Posts Tagged ‘yWriter4’

There are a few basic polishing tools one should use while re-writing. Why rewriting? Well, for one, while you’re writing your first draft you should just be concentrating on getting your story out. Donning the editor’s hat comes later. If you try to do both simultaneously, you’ll get nowhere.

And it is here that your computer, either the basic word-processing software or your rewriting software, can be of immense help. Here’s what I do.

After I’ve written my story, rewritten it to take care of the language and loopholes, I rewrite it once more to polish it.

  • 1. The first thing I do is look for places where I have begun two consecutive sentences or two consecutive paragraphs the same way. Usually this happens with the word ‘then’ or ‘next’.
  •  2. I do a find and search thing for exclamation marks. If there are many exclamation marks in any one particular sentence, I try to do away with all but one. 

For instance, if I’ve written: Aha! So my investment really paid off! I knew it!, I retain the one after Aha and remove the others. In the beginning I felt that by using exclamation marks I was being emphatic where i should have been emphatic. Wrong. I was being distracting.

  • 3  Next I use the search and find tool to spot adjectives and adverbs ending with ‘ly’ and see if I can do away with the ‘ly.’ If my search throws up phrase like there was this hugely popular, I remove hugely. Hey, popular is popular. And then if I’ve written, “I don’t need to resort to that!” she replied indignantly, I replace it with, She looked indignant.I don’t need to resort to that!she said. In this instance you can even do away with she said.

This is not always possible. For instance, if I’ve written, “Something about some distant cousin,” she said absently, I can’t very well write She looked absent. “Something about some distant cousin,” she said, can I? However, what I could use is, she looked like she was not altogether there or she looked distracted.

The upshot is that, don’t try too hard. Write whatever comes easily, else it will look forced.

 More on this tomorrow.

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June 30

I resisted when someone suggested using Final Draft for my screenplays. I had worked out the formatting in word and couldn’t be bothered to learn newer software, no matter how much better it was.

That friend, may his screenplays always get made into award winning films, persisted. He gave me a CD, installed it and even imported the screenplay I was working on in it. Still I did nothing about it. Then one day I had some time. I didn’t particularly feel like writing so I decided to fool around with Final Draft.

Actually this urge was prompted in part by the realisation that I was guilty of the same syndrome that I had once famously accused my father of. I had very haughtily pronounced my dad a dinosaur when he refused to learn computing declaring that pen and paper had served him well thus far and it would too going forward as well.

Anyway I mastered Final Draft, and is wont to happen when any new software comes along, I can’t imagine how I had survived without it. My life was then divided into ante Final Draft and post Final Draft.

Till now.

Recently someone suggested and yWriter4. yWriter4 was rumoured to have been developed by a magician. It was credited with fixing scripts and manuscripts by itself. It was rumoured to do the writing by itself.

When I first heard about it, I thought the claims were fantastic. I no longer think so.  Though I haven’t explored it fully yet, I can safely say that I don’t think I’ll do any writing without it.

yWriter4 breaks down your manuscript chapter and scene wise. Each scene can be tagged according to characters and locations. You can also tag each scene according to motivations, goals, and conflict and rate them on a numerical scale. This can help you up or lower any ingredient.

yWriter4 also helps you find frequently  used words and phrases in the manuscript so you can figure out if you are ODing on the he grimaceds, or said wrylys, or she yelpeds, or she screecheds or he crieds.

yWriter4 also breaks down your MS according to the number of words in each chapter and scene which is very helpful in terms of cutting down on the skippers, i.e., the portions readers tend to skip. As you can imagine it helps with the pacing and keeping the MS tight.

Plus many more features which I haven’t explored yet. It can supposedly break down the MS according to different characters’ POVs. You can tag characters’ biographies and backstories. You can do the same with locations and scene and send link backs so you can tie loose ends.

Truly magical. Ante yWriter4 ends, post yWriter4 begins.

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