having used the professional version I cannot imagine what good the standard would be despite the cheaper £ tag.
You can write into it no problem and export into an rtf file that any other software can open. The trouble with this is that it uses plain punctuation eg: straight 'quotes'. This is all very well but most word processing software types with curly quotes and the option to use the better format of punctuation would be nice as most WP software doesn't give you the option to then change it unless you want to plough manually through the document. It also exports in what they call a submission layout. Though close, the layout isn't perfect and not exactly what every publisher wants. The really annoying thing about this though is if you've done a couple of returns to indicate a paragraph the software changes this into double line spacing as well so each paragraph is exported with GREAT gaps in between. For it to work correctly you have to get used to typing all the lines right under each other and relying on the software to convert it for you.
The 'help' is about as helpful as any software - in other words you learn how to use by fiddling about most of the time and by looking at the example. Still, it's pleasant to work with - but a heads up to the designers - some add-on's would be great!
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on 7 February 2007
This is a truly awful piece of software. Whilst it may well be useful to be able to organise ideas for writing into subsections regarding character, event, location etc. etc.; it is simply ABOMINABLE that you can lose hours of irretrievable creative work at the click of a mouse. I was lucky that I had the foresight to mess around with it a little before putting in any serious work. Every time I switched tabs to differing sections of information I had entered another piece of said information would just disappear. This one simple bug makes the package completely unusable unless you are prepared to save every tiny detail you enter bit by bit - we're talking sentences here. I was also annoyed that GSP saw fit to package the program in a large box (presumably in an effort to make it look professional) which contained one CD and no printed manual. I can't explain my frustration and disappointment enough. The features SEEM useful but the information loss just destroys the program completely. This product should be removed from sale period.
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on 21 March 2005
A great piece of software!! Writing a book is something i;ve always wanted to do but just never quite got round to it as i didn't really know whare to start...and this program is just what i needed!I found it really easy toi use and it's great for showing you where and how to start and give you loads of inspration along the way. A really good buy..
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on 30 July 2005
This software is NOT for the writer who needs to be led by the nose through a formula for designing a piece of fiction; it won't provide you with a bunch of formulas or standard plots like so many of the other writer's software packages do. It's not intended to be a coach or trainer. This program is designed for the actual writing and for keeping all your notes, ideas, etc., in one place. This is a great convenience.
The outliner is very good both for checking sequence of events and chapters, as well as for navigation.
The links are very useful.
The interface is plain and pleasing without any flashiness. Programs like this don't need flash.
Programs like this also don't need all the bells and whistles of a "real" word processor, and this program doesn't have them. It's about writing, not playing with formatting toys and other fluff.
I've been using this software in various versions for about 2 years--it suits my way of working better than any other (and I've tried many). There are parts that I don't use, or don't use much, but that's standard with most software of any type--ignore the bits you don't need.
Over all, this is an excellent tool at a reasonable price.
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on 20 July 2005
This is a toy. It WON'T help you to write a novel. It can't do anything a word processer can't do better. It's prone to hanging if it gets confused. The character and name generators are rubbish. It can't help with plotting or anything else. The calendar just gets in the way. You can't print from it, and the word processor is poor. Save your money and get a 'how to' book instead. Biggest waste of money I've seen in ages.
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on 17 March 2007
I personally swear by this program. I use it to write my novels and have had no problems with it. However if you find a standard word processors OK then this program isn't for you. However if like me, you find standard wordprocessors useless for writing then you might like to give it a go.
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on 7 November 2007
I had nothing but trouble and hassle with this program. It wouldn't save then saved additional programmes and left lots of icons on the desk top. It won't save the whole programme, standalone, so I was forced to save every few lines I wrote, then those lines disappeared plus many other issues to bothersome to note, i've had it with this piece of rubbish! even the huge, wide box hides a tiny, single CD that I guess is designed to make it look more expensive. SHOULD BE £5.99 - NOT £29.99 - RUBBISH!
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on 27 July 2005
Wasn't quite sure what to expect with this but really quite like it.
There's nothing here you couldn't do with just Word and a spreadsheet BUT it's all neatly laid out, very simple to use, and give's everything a shape, so it's quite worthwhile after all.
Some things could definetly be improved - like inserting an event in situ rather than at the end and moving up - but no showstoppers from what I can see.
Maybe should be just a little bit cheaper. Would recommend it though. Interesting little bit of software.
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on 14 May 2010
Although this could be a useful tool it is certainly not user friendly. More importantly it WILL NOT WORK WITH VISTA. The publishers have produced a newer version that does work with Vista but when i contacted them to see if a patch was available I was told that I would have to buy the new version instead. I was offered a price reduction for the upgrade but to my mind this is totally unacceptable when I had already purchased the product (which is otherwise the same program with Vista compatibility added). No one should be expected to re-buy something in this way ESPECIALLY after having purchased what is marketed as the premium (and more expensive) version of the software. Even on XP I had frequent crashing and freezing. Regardless, Vidatech's Novel Writer is cheaper and better but with problems of its own (see my review)
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