Metabook

Write the great American novel with this cool Windows application.

MB-05

Every writer, EVER, has the same dream – to write the book that will make him a bazillionaire. The book goes viral. It gets turned into a series. Movies are made from them; and their name becomes a household word. They are remembered all the time, everyday, out loud by everyone and anyone because they’ve all read the books. The key to getting started, is getting organized. That’s why I really like Metabook. It’s a Windows tool to help you create organization around your great American novel.

One of the hardest things to do when writing short stories and novels is organizing your thoughts and ideas. Yes, you have this totally awesome idea in your head and its beating down the walls trying to get out. What you really need to do is to organize the information so that you don’t lose any of it. This is where Metabook comes in. With it, you can create a structure that will help you organize information and metadata around people, places, items, actions and activities. It’s the easiest way to get your idea(s) out of your head and actually on paper where they can make sense and won’t conflict.

The best thing about Metabook is that its totally free form. You can create unlimited structure notes, but are limited to three layers. If you need to go deeper than that, you can start an individual node and drill three levels on it. If you need go deeper than that, then you can again, start an additional node, or you may want or need to rethink how you’re organizing your thoughts. The idea here is to get them down on paper and get them organized.

You can also use your document editor of choice. Metabook will allow you to hook into Word, WordPad, or any other tool you’ve got so you can write. Again, the idea is to organize and help the words come out, not to limit you to a specific tool. If needed, you can also pull in attachments – notes or other files, say…pictures and graphics or Visio files and other Office-centric data – into the tool so you can access them later. You can also create a separate project file for each book or document you wish to organize. Again, the idea is to keep it all separate so you can keep it all organized.

Metabook is a great application. If you’re trying to get organized around any kind of writing project, this is a great way to start. The app is light and easy on resources. Its easy to use. Its affordable; and it provides the basics around getting the whole party started – getting your thoughts out of your head and in some kind of organized form so you can begin writing.

The biggest issue with the app is that if you’ve never used it or anything else from this author, its not very easy to figure out how to get started. Once the app starts, you need to right click on the left pane window in order to bring up a context menu to create your first node. If you didn’t know to try that, and I didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to get very far with the app. There’s no File—New command, or any other visual clue to get you going; and that’s probably the biggest hole in this app.

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