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Writer’s Cafe

One excellent program for writers is Writer’s Cafe by Anthemion Software. This is a heavy-weight writing application brimming with more features than most people need in their usual writing work. Everything a fiction writer, irrespective of his competence, needs in order to produce his best work, is included in this application. The learning curve isn’t high, the hardware requirements minimal and the price is well worth the increased productivity as compared to some popular word processors.
writer's-cafe-normal-gui-screenMost computer users can get up to speed with its main features within a few hours. Writer’s Cafe can be termed a writing system as opposed to a single software. There are so many features and modules carefully integrated within the package that often it feels like I’m using several different apps. The mainstay of Writer’s Cafe is the Storylines module which is a nifty tool sequentializing the structure of a novel or large scene based document; like screenplays. You can move its content around – like so many index cards arranged in story board layout – till you find the best sequence. This would not be possible in most word processors where dragging, dropping and rearranging chapters isn’t available for separate documents.
Their website states that Writer’s Cafe is designed by novelist Harriet Smart, and includes varied features for writers like storylines (excellent for planning), outlining, notebook, journal, pinboard, quotations (when you need inspiration), daily writing tips, writing exercises, name generation and a research organizer. Hmm, that’s a lot.
flowering-tree-growing-in-manisha-parkEvery writer gets stuck once in a while. Me more than most. It’s important to be able to write despite the block. It does not have to be your primary writing work but other creative writing instilling discipline and more often than not, allows you to shed light on why you got writer’s block in the first place and perhaps help you recover. There’s an impressive system of prompts and exercises built into the Writer’s Cafe workflow. Just press the prompt icon and be dazzled by a huge range of randomly generated ideas for exercises.
If, out of this, you create something you like, you can paste this straight into your journal or notebook. Often these prompts force my stuck brain to get working and I start writing again with renewed energy and motivation. This also works out wonderfully even when you are not stuck and is a perfect solution to get in daily writing habit. I think daily writing practice is the absolute best way to become a better writer and develop the skills needed to create copy others will appreciate as well.
Or you can use the Scrapbook feature to collect research and ideas. It can store internet addresses, pictures, documents, research notes – or any mix as it occurs to you. You can use this for brainstorming as well. Else use its Pinboard to place free-form fragments of a story like a scrapbook in editable words.
There’s also a handy timer to put pressure on yourself to stick to deadlines you set for yourself.
Writer’s Cafe is fully portable – meaning that it can run from a USB pendrive and does not require installation. It is available for Windows, Linux, or MacOSX. There’s also a free demo available restricted to 20 ‘index’ cards but otherwise works just like the registered package. For more information or to download the demo, you can visit Writer’s Cafe site at Anthemion Software Ltd.

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