Writer's Cafe - a place to be creative

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In The Press | Customer Feedback

In The Press

ZDNet, December 2007

"Writer's Café is slick, cross-platform software for all writers."

ComputerActive Buy It! Computer Active, January 2006

"From its unique packaging to its thoughtful approach, this program stands apart from its rivals and it's clear that this is a package designed for writers by writers... In all, Writer's Café is an excellent package. It's ideal for serious writers who want to get the most from their creative ideas."

PC Plus, January 2005

"Developed by a husband-and-wife team (he's a veteran programmer and she's a published novelist) Writer's Café is by far the most useful authorial toolkit I've come across. It satisfactorily solves one of the key problems confronting writers today - how to organise all that electronic research material you've gathered from the web and elsewhere - with the aid of an ingenious browser like front-end. Here you can store and co-ordinate HTML links, odd chunks of text, images, folders, applications you might want to run - in fact anything and everything you're going to need to lay your hands on in the course of composing your stuff. The built-in journal will appeal to bloggers, there's a notebook for marginalia (or the magnum opus itself) and an electronic bookshelf primed with manuals for the software and a book on the art of storytelling.

This, and the elegantly ingenious slipcase that houses the CD-ROM would easily be enough to justify the modest price of £32.90. But that's only the foreplay. The structuring and ongoing restructuring of your narrative is carried out inside an index card system called 'StoryLines', which emulates a cork notice board on which you can keep track of characters and events, and unrestrictedly shuffle around the elements of you story. You can download a limited, but workable, copy of the software from the website at www.writerscafe.co.uk where you'll find (a clueful touch, this) versions for Windows, Linux and the Mac. IMHO any bloggers, diarists, novelists, office report writers, aspiring (or indeed actual) Hollywood screenwriters - anyone among you who taps out prose on a keyboard - would be mad not to download this immediately."

Customer Feedback

"I just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS. This software has been a godsend to me over the years, and when I upgraded to the full version just now it all worked seamlessly, as expected."

"Just installed Writer's Café on the Eee PC. Installation was flawless, it's exactly the piece of software that was still missing. Thanks again."

"I never thought I'd need software to help with a novel but Writer's Café ended up getting me out of a sticky plot situation."
Nicola Morgan (Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland)

"I was drawn to Writer's Café because of its cross-platform capabilities. It's not just that I could use it on whatever OS I was using that day - for me a crucial factor is that it left me with a free choice of platform in the future. I'm not tied to a platform because all my files are in that format. Moving from one platform to another can cause of a lot of work and heartache."

I DO love your program. Writers Café is the best for creating something out of nothing, so to speak. It's easy to use, doesn't get in the way of the creative process, and a lot neater than piles of paper and notebooks. Sort of like a good friend or a therapist who just listens. It helps organize your thoughts and puts everything in perspective so you can hear what and understand your own ideas. Love it!"

"I am trying Writer's Café v2.06 Beta for Mac and I can honestly say that it is love at first sight."

"I love version 2, the version 1.3 was cool but this rocks. Overall, I don't want to use anything else, fantastic work, well done."

"Wow, Storylines is a wonderful program! I've been writing for thirty years, have been using the program for just a week, and I don't know how I ever got along without it. And I've tried all the big ones: Dramatica, Quickplot, CharacterPro, you name it. Storylines is a much better program, and much less expensive, to boot. Kudos to you!"
Eric Shawn

"Thanks for making such a wonderful program! Thanks to Writer's Café, I am finally organized, and getting my novel together is a breeze!"

