Book writing is definitely one of the most challenging writing projects you can ever think of. Managing chapters, characters, and the story’s flow could be a nightmare if you want to organize them manually.
Check my LivingWriter review to know how this book writing software can be a lifesaver for authors who write regularly.
Whether you are a novelist or an academician, such software can organize your work in a safe place and provide you with enough facilities to accelerate your writing.
Such book writing software will not only help you to finish your book in the shortest time possible but will also provide you the tools to organize your work easily.
Is LivingWriter suitable for you?
Let’s have a look.
Here Is What I Will Cover in This LivingWriter Review
- Create A Story Easily
- Import Story
- Create Chapters, Subchapters, and Story Elements
- The Editor
- Plot Your Story With the Board
- Access Your Story From Anywhere
- Set Your Goals
- Export to Amazon Manuscript Format
- Share Your Manuscript With Editor in Real-time
- Does LivingWriter Support Grammarly?
- LivingWriter vs. Scrivener: Is It Better Than Scrivener?
- Pros and Cons of LivingWriter
- LivingWriter Price
- LivingWriter Review: My Final Thoughts
Create A Story Easily
The intuitive interface is self-explanatory. You don’t need any steep learning curve.
Once you open the window, it will introduce you to a fresh story creating wizard. You can either start from scratch, predefined templates, or your old story.
While writing this LivingWriter review, I realized that it provides you with a unique facility to start your story from predefined story outlines.
You can use the same outlines used by several world-famous writers. It includes outlines from Dan Harmon’s Story Circle, Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, 3 Act 9 Block 27 Chapter Method, and many more.
Once you start with a predefined template, it takes you to a tutorial video to better understand the outline.
Moreover, it automatically creates the story structure for you. Follow the proven rules to write your next masterpiece.
You can easily import your story from old manuscripts. The best part is, it can automatically divide your chapters based on your heading tags while importing.
Create Chapters, Subchapters, and Story Elements
LivingWriter provides you an intuitive interface for creating Chapters, Subchapters, and Story Elements for your next masterpiece.
Click on the New icon placed on the left sidebar to create a new Chapter.
You can optionally fill the Description box and Notes field for a better arrangement of chapters. This Description box is placed on the right sidebar.
To add a Subchapter, you have to follow the same procedure.
Click on the New button placed on the left sidebar and then on the Subchapter.
You can add a new Story Element by clicking the New button and then Story Element.
LivingWriter supports four types of story elements, namely Character, Object, Setting, and Other.
It stores your Story Elements in a single place. As you type a character name or location, it automatically suggests the corresponding element. Moreover, you can click on these elements to access their details.
The auto-suggestions feature is unique to LivingWriter, and I didn’t notice it in other similar writing apps.
Moreover, you can customize these elements by providing their profile images and description.
The editor is the place where all the magic happens. The main screen is divided into three sections.
The left sidebar provides you access to Chapters and Story Elements.
The right sidebar provides details of Chapters and Story Elements. You can hide this section for a distraction-free writing experience.
The middle section is the main writing area. You will find this section very similar to Google Docs or Microsoft Word.
Plot Your Story With the Board
Board is an intuitive and modern way of viewing your story.
It provides easy access to Chapters and Story Elements. You can now arrange your whole story by dragging and dropping anything inside the Board.
Change the plot or check your progress. Board gives you a bird’s-eye view of your project.
Control Story Elements from a single place. Change their details and everything will be applied automatically to your whole story.
Check your Story Elements in one place. Change their details from the Board.
Access Your Story From Anywhere
LivingWriter is a cloud-based software. That means you can work from anywhere as long as you have an active internet connection.
All your documents are saved in a secure Amazon Web Services cloud.
Moreover, bank-level security ensures that your data remains private. It can’t access your data without your permission.
One of the handy features that sets LivingWriter apart from other desktop-based editors is Autosave and Version History.
You will find this feature very similar to the Google Docs’ Autosave feature.
Version History helps you to keep track of manuscript versions. You can quickly revert your work to an earlier version or set a name for your current version. This makes version tracking simple.
Autosave feature can save you from any unpleasant incident like a hard disk crash or sudden system reboot. Your manuscripts remain safe on their server.
Set Your Goals
“Goals” is a visual representation of your progress. Setting Goals motivates to work on a project and finish it within a stipulated time frame.
You can set up your writing Goals by:
Go to Story → Goals.
