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Chapter by Chapter

September 10, 2008

When I first thought about writing a novel, I immediately thought not of character or plot, but how I was going to organize 300 or more pages and move through the scenes and chapters deftly.

My first thought is to use notecards.  This simple, old-fashioned way of tracking and moving scenes has been updated by computer notecards, but nevertheless, every bit as effective.  My next thought was using Adobe Pagemaker.  It is an excellent software package that enables the writer to see how the words will lay on the finished page.  It anchors images and can format the pages so the layout will stay consistent.  I had an old copy of Pagemaker and remembered that the extensions on the saved documents didn’t easily lend itself with sharing documents on other word processing software.  Realistically, buying the updated version was not cost effective.

So, I found the second best thing to notecards. Chapter-by-Chapter (CbC)is free.  Here’s the link: http://pagesperso-orange.fr/sebastien.berthet/cbc/

CbC mimics the outlining style of Pagemaker.  It isn’t as robust, but who really uses all those features?
This is a simple but powerful program whose goal is to make writing your novel easier to write. You write the pages in a Word document and then tie it to a outline format, so you can visibily see how your story line unfolds.  It allows you to move sections of text to other pages and reformats changes.

I just discovered this tool, so I haven’t had a chance to use it myself. Check it out and let me know how this works for you.

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