"Overall, a great product. I've been working in computing for a quarter of a century (give or take) and have concluded that most 'intuitive' products are only intuitive if you think in precisely that same way the developers do! This isn't the case here - it just does what you want it to, without making a fuss. I've tried a couple of other packages but they were so prescriptive ("this should be about 3% of the story" - I kid you not) that I resented even starting them. Thanks for an outstanding piece of work.
Tony Guntrip

"I can't say enough good things about StoryLines. When my current novel stalled, I was ready to cover my walls with index cards. I was trying to weave several story threads into a single, complex plot - StoryLines gave me exactly the organizational support I needed to get the book back on track and keep it that way. It's easy to use, powerful enough to handle big projects, and has the best customer support I've found online. Best of all, it allowed me to write my own way, without forcing me to work within someone else's framework. I've researched a lot of writing assistance software, and StoryLines is my pick for top of the list. Thank you, StoryLines!"
Deborah Whitaker, USA; novelist and short story writer

"I've been using Writer's Café for multistranded drama and drama/documentaries for radio and television and have come to rely on the software while planning and developing programmes. For writers like myself who enjoy working on a laptop in different physical enviroments, Writer's Café has been a real liberation - no more carrying round hundreds of filing cards and bits of paper. For me, Writer's Café is now an integral part of the creative process."
Paul Dodgson, UK; writer for UK TV and radio, including for EastEnders

"I would like to thank you for Writers Café. I received it one day after I ordered it which was very impressive. It took me a while to get used to it, but now that I have, there's no stopping me. I find it much easier to write from the cards concentrating on one thing at a time. In the past when my story has been too long, I've got bored with it and given up. I completed my first story yesterday and am delighted with it!"
Lizzy Lemon

"By the way: StoryLines is fantastic! I am working on my fourth commercial book and found it boosting my productivity enormously. I found that by giving me total overview over the structure of my novel at any time, I can concentrate on being creative. I estimate an increase in productivity of >50%. I love it!"
Martin, Germany

"I cannot work without StoryLines any more."
Thomas, Germany

"When I get stuck in the midst of a writing project, I often (foolishly) think that downloading one more hyped-up writing program will be just the thing to get me moving again. I've tried most of those on the market, but the only program I continue to use is Writer's Café. I find it an invaluable aid. As with most writers I know, I can't always work in a purely linear way moving forward in a straight line from page one to the end. This program allows me the opportunity to work in a vertical as well as a horizontal manner as with hypertexts. I love it and plan to recommend it to my students."
Dr Howard Burman, playwright and founder of Cal Rep, California State University, Long Beach

"This is a great tool, one of those few that when I started using it, just 'made sense' in such a way that I really enjoyed working with it."
Steven, USA

"All I can say is that StoryLines is one of the best pieces of software I've ever found. It was exactly the kind of thing I'd been looking for for ages. Whenever I am writing anything, the ideas never come out in the order of writing, so this was a great help. For the first time since school, I actually managed to finish a story that I wanted to write. Once again, thanks. It's worth every penny."
Marc, UK

"I've only just discovered this software, but I absolutely LOVE it. It's just what I need. I was thrilled to discover that what I wanted is exactly what StoryLines does! I've gotten more done on outlining my novel in the hour I've been working with StoryLines than in months of struggling with word processors."
Joan, Wisconsin, USA

"First I want to congratulate you on your program 'StoryLines'. You have managed to accomplish a very useful yet easy to use program for writers. I dare to say this as a writer myself with up to now 8 published novels, several of them being bestsellers here in Germany, one of them even made into a movie recently. In the past, I tried software you surely know, like 'Writer's Blocks', which didn't convince me, and 'Power Structure', which convinced me first, but soon turned out to be of lesser help than expected, because one loses oneself in between thousands of edit fields to write things in that never come out again. When I downloaded the StoryLines demo and started testing it, I was absolutely stunned how simple yet powerful your concept is. It's amazing that none of all these other software developers have come up with a concept like yours before! Whatever the reason, I started to work on the concept of my next novel, hit the 30 cards-limit a few hours later, slept one night about it and ordered my licence the next day. Got my password and now I am happy."
Andreas Eschbach; award-winning, bestselling German novelist

"I used Storylines for a while, and I must say that it's the most practical and useful writing software ever. I tried two other very famous software, with no result. But with Storylines I revised the structure of two novels, obtaining lots of new ideas about the plot. It's the writing software I was searching for. Thanks."
Luca, Italy