Chapter Goals keep track of your chapter’s progress. Story Goals can track your total words count and deadlines.
Good News for NaNoWriMo participants. LivingWriter has made it extremely simple to track your daily goals with the new revamped version of Daily Goals Tracker. Now you can even assign your “Writing Days Off” while setting a Story Goal and a Deadline. Once done, it will automatically calculate the numbers to hit your deadline.
Export to Amazon Manuscript Format
You can directly export to .docx, and .pdf format. While exporting, you can choose one of 16 Amazon manuscript formats.
I was expecting the presence of .epub format. However, it was missing.
Share Your Manuscript With Editor in Real-time
LivingWriter provides you a unique facility to share your entire story or individual chapters with your editor or co-authors. No need to export them manually. Real-time sharing makes collaboration trouble-free.
You can also restrict editing rights while sharing your manuscript. Your editors will only be able to view and comment if you restrict editing permission.
Does LivingWriter Support Grammarly?
It is annoying to switch back and forth between the writer and Grammarly. Fortunately, LivingWriter has solved this problem too. Now, I can use Grammarly, straight from my editor.
Proofreading is a major task for any book writing project. Support for Grammarly makes the proofreading process really easy.
The best part is, it automatically detects the browser and takes to the appropriate download page.
You can use both the Premium and Free versions of Grammarly right from your editor.
LivingWriter vs. Scrivener: Is It Better Than Scrivener?
Scrivener is probably the most popular book writing software. But LivingWriter is undoubtedly the best alternative to Scrivener I have ever used. Let’s see what sets them apart.
The first thing that you will immediately notice after switching to LivingWriter is its modern interface. Every tool is placed correctly, and the layout is immaculate. This looks very similar to Google Doc’s interface.
On the other hand, Scrivener is old-fashioned and needs serious structural revamp.
They both provide a drag-and-drop arrangement of chapters and subchapters, predefined templates, corkboards, and chapter notes.
Most importantly, there are several third party templates available for Scrivener. LivingWriter lacks such a huge library of templates. However, I am sure that they will update their templates library regularly. [Update: Currently there are eleven templates including a PhD thesis template.]
LivingWriter is cloud-based software, whereas Scrivener is a desktop application. They both have their pros and cons.
Being a cloud-based app, you will be able to access your work from anywhere as long as you have a computer and an active internet connection.
You can collaborate in real-time and share your manuscript very easily with your co-authors or editors. Another benefit of such software is that they always remain updated.
But many writers find it insecure to store manuscripts online. Even today!
Scrivener stores your documents locally. Real-time collaboration is not possible, and you need to export your manuscript every time you send it to the co-authors or the editor. Collaboration is painfully difficult.
A feature that is missing in LivingWriter is its support for .epub. Scrivener has recently introduced the support for .epub, and I am eagerly waiting for this feature in LivingWriter.
Direct integration with Apple Books and Kindle would have been very beneficial for self-publishing authors.
Despite lacking some minor features, sleek design and support for grammar checking software like Grammarly give it an edge over Scrivener.
Being a diehard fan of Scrivener, it isn’t easy to accept a better alternative. But during my LivingWriter review, I realized that it is straightforward to adapt and provides a more enjoyable writing experience than Scrivener.
Pros and Cons of LivingWriter
What I liked.
- Intuitive Interface and Clean Design
- Some of the Best Readymade Book Templates
- Autosave and Version History
- Smart Text and Autocomplete Story Elements
- Easy Sharing Option
- Integration With Grammarly
- Dark Mode
What I didn’t.
No Desktop or Offline App[Update: Desktop app available for both Mac and Windows]
- Not Suitable for Screenwriting
- No Split-screen View
- No Direct Export to Apple Books or Kindle Format
LivingWriter is a subscription-based product.
Monthly plan costs $9.99 per month. Yearly plan costs $8.00 per month. The best part is you can try a no commitment 30 days trial for free.
It generously hosts your manuscript for at least 1 year from the date you unsubscribe. However, you are restricted to read-only mode. All manuscripts can be exported within this time frame.
LivingWriter Review: My Final Thoughts
Book writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. Reaching that sweet spot of 50,000 words is a grueling job.
Book writing software like LivingWriter can ease your pain by organizing all your works in one place. It is specially designed for book writers and novelists. The interface is clean, and anyone can start writing without any prior training.
It provides all the facilities that you may require while working on your next book project.
Don’t hesitate. Try it. I’m sure you will like it.
Ease of Use