Fictionary Story Teller: Write the Best Version of Your Story!
This post was written by Guest Writer Thomas Greenbank. https://thomasgreenbank.com
Here’s a brilliant tool that’s been around for a couple of years or more, but that I discovered only recently.
I’ve been taking a break from my affiliate marketing business lately, to concentrate on a novel that’s been fermenting in me for ages. I had started work on The Kincaid Saga over two years ago but hadn’t made much progress.
I’d finished the first draft and was halfway through a combined Story Edit (where I get my ducks in a row and start fine-tuning scenes and characters) and Line Edit, (grammar, POV, word repeats, etc etc) when I discovered Fictionary.
Just to be clear: I mean the story-editing software, not the word game.
I had been using Grammarly as a grammar checker for my posts and other copywriting gigs, though I’d recently swapped over to Pro Writing Aid. They’re both great tools. I just found PWA to be a bit more comprehensive, not to mention quite a bit cheaper.
This link will take you to a post where I compare Grammarly and Pro Writing Aid, along with other similar tools. (The link will open in a new tab so you can easily come back here afterwards. Otherwise, keep on reading)
BTW: The creators of Pro Writing Aid and Fictionary Story Teller are currently offering a discounted package deal on the two apps. I’ll give you all the details further on in this post.
Please note: At the time of writing, Fictionary doesn’t have an affiliate program, so there’s no financial benefit to me if you choose to subscribe. However, I have managed to negotiate a discount for you, just for visiting and (hopefully) subscribing to My-Buzz.com.
I really, really wish I’d found Fictionary at least six months sooner. The time it would have saved me and the ease with which I could have fixed some especially tricky issues would be well worth the subscription cost. Let me show you something about how it works.
Fictionary works with either Word or Google docs. I use a MacBook, so I thought that might be a sticking point. No problems, though. I used Pages—the Apple word processing app—to write my first rough outline and Scrivener to do my first draft. Both of these have the ability to save and export as Word documents.
When you first open Story Teller, you’ll be prompted to upload your document. Once the program evaluates the manuscript, it’ll give you a list of characters it has discovered, and you can then edit that list to remove any you don’t need.
Remember, it’s software, so the list will probably include multiples of the same character if you refer to them differently (in my case, I have a character called Lachlan who is often referred to as Lachie depending on whose voice I’m using). You might also mention a name in passing, and the program will include them also. Sometimes, it may even miss one altogether, if the name happens to be something like “Summer”. Just remove those you don’t think are necessary.
We have an Overview button, which when clicked shows the image below. These are the main sections you will use to do your story edit.
The Story Arc feature I found most enlightening. The app automatically sets certain sections in your story as Story Arc segments, based on your wording and other points. Don’t leave them as they are.
In the image on the right, below, there’s a marked jump in the arc right at the start. This is because the app placed the opening scene as the first inciting incident, for some reason. Once you go through all scenes and specify where the salient points are your arc will be more accurate.
The image on the left shows my story’s arc after I set the scenes I wanted as Arc Points. As you can see, I seem to have my climax too late in the story. Now I can see it laid out before me this way, I’ll be able to fix the problem easily. Everything else looks almost perfect!
Other things that Fictionary will lay out for you include word count per scene, scenes per chapter, characters per scene, scenes per character, and point of view. All essential data you can use to turn your WIP into a masterpiece.
One area where Fictionary really shines is the scene-by-scene evaluation. It allows you to track your primary story arc as well as different character arcs and subplots throughout your manuscript. Really helpful if you’ve got multiple arcs.
I find that I alternate between the Visualise and Evaluate tabs, tweaking and rewording until I’m satisfied with the result.
Once you’re happy with what you have, you can then export it back to a Word or Google document and perform your line or copy edits before sending it to your preferred ‘real’ editor. No software will ever replace an actual human editor, in my opinion. What apps such as this will do, however, is to save you many times their cost when you do finally hire an editor. They do work on an hourly rate, after all.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is using Fictionary in tandem with Pro Writing Aid. Pro Writing Aid’s Chrome extension means that PWA will be ‘looking over your shoulder’ whenever you’re writing online. Since Fictionary is an online app, any Pro Writing Aid Premium user will have direct access to all its editing features from within Fictionary.
Can Fictionary Replace Scrivener?
Some might say yes. Fictionary Story Teller definitely has some features that Scrivener doesn’t, and just about everything that Scrivener does. I’m used to Scrivener, though, so I think I’ll be sticking with it. At least for the foreseeable future.
Interested? I’d recommend you grab a 14-day free trial as I did, and test-drive the system yourself. I’m sure you won’t regret it. You’ll probably need the full 14 days to properly evaluate all Fictionary’s features.
Now, what about the special deal I mentioned…
Fictionary’s usual price is $20 per month or $200 per year. I’ve heard some ask why it’s sold as a subscription model since few will be using it all the time. It’s designed to be used after the first draft before you start line editing or copy editing. Once you’ve addressed all the issues raised you can then revert back to Scrivener, for example. This is where the monthly option might be suitable. If you only write one book a year and only use Fictionary for one or two months of that time, you might choose the pay-by-the-month option. Of course, you can do all future edits within Fictionary, using Pro Writing Aid’s Chrome extension. That way, Fictionary can keep you on track whenever you make changes to the document.
It’s really a personal choice. However, it’s a choice you can’t make without giving it a test drive.
The offer? If you use this link, and enter the code SAVE20, you can get 20% off whatever plan you choose to subscribe to. (Take them up on the free trial first though)
As for the bundle deal I mentioned, I reckon this is too good to pass up.
This is definitely a limited-time offer. And no, not one of those Pretend limited-time deals. This expires on May 27th. If you’re sitting on the fence, now’s the time to jump in with both feet. (You’re Welcome, by the way)
So there you have my take on Fictionary Story Teller. I love it, and I hope you will, too.
Have you tried Fictionary for yourself? What about any of the other tools mentioned here?
Feel free to chime in via the Comments Box below. I’d love to hear your opinion.
Thanks for reading.
Your friend, Thomas. .? .
Fictionary Story Teller200 annually
Ease of Use9.5/10
Amount of Info Given10.0/10
- Very Easy to Use
- Very helpful and informative
- On-line app. No need to download.
- Online Support
- Lots of Features
- Could be a bit cheaper, perhaps.
- Takes a While to Learn
- Not Suitable for Short Stories