“Everyone has a story worth telling.” —Megan St. Marie
I first heard about BookFlow because I belong to a writing group with company founder, Lisa Papademetriou. Just one meeting with Lisa showed me what a genius she has for thinking about plot and structure. When I heard she was developing BookFlow as an online, cloud-based tool to help people organize and develop their writing, I was all in!
BookFlow—Not Just for Fiction
I’m now using BookFlow for several projects, ranging from middle-grade fiction and narrative nonfiction works-in-progress, to an essay collection about family reading that’s slated for publication in 2021. Lisa might have developed BookFlow’s “Arrange” function under “Scenes” primarily to help writers craft narratives, but it’s proven invaluable in structuring my essay collection. As I take a long view of the project and consider how all its parts contribute to the whole, I can easily move pieces to improve the flow of ideas and topics.
BookFlow—For Anyone Who Wants to Write
Given my positive experiences with BookFlow, I’ve recommended it to my students in the MFA in Writing for Children program at Simmons University. Many have reported back on their own successes, calling BookFlow accessible, user-friendly, and encouraging. Like me, some of these MFA students are primarily invested in how the Arrange function under Scenes can help them shift around parts of their works-in-progress to achieve the best structure. Others have responded powerfully to the site’s daily writing prompts, with one student telling me that a particular prompt helped her achieve a breakthrough in a sticky point in her story.
My favorite BookFlow feedback has come not from writers I know through my work in Children’s Literature, but from those I’ve worked with in my role as President of Modern Memoirs, Inc. We offer a range of editorial, writing, and publishing services to our clients, most of whom are working on memoirs and family history projects. One current client in his 80s came to us with writings scattered in several places, including a genealogy website he’d curated for more than a decade, several Word documents, and some emails. He didn’t quite know where to begin to consolidate all his writing so we could edit it as a single manuscript. During a visit to my office, I set him up with a free account on BookFlow and showed him how to cut and paste his writings into a single project, with each piece designated as its own Scene. Then, I showed him the List and Arrange functions, and he was hooked. Five months later, we are nearing completion of his 61,000-word memoir and family history book, a gift for his family and friends.
BookFlow—Even for People Who Don’t Think They’re Writers
A core principle of Modern Memoirs’ philosophy is that everyone has a story worth telling. When another current Modern Memoirs client called our office to discuss her project, some of the first words out of her mouth were, “I’m not a writer. That’s what I need you for.” She told me she did have notes and pieces of writing about her career in fitness and nutrition on her phone, in notebooks, and on her computer. “But I don’t know how to pull them together,” she said.
I suggested that she join BookFlow and put all of her different pieces of writing, no matter how small, into a New Project, with each piece as its own Scene. She’s since sent me two more installments, totaling an additional 1,400 words. That’s a great start! BookFlow helped her make it to this point, and it will continue to help us as we create the book she envisions about her life’s work. BookFlow is a great tool to help people engage in writing, wherever it may lead them.