Writer's Café Feedback
In The Press | Customer Feedback
In The Press
ZDNet, December 2007
"Writer's Café is slick, cross-platform software for all writers."
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
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."
"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.
"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
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!"
"Thanks for making such a wonderful program! Thanks to Writer's
Café, I am finally organized, and getting my novel together is a
"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.
"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!"
"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!"
"I cannot work without StoryLines any more."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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