Gather ‘Round the Campfire: The Wild World of Novel Writing Software

If there’s one thing I respect from an author, it’s when they know their world. When I read about the deserts of Arrakis or the seven kingdoms of Westeros, it feels like the author has actually lived there. Prolific fantasy author George R.R. Martin has a fascinating metaphor for this, suggesting that there are two types of writers: architects and gardeners. Architects meticulously plan beforehand, while gardeners plant the seed of their story and let the seasons tend to it. Yet, even Martin concedes that writing isn’t so binary, and that writers are often a mixture of both. I’ve always considered myself mostly a gardener. However, I recently decided to test my architectural mettle and build a fictional world from the ground up. In doing so, I discovered a whole new branch of writing in the digital age—the world of novel writing software. Gone are the days of J.R.R Tolkien’s drawers overflowing with maps of Middle Earth. Now the kids are using technology.