The best bit of software I have ever found is call 'The Human Brain'. It's great; it’s portable, multi-functional, receives updates continually and when connected to some important hardware (Personally I recommend the eyes, ears and hands as a minimum.) 'The Human Brain becomes one of the most valuable pieces of kit in any writer's armoury. Occasionally I toy with using someone else's brain but usually revert to the standard issue version, which in my case came built-in. I have modified 'The Human Brain' with some important software updates and am now using Version 45. Which in my case appears to be functioning slightly better than Version 44. I guest I will have to wait until August when the long awaited Version 46 upgrade appears but I am hopeful that the minor updates between now and then will result in a much improved product. I have used some performance enhancing hardware and usually find stimulants such as a modicum of caffeine or single malt whisky helps lubricate the system leading to enhanced performance. Though a word of warning if you are going to upgrade using single malt whisky not to overload the system as this can lead to a temporary short circuit and in some case can wipe the entire hard drive clean of freshly stored information. Well I am off now for another minor upgrade before tackling the new draft of my next novel. Take care and I hope you find what you are looking for.
The problem I find with the annual updates of The Human Brain is that the manufacturer has managed to tie them to mandatory updates of The Human Body. Whether I request it or not, every year the new Body version arrives at the same time as the Brain update. (I've complained repeatedly to the manufacturer, but it never helps. The maker seems to have more power than even Microsoft!)
I find that while the updates for Brain are usually invaluable (each update seems to build on the last), those Body updates just seem to be worse than useless. Rather than improving things, the Body updates really bollix things up--kind of like Vista seems to have done to XP. The system doesn't run as smoothly, and while with earlier versions I could run the system continually for long periods, I find I have to reboot far more often. And the boot process seems to take longer.
Right now, I'm using Version 54 for both. I'm hoping that some enterprising hacker will figure out a way to sever the mandatory nature of the tie between the two applications, in which case I'd elect to continue my subscription to the annual updates to Brain.
But as to Body, I think that not only will I discontinue my update subscription--I'm gonna see if I can roll back to Version 25. For sure.
I agree, this whole synchronised updating is a pain and often leads to some malfunctions. I have tried overriding this process using a common upgrade by-pass system tool, the Lean Interface Eradicator or LIE as it is commonly known. LIE only works for so long though before other versions realise and throw in compatibility issues, resulting in a complete systems failure. The equivalent of the blue screen of death!
It's possible I misunderstand the question. However when things get especially difficult in my writing -- when the chips are really down, as they say -- I know it's time to get out a yellow legal pad, my favorite Mont Blanc pen and curl up in a chair in front of the fireplace. (In the winter. In the summer it's the same items, but we end up outside under my thinking tree.)
There's something satisfying and sensuous about having the ink actually hit the target. The feel of the pen in my hand. The gentle flowing scrape of the nib across the paper. If things are stuck, this is the method that will get things moving for me again.
What helps me the most, is a notepad and pen beside my bed, one on my desk at work, one in my handbag. that way if an idea comes I won't lose it. I've tried just remembering things and an hour later it's gone.
I don't beleive using some formulaic software is really crime writing. It sounds like something where you fill in the blanks. I could not do that. I think doing your research, knowing how crime writing works and having a great idea is the way to go.
And to Darren Laws, I'm only on version 34 of the Human Brain, I wish I was still using v. 25, but I guess I am glad to have the experiences. I find that red wine does not help each version as much as it used to.
Amanda, Version 25 was great I agree, but it did have some fundamental flaws though I understand these were mainly prevalent in the XY not the XX versions. Earleir versions tended to need rebooting and suffered from underdevelopment of the software, though the hardware was much sturdier.
Well, you know, in this kind of market, machines that do it for you will always sell better than mysteries. Some mystery authors have discovered that and switched to designing software. And if you feel like doing some of the work yourself, there are always the "how to" books. They are frequently also by former mystery authors who found them a faster route to bestsellerdom.
Sorry. My day to be cynical about the writing business.
I have tried BestsellerKing and Dunkin Fiction, both these programs bring different benefits The AVATAR and AUTOCharacters work fine in BestsellerKing but you can help feeling that it is just spewing out a pile of crap for mass consumption. Fine if you want something to instantly fill a void but it does make sleeping at night difficult. Dunkin Fiction on the other hand provides instant gratification and can provide that Best Seller in hours without even spending anytime reading writing or researching. Depending on availability, have you tried Instant Fiction? Load it up, type your protagonists name and hit 'Enter' Bugger all happens for six hours as the program genuinely recreates Writer's Block and presents a blank page...fantastic!
Be very careful with this stuff - a couple of years ago I was doing Dunking Fiction everyday. I had to rip off old ladies to pay for my habit - yes I'm ashamed to admit it but I had to write short stories for 'womens magazines'.
My addiction had serious consequences on my Human Brain which experts tell me now resembles version 66...
I am still in rehab with daily therapy at my computor churning out real characters with...gulp...complex back story.
I was fortunate and saw the signs at an early stage. Dunkin Fiction was leading me down a very slippery path, which is why I briefly toyed with the idea of dablling with BestsellerKing...I know, I know. I just needed the fix. My characters were all messed up and going nowhere. I mean, what else could I do? A friend of mine introduced me to it.
"Go on, it won't harm you. Before you know it you'll be knocking out a novel every six months."
It was soooooooo tempting. Then I remembered all those hacks trying to knock out a novel in a month in one of theose obscure joints on the net, in the vain hope that what they produced would be grade A stuff (you know what I mean?). A novel a month, man, I could get hooked into that!