The Novel Factory is creative writing software that guides you through each step as you develop and write your story. The interface leads you in a linear path from story inception to completion. This writing software can help you each step of the process, although it is aimed more at aspiring writers over experienced novelists. It also adheres to the hero’s journey outline, which may not be for everyone.
If writing your first novel seems a daunting task, this creative writing software is your best bet. It has dedicated spaces for you to write out your story’s premise, to name and describe your characters and locations, and even to sketch out any notes or ideas you have. You can easily write out your story’s synopsis and skeleton outline with the simple storyboard feature. The program automatically saves and backs up your files, and can even help you generate character names if you can’t think of any.
The creative writing software has a built-in word processor so you can keep everything in one place. As is the case with the best writing software, the Novel Factory gives you the option to have a split-screen view or to just view your current document. With all of your notes and resources available to you within this software, you won’t have to switch between programs and lose your focus.
The spell check feature automatically notifies you if you have misspelled words in your text, while the word count lets you keep track of what you’ve written and how close you are to meeting any word count goals you’ve set. The word processor also lets you format your text and insert images and comments.
Although the software has plenty of functionality and a simple interface, we found it less intuitive, powerful and effective than the other applications we tested. The interface is clean albeit a bit outdated. The main functions are labeled as tabs, located atop the interface, but most of the other features are nested within those tabs and require more effort to get to. Additionally, the software seems to be tailored more to novice writers and computer users over more experienced users. Beyond that, it’s pretty much only usable by writers looking to write a novel that follows the hero’s journey narrative pattern.
You can jump right into the program if your computer runs any recent version of Windows. However, it is not available for Mac OS X users. Customer service is available via email, and the company also has some tutorials and other informational resources available on its website.
If you’re a less experienced writer, or if you want to focus specifically on novel writing, the Novel Factory is a decent option. It has a built-in word processor and a variety of basic story development and editing tools, but its outdated interface and variety of features hold it back.