Recently I was introduced to an app called Novelist. Naturally, being a writer, I was incredibly interested in trying it out.
I downloaded it, and it has been almost a month now since I have been using it. Here is my review of it over this past month.
For starters, one of the best things about this app is that it is 100% free to download and use. I am not the type of person to spend money on an app. Chances are if I have to pay for it, then I don’t need it. So when I discovered that it was free, I knew I had to try it.
When you first download the app, it has a tutorial that walks you through how to use it. The tutorial itself wasn’t terribly exhaustive. I kinda thought they should have done a little bit better of a job on the tutorial, but that was a miner issue.
Overall the app is pretty easy to figure out on your own. I just hit different buttons and learned my way around it that way (directions and tutorials are overrated anyway, right? I mean who really reads ’em? 😜).
The basic idea of it is to help writers keep track of various details and ideas for their novels. And it has pretty extensive sections for keeping track of these things. Also, you can have multiple novels going at one time.
There are four main things you can do.
Underneath each of these there are sub categories (if you want to call them that 😉).
When you click on the plot page, you are given six separate pages where you can write down details of your novel’s plot.
The first one is titled “Theme”. This section gives you a place to write down what themes you want portrayed in your novel. You can add multiple themes and under each theme you can write a synopsis of how you want it incorporated, etc.
Next up is a section called “Events”. Pretty much the same idea as before. It allows you to write down any major events you want to remember or hash out.
The next section is titled “Characters”. It is by far my favorite aspect of the app. It allows you to keep a list of every character in your novel. This in and of itself is really nice for my scatter brained self, but wait — it gets better.
You can write down details that you want to remember about each character. Also you can link them to other characters and show how they are related to each of the other characters. I know, cool, right? This section of the app comes in super handy when you can’t remember how old your side character is, or what color you had decided your POV’s eyes were going to be. Or how was this character connected to that one?
I don’t know, maybe I am just crazy, but this is a real struggle I deal with. 🤪
“Locations” is the title of the next section. It lets you keep track of all of the different locations you have in your novel. And keep track of important details about each one.
Constantly forgetting where you had said your make belief country was located? Not anymore!
Searching through your draft to remember how you decided to spell the name of your fictional town? Problem solved.
The last two are “Props” and “Extras”. Again, pretty much the same as the previous ones. Just a really convenient way to jot down your ideas and details.
The write page is just one page (unlike “Plot”). It enables you to separate your novel into sections (chapters, acts, etc.). And then you can write your novel like you would on a computer.
This page does exactly what it says. 😁 You can organize and move around scenes/chapters in your novel.
This page lets you set a word count goal, and then set how many days you want to complete it in. It will keep track for you and let you know how many days you have left to finish your goal.
Over all, I have really enjoyed being able to use this app for my current novel. I know that I could keep all of this in a notebook (which I do as well), but sometimes I am not able to go and look at my notebook when I need to, and that is when this app comes in really handy. Or sometimes I am working on my novel and need to remember a detail, but don’t want to have to scroll all the way back through my draft to find it. All I have to do is bring up my Novelist app and there it is. I would definitely recommend this app to my writer friends.
Well, have I thoroughly confused you yet? 😆 I know that probably was about as clear as mud, but I hope it maybe helped you out a little. ❤️
Do you struggle keeping details straight in your WIP? What do you use to keep track? Let me know in the comments below!