Novels come in cans

Would-be novelist Nic Ford couldn’t quite muster the gumption to write a novel, until he found the right program:

My chosen writing aide is a CD-rom from Creativity Software Ltd called NewNovelist which, according to the blurb on the back, “takes you on a journey; it harnesses your creativity and helps you write your own novel”. The Sunday Times said, “the magic of NewNovelist is that it doesn’t feel as if you are writing a book.” Great! That’s how I’ve been feeling for years!

NewNovelist grabs you by the throat and drags you through the steps of writing a novel, which is probably exactly what I need. It’s fundamentally a series of forms to fill in, liberally sprinkled with help pages and examples (usually taken from The Wizard of Oz or Star Wars, which is a little worrying for a program that purports to be about novel writing rather than screenwriting but let’s pass that by for the moment).

Behold: an excerpt of the first draft, remarkable for its somnolent properties. (Via Places for Writers.)