Our Bibisco review covers everything you need to know before using this novel building application.
I always get unique ideas for novels that will become best-sellers. But after writing a few pages, my inspiration runs dry, and I let my first draft sit on ice forever. Unfortunately, this has been a habit of mine lately, as I have several unfinished drafts in my home office and Google Docs folder.
But I researched if other authors faced the same problem and asked for advice. Several online friends recommended Bibisco, and I decided to give it a shot a few months ago. So if you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry. This review is for you. Below, I’ll share my thoughts and experiences with Bibisco. Then, I’ll talk about what I like and dislike about the software and if I think it’s worth your time and money.
What Is Bibisco?
Bibisco believes that the idea of authors completing an entire novel using their fire of inspiration is a myth, and I agree. If you’re relying on inspiration and motivation, there’s a high likelihood you’ll quit when you run out of ideas.
This is where Bibisco can help. It structures your novel’s timeline, characters, and locations. After structuring your novel, it feels like all you have to do is fill in the blanks. This makes it easier to finish a book as you create a world and organize your ideas before putting pen to paper.
From here, feel free to add your characters’ data, physical features, behaviors, and passions. Even if you don’t use all this information, it keeps your novel accurate and prevents character inconsistencies or plot holes.
Bibisco provides two plans:
- A free Community Edition
- A paid Supporters Edition, which costs €28 one-off payment
The free Community Edition has features like:
- Unlimited writing projects
- Character interviews
- Book analysis
- Premise, fabula, setting, narrative strands
- Automatic backups
With the paid plan, you get all of the above features, plus:
- Profile pictures for characters, places, and objects
- Chapters and timelines
- Find and replace
- Dark mode
- Sequel creation
- Distraction-free mode
- Writing goals
Tip: In the Community Edition, there are 30 days of the trial of the Supporters Edition.
Who Is Bibisco For?
Bibisco can empower the lives of:
- Anyone writing books in various languages
Bibisco can help authors achieve their writing goals. For example, if you’re trying to complete your book within a year, Bibisco will break this objective down into daily word targets. This makes your goal less intimidating, and you can keep yourself accountable.
The “Chapter Reason” feature also benefited my writing process. I tend to drift off and create irrelevant scenes in the middle of my book. This is because I’ve already hooked my audience’s attention, and I’m just trying to meet word targets.
Instead, Bibisco encourages you to define the role of each chapter and how it adds to the story’s development. This makes my novel more concise, and I avoid creating chapters that don’t contribute to the big picture.
Bibisco can also benefit the lives of editors because it offers handy features like:
- Psychology templates
- Sequel creation
- Relations templates
- Character history
So instead of relying on your memory to spot character inconsistencies and flaws, you can use these templates. It’s super easy to understand, and you can make the appropriate changes when coming across scenes that go against the character psychology templates.
The sequel creation feature is also popular amongst editors. When your author creates a sequel, you won’t have to reread the entire first novel. Instead, you get a detailed understanding of characters and events with Bibisco and can base your editing on this information.
I also like the Bibisco notetaking feature. You can attach notes to specific chapters, scenes, and paragraphs, suggesting changes to authors. I’m a fan of version control because it gives editors control over the proofreading process. You can manage changes from one screen and find previous versions that might work better.
Anyone Writing Books in various languages
But what sets Bibisco apart from other novel editors is that you can write in multiple languages. Bibisco is available in Czech, Dutch, French, German, English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Turkish.
How Does Bibisco Work?
To get started, head to Bibisco.com and select the “Start Creating Today” icon on the left. This will take you to the pricing page.
Once you’ve opened the download link, choose the download file for your computer. For example, pick the macOS option if you’re using a Macbook. Or, if you’re on Windows, download the Windows file.
Now comes the fun stuff: You want to create a new project on your dashboard.
Enter the name of your book, the author’s name, which is you, and the language you’re writing in.
Bibisco takes you to a screen, saying, “This is your novel.” Feel free to view the writing tips below to learn how to use Bibisco to its full capacity. You can also set writing goals to keep yourself accountable.
For example, if you’re trying to finish a book in one year, set your writing goal a year from now and enter how many words you’d like to complete. Bibisco generates a daily word target, making your long-term goal less intimidating. All the tools you need to structure and write your novel are on the left. This includes:
For instance, if you click the “Characters” tab, you’ll be able to add main and side characters while attaching important information like age, interests, behaviors, and pictures. You can also mention any relationships between characters. Or, with the location features, you can add photos of where your scenes are taking place. Again, this promotes accuracy and consistency because it paints a detailed picture of your novel.
To begin writing, select the “Chapters” option on the left, create a scene within this chapter, and you can start writing in the text editor.