"I bought my copy of StoryLines last week, and after a few days of trying it out I wanted to write and tell you how much I am enjoying using the software. I've almost managed to plot an entire novel in that time - something I couldn't have imagined before I downloaded StoryLines. It's so easy to use and so well thought-out. Not only that, but the price is right, too. Less than £50 for a program that does so much, and is so reliable - unlimited free upgrades, as well. It's just brilliant! Thank you."
Ingrid, Newcastle, UK

"I came across the demo of StoryLines the other day as a result of a search on the Tucows website. I was instantly impressed with the concept behind the software and its intuitive implementation..."
Jeremy, Northants, UK

"I found it really useful - it does away with the endless reams of paper and scribbles that usually comes before I even open Final Draft!"
Ruth, screenwriting student, London, UK

"I just downloaded your demo software and LOVE the features you have created. I think this is the software that will help me to write my first screenplay."

"This program is wonderful..."
Robin, Los Angeles, USA

"I think you have done a great job. It is an efficient tool, and easy to use."
Eugene, Montana, USA

"I have just found Storylines and love it! Great work."
Talli, New York, USA

"It's really great software!"
Karri, Iowa, USA

"I absolutely love StoryLines. It has replaced all my paper with tons of notes, plus it allows me to be even more organized than I had been."
Brian, Michigan, USA

"I just received my StoryLines CD, but I've been using it since I downloaded the demo and I love it. As a matter of fact; I hit the 5 lines/30 cards limit in about an hour and bought the full version immediately afterwards. StoryLines works as advertised, runs like a bat out of hell on my Linux desktop, and takes whatever abuse I can think to inflict upon it without crashing."
Matthew, Connecticut, USA

"I have been recommending your software to my students in the courses I teach at the UCLA Writer's Program, my local community college and online where I also teach at www.writers.com. And, as with my experience, my novel writing students and my screenwriting students are thrilled with StoryLines."
Dennis, Montana, USA

"I am writing a novel that has a fast moving plot and I was having trouble keeping track of it and figuring where I wanted to go next... I entered all sorts of information into Storylines and watched the plot unfold... It was much easier to figure things out with it all so clearly and visually in front of me. I gave it a lot of thought, then I deleted the last couple of chapters that I had written as I was going down some paths that were better not gone down, and just like that I was back on track. It was great! I have recommended the program to others in my workshop."
Michael, Brooklyn, USA

"I tried ALL (and I mean ALL) of the similar and far more expensive writing/outlining program demos before discovering Storylines. It's by far the most useful writing tool I have - it lets me map complete novels in smooth, easy flow."
Ron, Japan

"I think Storylines is a wonderful writing companion. It not only puts your thoughts in order, but it opens up little doors in the imagination - new ideas flow out faster than I can type them in. I particularly like Harriet's "Storymaking eBook" under the Help menu, especially her take on characterization - that gave me some fresh ideas, too. Thank you."
Susan, California

"StoryLines is a great way to work on many writing projects at once, and still keep everything straight! It is nice to have a product that does not get in the way of the creative process. So thanks!"
David, New York

"I'm completely addicted to the program: I find that it makes outlines a breeze, and easily organises my thoughts. It provides a good platform for free-flowing invention, because cards can be moved around, and new ones added at any time."
Christina, United States

"Your program is the only one I've found so far that will let me see simultaneous events sort of in the old-fashioned way -- like putting a long piece of butcher paper on the wall and diagramming on it, or pinning up 3x5 cards. I've also looked at all of the other storyforming/structuring programs, and I own Dramatica Pro 4.0, but with just a few hours of experimentation behind me your program appears to be the only one that gives me exactly what I'm looking for. Good job."
Bill, United States

"I do love the product! It has transformed my writing -- especially during the planning stages -- and has become crucial for forming my thoughts. I created the best short script I have ever written last year using StoryLines. Keep up the good work!"
Greg, United States

"Your policy for upgrades is exceptional and as a writer I commend you for it. It is very customer focused and supportive for us."
Harold, Canada

"Well worth checking out IMHO -- it lays out plots & subplots in parallel lines, with a master line telling the whole story, all reading L to R very much like index cards on a corkboard. Intuitive and elegant."
MC, Germany

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