I bit the bullet and purchased a subscription to Fictionary. Being a word-processing program and outliner for authors, it falls into the same category as Scrivener, but they have some differences. Here’s how I feel about Fictionary:
- Character tracking: Fictionary has a great feature for keeping track of characters in each scene. Character tracking is so much easier in Fictionary than in other novel writing softwares I’ve used.
- Story structure: Fictionary has a story arc feature in which the user can plug in the story structure he has chosen, such as the 3-part structure or Save the Cat. This feature can help the writer gage the pacing of the scenes.
- Online access: As much as I love Scrivener, it can feel clunky when it comes to downloading the software and synchronizing updates. Fictionary, being online, feels so much more streamlined.
- Learning curve: Scrivener’s flexibility is both a blessing and a curse. While the big S can be excellent for shaping it into exactly what is needed for a project, it can be overwhelming to learn. Fictionary has less flexibility, but it has what is needed for planning and writing a novel.
Sounds like I’m dumping on Scrivener, right? Well, my honest opinion is that the writer gets more bang for the buck with Scrivener. Fictionary is pricey in my opinion, but it has some great features not found in Scrivener.
In the end, I will still use both. As a graphic designer I use Adobe Photoshop for some things and Adobe Illustrator for other processes. Same for Fictionary. It’s great for the development process, but Scrivener is great for the actual composition. Just my opinion.
So if you’d like to try Fictionary, you can use it for free for a few weeks before subscribing. I recommend it.