Need a Writing Program and Don’t Want to Download? Hiveword Has You Covered (Review)
This program’s long name is the Hiveword Online Fiction Organizer, and that’s a pretty accurate title. It has no word processor, it’s not meant to be your sole writing program. Hiveword allows you to organize scenes, characters, settings, items, and plotlines, and connect all five in a web-based program. This means there is nothing to download.
One interesting feature of this program, that I haven’t seen in others, is that it gives you an example project when you first log-in: Harry Porter and the Guitar of Fire. This is a nice feature for users who don’t know where to start, or just want to explore the program.
The character section is pretty standard, though being broken down into four sections (see below), it allows for more detailed information than many other programs. Psychological includes likes, dislikes, wants, etc. and the Misc. section includes birth and death info, and a section for unusual information. These specific areas to fill-in can help writers who are struggling to flesh-out their characters.
Hiveword also includes a basic name generator, and there’s a name generator for settings as well, though these appear to be real places in the world.
The scene section is also pretty standard. It has a sorter which lays-out the titles of the scenes in a very visual manner that’s similar to using index cards. It also allows the writer to view his/her scenes organized by plotline, which could prove extremely useful. And like most writing programs, it allows you to add characters and settings to scenes.
The plotline section seems to be a particularly useful feature that allows the writer to list and organize his/her plotlines. This could be extremely useful to first time novelists, because keeping it all straight is not as easy as it looks. Hell, that could be useful to novelists of all levels. And it allows the writer to indicate which plotlines are main plotlines.
The other strong points are that the program designers seem to be open to suggestions and requests from users. And Hiveword gives users access to My WKB, Writer’s Novel Base, which is described as a search engine for writers. Basically it’s a database of articles on writing. That is a nifty thing to have.
Hiveword is not without it’s flaws though. It will probably be time consuming to initially set-up for a project, which is problematic for writers with little time. There are no word processor or chapter features, and the latter is especially limiting. Also, the export options are limited to Word, but for a free program that’s pretty good.
The interface is pretty simple and basic enough that it doesn’t distract from it’s purpose. All in all, it’s very strong for a web-based program, and if you’re reluctant to download or you use multiple computers for writing, this may be a good option.1 note