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on 7 January 2009
I bought this when I bought my laptop, and I really wish I had read some of these reviews first. The main problem I had was that the software doesn't work with Windows Vista, even though the packaging says it does. The only positive thing was that the shop I bought it from was having a sale, so at least it only cost me a couple of pounds. Seriously, I urge you to give this turkey a wide berth and do something better with your money, like throw it down the drain - that will be just as useful, but less frustrating.
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on 2 January 2016
When I first started writing I tried this software to write the first draft of my novel The Sister. Within two weeks the file became corrupted, lost 30K words. The back up file was irrecoverable. One plus point, hence two stars, is that the rewriting of all I could remember, led me to the novel as it is today. Lesson leaned for me: Always write in word and back up regularly!
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on 27 January 2003
Although the software could be useful, I've found two big problems with it. Firstly, there appears to be a bug in the "character" window when using XP - the option buttons are located in the white text space and your text is hidden underneath them. Points have to go to Creative Software though - they have been as helpful as they could be, and replied promptly to my emails, but insist that there's nothing wrong with the software. The other problem is with the "character" functionality: although the drop down list of character attributes is useful in helping you define your characters' traits, I was disappointed to find that, once you've typed them in under each heading, you don't get a summary view of all your characters' traits in one window: you have to select each individual trait to read what you wrote about them. The suggestion was to type it all under one heading, which in my opinion kind of defeats the purpose. The same applies for the attributes of your "ordinary" and "extraordinary" worlds. In summary, provided it would have worked with XP without the bug, I find it only useful as a pretty note-keeper at best. It's disappointing - a little more thought and development time would have made this an excellent piece of software.
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on 17 November 2005
I bought this a few years back now and i noticed that this program is buggy and after a while you can't be bothered to put up with its errors anymore.
your probably better off just using word or something similiar. Seriously don't waste your money on junk like this.
you'll regret it.
i mean there is no spellcheck.
sometimes there is only so much you can write - (nn stops you from writing!?)
help feature sucks coz it doesn't help you.
and if you try to call up customer services to get the pin to unlock you wont get through EVER!
just use word - seriously!
new novelist is CRAP!
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on 18 September 2006
If you need a bad start to writing your novel... "Newnovelist" is the perfect writer's companion for you.

It seems to be based on "Story Craft" written John Jarvis. I could not be bothered (quite frankly) to determine if this was a direct copy of Story Craft but it probably is because it follows the "5 Stage Process" that Jarvis claims to have invented. Too many would-be novelists fall into the trap of "formula writing" which is best avoided as it destroys creativity, however, if you really do not know how to start structuring your novel you would be better off with an industry standard like "Dramatica Pro".

"Newnovelist" is heavy on characterisation and structure ('...assigning a distinct and logical process)at the expense of free creative writing. It does give a fair indication of how any novel has to be structured but the examples used are out of date and heavy.

To learn how write a novel you need do no more than read work by successful authors within your chosen genre and see how the authors have structured their books, developed interesting characters, and led the reader from chapter to chapter. Or, to put it another way, do some research - and based on what you like reading, try to develop your own style. If you take this approach, or learn how to use an industry standard creation program like "Dramatica Pro" you will manage to write your novel. Want more free advice on writing? Visit our BLOG on [...]

