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on 10 March 2005
On the plus side, this software helps me with what I wanted it to help me with. A big plus. It forces you to consider character in detail, story type and structure, the importance of location and several other facets of good story telling.
The big negative is that you can't access any of this in a printed, or even a comprehensive onscreen, report. That's right - you can spend hours detailing all aspects of your major and minor characters, only to find that the information is trapped in fairly unhelpful units in the software.
The really annoying thing is that the software itself claims that such reports can be generated. After an hour of head-scratching I called the company helpline and asked how I did this. The polite man on the other end of the phone admitted I'd stumbled on a 'hot potato', and that such reports couldn't be produced at the moment. An upgrade/patch is expected by the end of the year.
Until such a patch arrives, I'm loathe to invest time in the creation of data which I can't access in any useful form.
This is very disappointing, as the software itself is really rather good, and exceedingly useful, but until it's been improved I'm off to look at other options.
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on 26 September 2005
If you want to write a novel that's falls withing the 1 of the few restrictive templates this program provides then you may, just about, be happy with this program.
Personally, I'd rather use MS Word. Some people fear being faced with a blank page; but at least with a blank page you're not confined in the way that your story flows. The templates this program provides will probably enable you to write good but hard to get published "Dime Novels" (worthless two a penny novels with nothing to make them stand out.)
If don't own a Word Processor and can't afford MS/Wordperfect prices then why not browse [...] their software's free (though if you can afford to give them a donation it will help them keep their site going and their software being developed!)
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on 13 November 2003
As far as I can tell this is basically a repository for ideas - you can store details of characters, locations and parts of the story, and also attach sections of the story itself. It breaks the process down into parts which can be tackled one by one, and in particular breaks down the sory itself into parts.
You'll note I said "as far as I can tell" - well, The Wizard - arguably the most important part of the program which actually sets up your story - crashed repeatedly on my machine and does not work. I only got a look at the program by botching it with a blank text document. As a result my story was blank, as the wizard had not created titles or any of those "manageable sections". The website has no technical support of any kind.
It gets one star because bits of it worked - just not the important bits. If you have Word, use that - if not, get Open Office and use that.
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on 22 October 2003
I bought this product with a certain degree of wariness, as there were mixed reviews. However, I’m delighted with it. It does what it says on the box. I’m one of those who is sure they have a bestseller in them, but I’d never got far using just Word. I’ve already had hours of fun building my characters and strengthening my plot in this program, and I can see my novel building in front of me. So I reckon it is definitely worth the money.
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on 8 June 2012
I bought Newnovelist years ago and am intrigued to see that it is still going. To be frank, I abandoned it because I found it did not suit my working methods as a published author. So why did I buy this software anyway? Well, I am always willing to learn something about the craft of writing, but I'm sorry to say Newnovelist in its first version was not for me. I suspect writers, being just people like all the other folk walking about this planet, are many and varied in their likes and dislikes. The most impressive writing software I have ever come across is Scrivener for the Mac (there is now a version for the PC I'm told). Anyway, Scrivener is quite outstanding, being useful in so many ways - including planning, note taking, shoving stuff around with complete ease, and of course writing your epic novel, history, philosophical treatise, or what have you. But there is also a strong following of minimalist writing software. Distraction-free writing is the aim, and there is a lot to be said for this type of program. But, in the end, you pay your money and take your pick. Or you can try one of the many clever freeware word processors knocking around. My personal favourite is ROUGH DRAFT [...]. He must be a remarkable man, Mr S, and generous to a fault with his creation.

As for Newnovelist in its latest version, you can always try it for yourself on a suck it and see basis. After all, it is a newer version than the one I had. You never know, you might like it.
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on 7 July 2006
Okay, echoing the reviews of others, I have found this to not be user friendly, but it is not this that had me tearing out my hair, ripping the c.d from my computer and smashing it into a hundred pieces.

Beware, if you continue writing and saving, there is a cheeky little bug. It manifests itself like so; the save button suddenly changes function and deletes all your work. Not so bad, you may think, as long as you save regularly you will simply be able to retrieve a previously saved file. Oh no, not only does it delete every word you have written, it then saves it simultaneously, so that you are then left with nothing, all your hard work wiped out.

Just use word, this thing is a complete joke, a travesty for all would-be authors. Whoever created this monstrosity should be thoroughly ashamed, preying on peoples writing dreams at £25 a shot which is only more likely to deter potential authors.

This 1 star rating is far too generous as it is, but Amazon have neglected to include the 0 star facility.
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on 27 April 2004
I bought this when it first came out and paid an extortionate £40 for it,if I remember correctly. Wasn't worth that price and to be perfectlyhonest I think an RRP of anything over £20 is excessive. It does havesome uses though I find it a pain for notetaking - there are betterprogrammes for that on the market. And as for writing within thesoftware, it is a waste of time. It doesn't have the capacity or any wordprocessing capabilities. Its only use is as a vague outline, though Iadmit this did help me with one chapter of a book where I hit a blank wall- so could a lot of good books out there, I dare say.
My one real bug-bear is that if, like me, you ever want to use this onmore than one machine, or get a new PC or even, alas, have to do a systemrestart, beware! The product entry code does not work a second time andyou have to get in touch with the company for a second code and so forth. I know we currently reside in a world where security and data protectionis at an all important level, but this makes it feel as though I don'tactually 'own' the software, more like I paid a ridiculous price to rentit!
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on 12 August 2006
The idea behind this software is good, but unfortunately the idea isn't carried through to the programme. If you want to write your novel to a formula, then it's for you. If you require a bit more freedom, you will find this very limiting

I can't say I ever lost any work, like previous reviewers. But whilst I found it okay for jotting down ideas (assuming one didn't lose them) it was absolutely no good for copying and pasting chapter, paragraphs or character studies once I'd written them. Even in this computer age, a writer sometimes needs a few printed, easy to access notes at the side of them, rather than having to keep opening and closing software to find what they're looking for.

I took my version of this out of my computer ages ago, having never managed to write one novel with it (I've written others without the aid of software). So, no I wouldn't recommend it.
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on 27 November 2005
NewNovelist is a good idea, but the software is so riddled with bugs that it becomes unusable. For a start it will often lose the information you've stored in one of its files, so you lose every bit of work you've done.
Aside from the bugs, the idea of actually writing in this is laughable. There are no word-processing capabilities whatsoever. You can't change the font, font-size, use bullet-points, or anything. If you do write something you can't export it. You can only save it and open it in NN. You can't format your work, so you'd never want to submit it to a publisher! You can't even right-click in the text window should you want to copy and paste something!
Given that I paid £30 for it, I feel very ripped off. Don't buy this, just make your notes on paper and write your novel in Word.
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on 7 April 2005
I've got to be truthful, I am in two minds about this product. I only bought it several days ago, and I haven't explored it completely. However, the first thing that sprung to my attention is the fact that it is all so organised. Although you are able to develop your own characters etc, you are given a plot template, which certainly for my style of writing is difficult to follow. I appreciate that it does organise your work into a pattern and it is easy to refer to when you need clarification about something which you have earlier discussed, however, it feels like it is all a really good idea- unfortunately too good to be true.
As another amazon reviewer has pointed out, it does solve the fear of being faced with a blank page, but for me I think it breaks it up too much and in some ways can stem the creative flow and the joy that you can get from writing, hate to sound old fashioned, but I'd rather face a blank page, than have a program where I cannot fully develop all of my ideas!
If when I have used this program more I decide that all this is complete rubbish, then I will apologise prefusely! At the moment, this is how I feel towards it, not a bad idea, just not right for everyone!
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