LivingWriter and its powerful features are all designed primarily for fiction. The highly specific writing process involved in producing fiction works has informed most of LivingWriter’s development, and so we are confident that when it comes to fiction, LivingWriter is basically the best at what it does.
Of course, we’re not just going to be all talk but no bite. In this article, we will be outlining how LivingWriter has shaped itself to be the premier writing software for fiction.
Fiction encompasses works which are made up of narratives and stories that are imagined and invented by the writer. They can include characters we may never meet, places we may never be able to go to, and happenings that may never happen in real life. These works often come in the form of novels, novellas, and short stories.
Fiction encourages suspension of disbelief among readers, accepting the “world” the writer has conjured as it is. Readers treat the information given in fiction as facts in the context of the story, so that they can enjoy the stories being presented.
There are two primary categories in fiction: literary fiction and genre fiction. Most people would be familiar with genre fiction, and may not have heard of literary fiction all that much.
The primary distinction between these two categories is that genre fiction encompasses works that can be neatly categorized into genres, while literary fiction includes works that cannot be clearly categorized into genres.
In a technical standpoint, literary fiction cannot be strictly defined. Unlike genre fiction where common themes and tropes are expected to emerge throughout the narrative, literary fiction is varied and uncategorizable.
Literary fiction works often have one similarity across the entire repertoire: they often attempt to resemble real life, and may provide a metaphor for the human condition or philosophical themes. Literary works employ well-written characters, experimental prose, liberal use of literary devices, and ambiguous plots to deliver powerful narratives.
In an academic point of view, literary fiction is often seen as superior to genre fiction. Many works under this category are regarded with high acclaim, called the “classics”, and may even be used as material for literature courses.
On the other hand, genre fiction comprises works that follow certain conventions and tropes. Readers expect certain plot developments and story structure out of genre fiction novels, which then decide the success of the novel.
Genre fiction is formulaic: the plot is predictable, at least to a certain point, and certain elements must be present or else you risk losing the privilege of being under the genre. It might sound unoriginal and bland, but genre fiction does not always fall under a single genre; overlap is common and encouraged.
Fantasy Fantasy novels focus on supernatural elements, present on the characters, settings, or themes. Magic is often central to the development of the plot.
Crime - Crime novels narrates fictional crimes, often following the detection of the crimes, the doer, and their motives.
Romance - Romance novels take on stories involving two people’s romantic relationships. Romance novels have a lot of subgenres that often overlap with other genres.
Science fiction - Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that deals with futuristic technology. Although very similar to fantasy, they differ in that science fiction anchors itself on hard science.
Horror - Horror novels aim to frighten or scare the readers. Psychological horror sources the fear from internal aspects of the human psyche, while supernatural horror conjures fictional monsters to inflict terror.
LivingWriter and fiction are a match made in heaven. As a matter of fact, you can say that LivingWriter was born out of the specific needs of fiction writers, from plotting tools to character trackers. Dare we say, LivingWriter bests all other writing platforms when it comes to the robust features catering specifically to fiction writers.
Plotting is a crucial step in the writing process, allowing writers to see the development of the story in terms of consequential plot points. A good plot makes up an amazing novel, and to make a good plot, you have to prepare it before you write down your manuscript.
LivingWriter has two features in its arsenal as plotting tools. Fiction writers who prefer a traditional approach to plotting would be right at home with Outlines and Chapters, and may even be pleasantly surprised with its powerful outlining features.
Similar to making an outline, Outlines and Chapters allows writers to break their manuscript down into sections and chapters. On a basic level, writers can write short descriptions per section, then each section can hold chapters which can also have their own descriptions. These descriptions can be easily seen on the Board, giving you a great bird’s eye-view of your plot.
However, the power of Outlines and Chapters really comes in when you want to get a bit more detailed with your descriptions. Each section and chapter can hold more notes other than just brief lines, which may refer to more specific events that would occur in that part of the story. These notes are accessible in the sidebar, and you can easily find them while writing the manuscript.
Now, if you find yourself a bit restricted by the tradition of linear outlines, then allow us to introduce you to Plot Boards! With two boards to choose from, the sky is literally the limit when plotting with LivingWriter.
Fiction is often not just a singular major plot, but many subplots intertwine across a single story. Normal outlines might not completely suffice to track all these subplots, so you can now refer to the Standard Grid.
Designed similarly to J.K. Rowling’s iconic makeshift spreadsheet she used to track the subplots of the Harry Potter series, the Standard Grid is a great way to arrange your main plot and subplot’s events in a chronological manner. You can see which events from other subplots occur together or consecutively and see how that might affect the narrative for the story.
If you feel that the Standard Grid is too methodical, then run wild and free with the Freeform Grid. With a striking resemblance to mind maps, the Freeform Grid is the ultimate dream for fiction writers whose plots are too complex and multifaceted for outlines and spreadsheets.
With virtually unlimited space, you can create plot points, connect them to each other (and make more than just one connection), and create more than one web in a single canvas. Plot overview, conflict overview, think of the many ways you can design mind maps for your novels!
Characters form the life of any novel, fiction novels most of all. Well-written characters liven up the story, allow readers to have someone to root for, to hate on, to love and adore. On the other hand, fiction with bad characters can ruin the entire book for the readers.
Character sheets have been a great tool for writers to line out their characters, and of course LivingWriter would have something dedicated for character development. Meet Elements!
With Elements, you can write sections of multiple notes about not just characters, but also settings, objects, and systems. This flexible tool also allows you to upload images (plural) so that you can have a visual inspiration.
Other than notes, you can also create relationships between Elements, provide nicknames that can be used to refer to that Element, and have all this information and notes right beside your manuscript every time you mention that Element.
Fiction, despite not being real, is often informed by reality. To create amazing characters, detailed worlds, and logical plots, writers sometimes fall back to real-life references. Informing your story with something real does not make it any less fictional. Rather, it can be a great stepping stone to tell a better story.
Of course, looking for references means that you are doing a lot of research, and that means a lot of links, documents, and images that you would end up saving in a folder named “RESEARCH” then curse yourself after having to scroll through hundreds of files trying to find the right reference
LivingWriter changes that inefficient system with the Research Board. The Research Board is a place where you can consolidate your references in one place, have them properly labeled, and be able to search through them. Another great thing about the Research Board is that all of your research materials are easily accessible anywhere you go. Never lose a reference anymore!
LivingWriter is a constantly evolving platform, and so this list is bound to grow and improve upon itself over time. We aim that fiction writers will not want for anything as they write their beloved manuscripts on LivingWriter. From plotting tools to character sheets, LivingWriter provides all that and more.