As I wade back into the writing waters after my own self-imposed hiatus, I am beginning to do some warm-ups. I’m playing with words and word games. I’m reading – non-fiction and writing process. I’m re-reading bits and pieces of old manuscripts. I starting looking at my favorite writing exercises to get my brain pumping and then started wondering about world of software for writers and how far it had progressed in recent years. I remember thinking a few years back that I was surprised the field of creating software for writers hadn’t progressed faster than it had. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been too surprised as there are still a great many writers who don’t use a computer at all and don’t spend all their time online like so many of the rest of us. Still, I thought it would be fun to go looking for brainstorming and story building software and see what was out there. I might even buy one to play around with. One project I am going back to work on is a book that I’ve been working on for over 20 years. I need a fresh approach if it is ever going to get done and maybe playing with it in computer program might be just the ticket. No program will write the book for you but sometimes, as with sharing your work with a critique group, you can jumpstart your brain to start thinking about your story in a very different way.

So here are some of the more popular programs I found.

Story Base sort of intrigues me. It looks like fun (possibly useful procrastination?) Some of the others look like too much work. How about you? Have you used any of these or other programs for brainstorming or story building?