Save the Cat Template Added

A little while back a friend of mine who does a bit of work as a director/screenwriter pointed me at Save the Cat , considered the ideal structure for a movie.

I had read the book and found it fascinating, (there is version for novel writers as well, but I had the script one)

Then I found this great blog post by @savannahgilbo and it all clicked for me I wanted a save the cat template for wavemaker, so took the basics and added it.

Make sure you pop over to see her take on it at

http://www.savannahgilbo.com/plotting-save-the-cat/

Novel Writing Software for Linux

The title is actually a bit misleading. Wavemaker runs on everything. Including Linux (I personally use it on my Ubuntu Laptop, my chromeOS laptop, as well as my Windows PC and my Android Tablets and Phone)

For the uninitiated it does look a bit like a website, (Which in fact is ALSO is). There is however one major difference.

You can install wavemaker locally, and run it offline!

It’s a Progressive Web App – Here’s how to install it

I use a lot of different devices , and wavemaker was built to do all the same stuff on all of them. Using this technology makes it much, much easier. The key elements are you need to have a PWA compatible web browser (Right now that’s Chromium and Chrome, but the other browsers are all planning to support this ).

So If you haven’t already install chrome/chromium and simply visit https://wavemaker.cards It will prompt for an install.

Free Novel Writing Software?

Why Wavemaker novel planning & writing software is free.

I started out building wavemaker as I wanted software that suited me. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nice programs out there. Scrivener is really good, Atomic Scribbler is nice, Manuskript is decent  and so on ….. 

But none of them are cross platform. Wavemaker  works on virtually anything and syncs between devices easily so you can write at your desk, or while walking the dog (Yes, I actually do this, dictating into wavemaker on my phone while out and about)

But Why Free??

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take your money if you insist 😉
(You can become a patron at the  Wavemaker Patreon)

But my aim is to create some great free novel writing software, for ME. 
The fact you get to use it is a bonus. Also I really ENJOY creating stuff like this. If ever I get enough Patrons to support me I’ll go full time at this, but until then I have to squeeze it into my spare time.

I’m also  Open sourcing the code for the older versions, and will do with the current version when I have all the bit’s I want done – I want to do this as others will be able to help by adding features, fixing bugs and making it better. 

This is what makes Wavemaker truly unique. It’s goals are to be as inclusive as possible, as useful as possible and as easy to use as possible.

If you want to try out this amazing Free Novel Writing Software then give it a go. There’s nothing to lose 🙂 https://wavemaker.cards

How to install a PWA

Wavemaker is a PWA (Progressive Web App), which at it’s most basic level is a website that you can install locally and run without an internet connection. If you visit https://wavemaker.cards with a browser that allows you to take advantage of this (Google Chrome at time of writing is the first) You get the install button appearing

At time of writing Windows/Linux/ Android do this by default (as should iOS) – on a mac you may need to enable the browser settings for Chrome

If it the button doesn’t appear check the 3 dot menu

Why use PWA’s

Easy. Wavemaker is designed to be an online tool – it can run offline very easily, but about 95% of what you download as part of the software is basically the web browser (chromium) to run the actual software in!

Using a PWA means I don’t need to create installers and apps for every platform – I just make one website that you can install locally and run offline. A Major bonus is that the software can automatically update from the website if it needs to – boom, it’s now evergreen software 🙂 This leaves me more time to make the software better for everyone, rather than hunting down a problem with a specific installer.

This is a new technology, but you can expect this to become pretty common now. Google, Microsoft, Apple and Firefox are all keen on this technology so it should be widely supported on all browsers pretty soon.

Wavemaker Version 3 is Live

Version 3 is now live, you can find it  at  https://wavemaker.cards

Installing

Wavemaker is a Progressive Web App now which will install virtually anywhere and run offline, It’s also been built to work on tablets and phones!

Managing Your Work

Your Projects need to be safe, Wavemaker has changed and now uses a local database to keep your projects in, this can be easily backed up and moved, as can individual projects – you can also back it up to google drive and restore it to a different device with a click.

New Features

It took a while, and we have a LOT of new features – multi level organisation, formatting options and distraction free ….

New note taking Database

This is based loosely on google keep, keep notes and photos tagged in an easily searchable database – top tip – use it from your phone to record pictures of locations!

Snowflake Tool

An old favourite back again – build your idea up from a simple paragraph

Planning Board

Manage all your scene and character notes!

Grid Planner

Based on  the planning grid used by  JK Rowling. 

Timeline Planner

Another old favourite – build up your story by event planning

Challenge Mode

New Export Options

NaNoWriMo Template News

I was never satisfied with the Nanowrimo template built into wavemaker. Today however I found this. The new template will be arriving in version 2.6 due shortly 🙂

The Manuscript Shredder NanoWrimo Template

Using this I have updated the template in wavemaker, but I strongly suggest you head on over to  The manuscript shredder  for more info on it!  

There is also a great book for those of you looking to take part as well.

Other Resources

This roadmap is a combination of several sources.

The Snowflake Method

I first came across this while reading up on writing techniques and found it fit nicely with what I called my ‘Cards’ method.

Read about the snowflake method here : The Snowflake Method

The ‘Cards’ approach was simple.

  1. Write a summary of your story on a  5×3 lined card
  2. Take 3 new cards and break that summary into a beginning, middle and end.
  3. Throw away the original card
  4. Take the first card and split that 
  5. ……… repeat as needed

This led to the first tool I built to do this electronically – can it can still be found in the wavemaker software as the snowflake tool

The BUT/SO rule

What makes for a good story

I read quite a bit and there have been some great books out there that keep me interested and engaged. However one of the things I noticed was wrong with bad stories was when things just kept happening to the protagonist, things that were out of their control.

The story was driven almost entirely by outside events, and before long I lost interest. When I saw the south park creators talking about this subject it just made sense.

Consequences of actions

Want a great example of this – The Martian by Andy Weir. After the initial sandstorm almost everything that goes wrong for Mark Watney is caused by his actions and his choices.

It can be summed up as

Mark is on Mars BUT he is stranded SO he tries to grow potatoes for food BUT he does not have enough water SO he tries to make water from rocket fuel ……..

Hence I call it the BUT/SO rule.

Getting Started writing with wavemaker novel writing software

Where to begin?

On your first look at the software you’re probably wondering what’s a good starting point. It’s designed to be used how YOU want to use it, so send feedback if you’d like to see something in there.

My personal place to start is the timeline tool, especially when hammering out an basic idea.

The Timeline Tool

I find it really useful to cobble together a simple timeline of the events in the story. This is a standalone tool that I added purely so that when you start a project you can quickly put something together that outlines your story. You can of course completely ignore it if you want 🙂

The Snowflake Tool

I do most of my plotting in the snowflake tool. It’s great for expanding out your story,  breaking it down into manageable chunks that allow me to focus on that part specifically. 

The Cards Tool

The main editor allows you to fill out the cards from the snowflake tool in more detail, although it’s handy to use the Cards tool by adding scene and character notes in the editor.  You can build up a pretty extensive todo list of things to write about

The Editor

The main editor window is where you can get right down to the real work. You can see the scenes you’ve planned to write, the structure should all be there. Now comes the grind of turning all your best laid plans into a rich detailed novel.