The standout feature that helped me write better stories is the Bibisco character builder. It allows me to add character details like:
- Names and images
- Physical features like height, weight, race, and hair color
- Personal data like date of birth, residence, education, and financial situation
These features allow me to write more consistent stories and avoid plot holes. For example, before Bibisco, my main character’s personality will change within a few pages without explanation. Or, I’ll give them a subplot and forget about it. But with Bibisco, I can always return to my dashboard and ground myself in my character’s personality traits. This makes spotting inconsistencies easy.
I also like that Bibisco keeps track of all scenes using a basic timeline visual, chronologically showing your novel’s critical events. This feature is powerful because I can use realistic timeframes in my story and prevent time jumps.
For example, I once wrote a story in the 1800s, mentioning that one of my characters grabbed a cold drink from the refrigerator. The problem is refrigerators were only invented in 1913. Fortunately, when I refer to a visual framework, I can research to find if a particular item was invented when my story took place. Like the character-building features, this produces more believable stories.
You’ll find detailed analytics related to your novel in the analysis section. But unlike other novel writing software, Bibisco goes deeper than counting words, pages, and chapters.
Bibisco lets you view how often a specific character appears in your novel. And if you notice that the main character is getting fewer mentions than the side characters, you’ll need to increase the number of scenes they’re in.
Bibisco also has a map that lets you see when different characters and locations appear in the same chapter. This is helpful when building relationships between two or more characters. You can see exactly what scenes they each took part in, making it easy to develop rapport.
Areas For Improvement
But before you buy Bibisco, consider these drawbacks:
- Bibisco doesn’t offer a mobile app
- The writing assistant is basic
Bibisco Doesn’t Offer A Mobile App
Bibisco doesn’t offer a mobile app, which is a deal breaker if you love writing on the go. You’ll either have to bring your laptop or wait until you get home to write. A quick workaround is to write in Google Docs. But you’ll have to copy and paste your work into Bibisco, and you can’t access timeline and character-building features since Bibisco doesn’t integrate with Google Docs.
I’d like Bibisco to introduce a mobile app for Android and iOS devices so we can work on our novel when commuting or running errands. If you’re looking for a tool that has a mobile app, try Scrivener.
The Writing Assistant Is Basic
Bibisco’s writing assistant is basic, but it can be integrated with Grammarly. To achieve this, you need to install Grammarly for desktop.
When shopping for novel writing software, consider these Bibisco alternatives:
yWriter is a popular alternative for authors on a budget because it’s free. Although Bibisco has more features, yWriter is perfect if you only look for the bare basics, like a scene builder and idea generator.
Novelist is another free alternative to Bibisco with powerful features like:
- Story templates
- Goal setting calculator
- Output compilation
However, writing your entire novel in Novelist is inconvenient, and they don’t offer a copy-and-paste feature. So if you want to write your novel within a single app, Bibisco is a more suitable alternative.
If you want a more advanced book editor, consider Ulysses because it’s like a complete project
management tool. You can invite editors and beta readers to review your book while the grammar checker spots subtle style and readability issues.
Why Trust Us?
I’ll be candid with you. I have several unfinished first drafts just lying around my home office. These are story ideas I gave up on because my inspiration ran dry. Writing blog posts and email newsletters is easy. They are only a few thousand words. But when I have to write multiple chapters, procrastination tends to set it.
Luckily, I’ve used Bibisco to structure one of my first drafts properly, and I feel it’ll help me follow through on my long-term writing goals. In addition, the writing goals calculator tells me how many words I have to write daily, making writing far less intimidating. The character builder, visual timeline, and analytics create more accurate and consistent stories, giving my editors less work.
My Testing Criteria
When testing Bibisco, I used these criteria to decide if it’s a good option for authors and editors:
- Additional features
- Ease of use
Overall, I’m a fan of Bibisco and will continue using it to structure my novels. The novel building features help create more accurate work and are affordable. I don’t have to budget for a monthly subscription.
However, Bibisco should focus on developing a mobile app because many authors love writing on the go. It would also help if the text editor could spot more writing issues, so I don’t have to copy and paste my work into Grammarly.
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Bibisco Review: The Bottom Line
Bibisco allows you to structure your novel and build a detailed description of characters, timelines, and plots. This makes it perfect for authors and editors because completing your book is almost like filling in blanks, and you won’t have to rely on inspiration.
In short, if you’re an author struggling to complete a book, Bibisco is for you. The writing goals feature breaks your end goal into daily word targets, while the laundry list of structural options ensures more accurate and engaging stories.
However, if you’re an author who can complete a book with relative ease and already have a creative process that works for you, Bibisco is unnecessary. Instead, a normal text editor like Google Docs should work fine.
- The character builder and timeline help you write more accurate stories.
- Dark mode is perfect if you’re a night owl.
- The distraction-free features blocks all online disturbances.
- It’s easy to keep yourself accountable to Bibisco’s writing goals.
- The “Chapter Reason” feature ensures your scenes are relevant to the story.
- You can’t write when you’re on the go because Bibisco doesn’t have a mobile app.
- The writing assistant is basic.