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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Peaslee

Writing Software Review: Fictionary




Fictionary is browser-based story editing software. It offers StoryCoach for editors and StoryTeller for writers; since I am a writer, I’ll cover the latter in this post.


Fictionary aims to help “tighten your plot, characters, and settings to make your story really pack a punch.”


How Do They Do This?


Fictionary tracks 38 story elements—everything from a POV character’s goals to entry and exit hooks—to help you determine what areas of your story need work. 


These 38 elements are separated into three categories: Character, Plot, and Setting. For each scene in your WIP, you’ll input information based on what the scene contains. 


Is That All?


That’s quite a lot, but no. They also have 15 story insights that you can visualize with charts and graphs. For instance, this Story Arc graph shows the “recommended story arc” versus my actual story arc.





I was relieved to see that they’re pretty close because this is often an indication that a story is well-paced.


Pros


  • They offer a two-week free trial. You can get a lot done in those two weeks. 

  • You can customize what insights you track.

  • They offer multiple ways for you to visualize your manuscript. You can see scenes per chapter, words per scene, a scene-by-scene outline, and more

  • The 38 story elements really do cover a lot of ground. I immediately was able to highlight several continuity errors in my novella by tracking one element. 

  • Super easy-to-learn interface. And if you have any questions, just watch one of their many short videos.


Cons


  • If you don't like to do things by any kind of formula, then you will probably be annoyed by things like the recommended story arc. Even then, the software is still useful for providing an overview of all the story elements.


  • You have to input the information for the 38 story elements. Fictionary uses what they call “ethical AI” to name your scenes (while giving you the option to do this yourself, but they did a great job with mine) and figure out where the major plot points happen (that it didn’t do as well). But after that, you are doing the work. That’s fine, it’s just tedious.

  • Doesn’t track subplots—not a problem for me, as I don’t have any subplots, but most books do.


Do I Recommend It?


I do! At the very least, I recommend checking out the free trial. 


If you decide to keep it, the subscription prices are reasonable.




Am I Being Paid For This Review?


I wish.


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