When I was researching scientific information for my novel, I found that my typical journal technique simply became a mess as I scratched out ideas that won’t work and kept jotting ideas around the margins. I like neat notes and I like physically writing my ideas, but writing them quickly became a bigger mess than ever before. That’s what happens when you write a complicated, detail-necessary work! How do I get organized? How do I make it easy to find my ideas without a ton of Word files in my research folder? I’m still trying to find a good solution that works for me, and during this process, I’ve come across quite a few writing tools that sound interesting. The first one on the list: StoryMill.
StoryMill is one of a few software packages by Mariner Software that work to help writers. While StoryMill is dedicated to various aspects of overall novel writing, Persona (character management) and Contour (story outline) are two other options that focus on specific areas of novel development. I’ll be honest: Contour is not something I’ll try because I am not the type of writer who outlines in any detail whatsoever. I have a general idea, pit stops along the way, and an endgame; however, my characters direct me better than any outline I’ve ever done. In other words, you won’t see a review of it here because it won’t be unbiased. With that being said, Persona is on my list because it has what I wished StoryMill did for characters: detail, detail, detail!