Writing Tech Part 1: Scapple

If you’ve scoured the internet looking for any sign of software designed for serious writers then you’ve certainly come across a company called Literature & Latte. Scrivener is their more well known product, but today I’d like to talk about another: Scapple.

Scapple “is an easy-to-use tool for getting ideas down as quickly as possible and making connections between them”. It’s essentially a blank piece of notebook paper on which you can write down single words, phrases, or sentences and draw lines between them. You can use those lines to make connections, or you can connect two or more ideas with a series of arrows. It’s like diagramming your brainstorms–but digitally.

I'm currently using Scapple to organize my characters, their ancestry, and their relationships to one another. Notice the basic connections vs. those connected with arrows. I've also use a different note style for the characters alive during the time my story takes place.
I’m currently using Scapple to organize my characters, their ancestry, and their relationships to one another. Notice the basic connections vs. those connected with arrows. I’ve also use a different note style for the characters alive during the time my story takes place.

So what makes this different from writing out notes on plot, character, and setting in a real notebook? To put it simply: it’s more accessible. You can not only create note webs, diagrams, and trees, but also insert pictures and digital drawings that might aid your writing process. If you have a visual in your head for a certain character you can head out into the world of Google, find an example that best fits the description in your head, and drop it into the document. Scapple is also very customizable. you can set the style and color of the background and the notes as you see fit. Now you’re working with a visual and dynamic set of notes that you can pull up any time you’re on your computer or print for reference while writing at your desk.

As I mentioned before, Literature & Latte is the company behind Scapple and it’s more popular, enticing brother Scrivenor. While the other software seems to be the company’s golden ticket, it seems only natural that one would utilize Scapple first. Writing usually starts with those initial, big ideas or details. Download Scapple with the 30-day (nonconsecutive) free trial and see what you think.

I’ll talk about Scrivener in the next post.


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