My thanks to ideas4writers member Steve for telling me about Wizards for Authors, which I hadn’t come across. These are basically a set of templates and macros for Microsoft Word.
Steve wonders how the collection might compare with a product such as StoryCraft Pro.
However I think WriteItNow and StyleWriter are both much better products. WriteItNow goes into a lot more depth regarding the amount of detail you can add about each character, location, and so on, and has additional tools for generating character details automatically. StyleWriter is more of an editing/grammar checking tool that goes much further than the one built into Word.
The Grammar Checker (Ghost Reviewer) in the Wizards package only seems to handle American English, not British English, so it’s not as useful as it first appears. The other tools in the Book Doctor section seem to be mainly simple find-and-replace type Word macros that I usually put together myself in a few seconds, for example, to find each occurence of two spaces and replace it with a single space. If you’re used to working with find and replace in Word then you won’t need these. Otherwise you might find them useful.
The only Wizards that might be useful for most people are the ones dealing with writing proposals and so on, but I guess these are little more than Word templates that you could easily create yourself if you know how to write proposals already (which you jolly well should!) And if you don’t you can learn it easily enough (and more cheaply) from a good book.
The Wizards package is nothing like StoryCraft Pro, which analyses your story, matches it with a pre-defined story type, and then walks you through the steps to build the story, making sure all the essential elements and structures are present.
My personal opinion is that I’ll be sticking with StoryCraft Pro and WriteItNow. I don’t have StyleWriter as I don’t think I really need it.
I can see how the tools in Wizards for Authors might be of use to some people, but I don’t have any need for most of them myself. Of the ones that think I would find useful, my opinion is that the equivalent functions in WriteItNow are superior.
Anyway, an interesting collection, and worth a look if you already have Word. But I think StoryCraft Pro and WriteItNow are an unbeatable combination at the moment – writing fiction is soooo much easier with these two programs working together.