If you invest in "Newnovelist" you will set your writing process back by several frustrating weeks because short of the claim that 'Newnovelist releases the creative genius in us all' it actually bogs down the new writer in a process-heavy nightmare that will sap, exhaust and frustrate any creativity you may have started with!
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on 2 February 2003
Despite what I say below, this still could be a useful kickstart to anyone who needs help in getting focus on their ideas for a book or story, but there are some significant drawbacks which limit its long term usefulness.
The prog itself is shockingly short, and takes about a nanosecond to install. In reality it is like a glorified spreadsheet - with muliple levels for storing data on places and characterisation (which is by far the most useful part)
It is particularly important to realise that will not actually write a book for you (that still takes effort!) but it will help you index and track characters, places, events. storyline.
It will NOT hold the text of your novel - which is probably a good thing, because the most significant limitation for me is the inability to print anything from it!! Having things electonically is one thing, but I can see no reason for NOT allowing you to print from it....maybe the programmers know something I don't
The tips on storyline etc are pretty basic and you'll only read them once. The structures offered for story framworks are limiting (although they can be edited) tend to become annoying - which is why I think you are likely to move away from this as a tool after using it for any length of time.
I can't thinking that once you have used this for a while, you will realise how easy it is to keep track of your own details in a spreadsheet - which allows you more flexibility - not to mention being able to print from it, and can be conveniently moved between your main computer and laptop.
In sumary - it manages to help you fill in details and keep track on characterisation and overall it is probably too expensive. Of course, the 64K question is 'How much is your book worth to you?' If this helps get a book out of you, then maybe its worth it.
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on 19 December 2004
I ordered this a few days ago, and after ordering it, I read through some of the other reviews and got worried. I shouldn't have worried at all. The package arrived yesterday and I'm absolutely thrilled with this program. I consider myself to be an experienced writer, but it has taught me many new things and I'm very pleased with it.
It takes you right from the beginning of writing any kind of story, and takes you through each step. It doesn't give you all the answers, and the finished result won't be a clichéd or formulaic story. Don't think that this program will just hand you the skeleton for your story. Rather, it shows you examples of other skeletons and informs you about what pieces you might think about including. At no point does the program restrict your creativity.
The software is divided into sections, where you can design the book's different worlds and locations (including sections with everything from economical history to creatures to the smells of the place), your own characters (with lots of helpful hints to get you started and many different screens to develop your characters in), the storyline and much more.
I'm very glad I bought this product and I think that any future author needs this useful piece of software. It's turned about two hundred documents of scrappy, disorganised notes into one neat file and my writing is storming ahead. I fully recommend this product.
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on 4 July 2004
First of all i found it installed and ran in Windows 98 with no problem, shame there's no Mac version though.
When you set up your novel you are guided through a series of choices that help you define your story eg. is it an epic, a character based novel, or an adventure etc. Each choice leads to a further list of choices that narrows down to a structure template that works for your particular story. The software divides the story into 12 sections familar to most archetypal story forms eg. Hero enters extraordinary world, hero meets mentor, hero pursued by antagonist etc etc. It gives useful guides and examples of what should happen in each section and even tells you roughly how much space in your novel to allocate to each section, you can always go back and change your decisions later.
These story templates are very useful if a little simplistic: it asumes that the main character is also the 'hero' and that likewise, the antagonist is going to be the main character that the hero reacts with - which is untrue of many stories. Then it goes on to help you define a whole series of characteristics relating to your characters and locations which does help you to think through what each character is about.
The Word processor is basically a text input sceen with no options for formatting text eg. bold, italic etc. Also no find/replace function so that if, for instance, you decide to change the name of a character you have to go through every screen and overtype each instance of the name! However, when done, you can output your story as a text file that is readable by any word processor.
The biggest problem with NewNovelist is that you cannot create individual chapters within each section so you are forced to write the entire novel into just 12 screens which makes it very difficult to get a feel for the overview of your story after you have passed the basic plotting stage. There is a simialr program called Quickplot that is available as a free download (go to download . com) that allows you to create as many chapters as you like: if you don't need help with story structure I would recommend this instead as it's more flexible.
I began with the usual mess of notes and disjointed sequences and this program helped me to arrange it all into a workable structure. So yes, it helped but I found myself having to resort to a word processor before long owing to the limitations of the program. Even so, I still gave it 3 stars cos it did help me to get my plot together but it could have been much better. All together, not bad for 25 quid.
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on 18 April 2002
The simplicity and effectiveness of newnovelist has persuaded me to a write my first ever review for anything. I originally bought this as a gift for my mother - it achieved the tick in the box as a present and I thought that she might actually use it. She hasn't. I loaded it up onto my pc and there it shall stay. Even though I have had a few ideas, I never thought I would ever get around to writing a short story let alone a novel. Newnovelist has changed that. It has helped me overcome the hardest part: getting started. It is incredibly valuable in helping me to structure my thoughts, to pre-plan blocks of writing and to have some fun with my new-found hobby. The software is intuitive and has made it easy for me not only to take ideas and interweave them into the story but also to cut and past earlier drafts.
The software loaded first time and although I had a stupid query about the key authorisation, the after-sales support was responsive and helpful. In the end my mother will get a copy as will my mother-in-law, uncle and anyone else I know with a computer, time on their hands and the willingness to create. Well done and thanks.
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on 27 February 2004
Newnovelist offers a lot of promises to aspiring writers on its website and its ads. Sadly, it does NOT deliver.
The software certainly has useful sections on character description and world creation but the important part of one's writing which is the story creation section is pre-defined. There is only a set number of chapters and while you can change the titles, you can't delete or add more to it. The writer is constrained from dividing the chapters and playing with it as he/she is writing the story. You can't also play around the with story concept as it will only accept a certain number of words. It seems that whoever designed this software was not thinking or aware about writers' needs.
The website of NewNovelist is also misleading and does not fully disclose the limitations to buyers. For those thinking of buying the product online without the CD, BE VERY WARY!!! Newnovelist DOES NOT OFFER REFUNDS FOR ONLINE PURCHASES.
Over-all, Newnovelist is a waste of money and one big empty promise.
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