Outlining Your Novel Workbook Program Support Page

Outlining Your Novel Workbook App-165We have collected a variety of tools to help you get the most out of your Outlining Your Novel Workbook program. Please explore the following tools and tutorials to find the answers to your questions.

Video Introduction to the Program

This video introduction to the Outlining Your Novel Workbook program will walk you through the basics of starting a new project and using the most important functions.


User’s Guide

The Outlining Your Novel Workbook User’s Guide provides information for getting started with your outline and discovering all the program’s useful features. Download the full pdf here to keep in your records for easy reference, or access specific sections of interest via the links below.

Chapter 1: Basic Controls

Control Window

Help Screen

Print Window

Chapter 2: Premise

Two Sentence Premise / Situation

Pre-Outline Questions /Big Moments


Chapter 3: General

Scene List

Connecting the Dots

Exporting Scenes for Use in Scrivener

 Chapter 4: Characters


Minor Characters

Characters List

Chapter 5: Settings

Main Settings

Settings List

Chapter 6: Outlines

Scene Checklist

Chapter 7: Extras




Latest Version: 1.99h (for Mac) and 1.99g (for Windows)

An update for the program was released November 2018 (PC) and January 2019 (Mac). (Please note that due to the limitations of the Filemaker program on which this software is built, we are no longer able to offer updates.)

Click here to read the full list of bug fixes and improvements in the latest version.

PC Minimum System Requirements:

Processor: 1 Ghz x64-bit processor
Hard Disk: 500 MB
Supported OS: Windows 11, Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise (not Home edition), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7

Mac Minimum System Requirements:

Processor: 2 Ghz
RAM: 4 GB or more
Hard Disk: 500 MB
Supported OS: Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura

How can I access the latest version?

If you are new to the program, purchasing it now will give you access to the most up-to-date version.

If you already own the program but were not registered and/or did not receive notice of the last update, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

How can I safely update to the new version without losing any of my saved projects?

After you have downloaded the program, follow these steps to update to the new version of Outlining Your Novel software. DO NOT uninstall or delete the previous version until you have exported your projects, as per the following instructions.

1. EXPORT all of the projects from the OLD version of OYNW. Click on the Export button in the Control Window. You will be given the option to export all projects at once, saved in a single file, or each project saved into separate files. You may choose to do it either way. Or, for security, do it both ways.

2. Shut down the old OYNW program.

3. Open the NEW OYN Wprogram.

4. IMPORT all of the projects that you just exported from the old version. Click on the Import button in the Control Window.

5. Verify all of your projects have been imported and that all the data is intact.

6. After you’re certain all of your projects are safely in the new version, you may delete the old version of OYNW.

When I try to install the update, why is my Windows computer giving me this error message: “The program can’t start because VCRUNTIME140.dll is missing from your computer”?

Install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015. The Visual C++ Redistributable Packages install run-time components that are required to run C++ applications built using Visual Studio 2015. Most users will need to install only “vc_redist.x64,” but if the problem persists, you may also need to install “vc_redist.x86.”

Outlining Resources

For more information about the best steps and ideas for outlining your novel, explore the following resources:

Book: Outlining Your Novel

Book: Outlining Your Novel Workbook

Online Series: How to Outline Your Novel

Book: Structuring Your Novel

Book: Structuring Your Novel Workbook

Book: Creating Character Arcs

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I unable to install the program?

Due to the constraints of the programming engine, this software will only run on 64-bit computers. If your computer has more than 4 GB of RAM installed, it’s probably a 64-bit.  Most Windows 7, 8, and 10 operating systems are running 64 bits. However, earlier version of Windows, such as XP, are probably incompatible with the program. Check your system properties for a description of your computer.


If the program is incompatible with your computer, please contact us about a refund (see support contact form at bottom of page).

Why can’t I install the program on my Windows 10 Home operating system?

Windows 10 is problematic for many types of software. If you’re experiencing trouble downloading the Outlining Your Novel Workbook program to your Windows 10 Home operating system, you can read this pdf, which offers common solutions.

If none of the solutions work for you, let us know and we will provide a refund. (If one of them does work, we’d appreciate knowing which one so we can pass the info on to any future users who also encounter this problem.)

Why can’t I create a new project or edit an existing one? Why am I getting a message saying the project cannot be altered?

Your computer may have altered the program’s admin settings.

Before opening the program, right-click on the icon to choose Properties. Go to the security tab or Compatibility, then select the check box  beside “Run as Administrator.”

Run_as_Administrator Outlining Your Novel Workbook


How do I start a new project? How do I open a saved project? How do I save an existing project?

Please note: Titles will not support the following characters. Please do not use them in your project titles.

@  *  #  !  =  <  >  

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program ControlWindow_Explanations

Is the export path in the control window used to save the file?

No. The exports path is where the computer will first start saving any projects you export. You may always change the destination folder before you export a project. All projects are automatically saved as part of the program file. The export option is offered as an additional security or to share files with another user.

Can I have two concurrent projects in the program?

How do I navigate between screens?

How do I use Big Moments/Complications?

How do I use the scene list?

How can I add story-structure guidelines to my scene list?

What am I supposed to do with the Scene Checklist?

How do I add a new character?

Is this program compatible with Scrivener?

Yes, but with some limitations. You can export the character interview and the scene-list section as separate documents, which you can then import into Scrivener (or Word, etc.) for further editing (see next question below). You can also “print” the rest of the program as pdfs (you will need a pdf printer, such as Cute PDF, installed on your computer), and then import the pdfs into Scrivener. These, however, will be Read Only and cannot be edited anywhere but within the Outlining Your Novel Workbook program.

How do I export/import/print/export scene list?

What is the difference between exporting and backing up?

Please note the differences between saving, exporting, and backing up.

  • The program will automatically SAVE all projects and everything typed into it.
  • The EXPORTS default path is where the Scenes and Character Bios are sent to when clicking on the Export Scenes or Export Character data. Those are just text files that can be imported into Scrivener. The Exports Path is not for backing up the program.
    • It is also possible to export the entire project but that is used either to move the data to a new update of OYN, or to share with someone else who also has the OYN program. Although you could export your entire project in order to preserve it, that is not the recommended method for backing up your project.
  • BACKING UP data isn’t a function of this program itself, or any program, really. Rather, that is the process of making duplicates of your hard drive files/data.

Since all of the project data is SAVED AUTOMATICALLY in the OYN program, if you want to backup your project, then duplicate THE ENTIRE OYN FOLDER, and save to a secure location.

——> DO NOT remove any files from the folder. <——

To back up on a Mac:

  • RIGHT CLICK on the OYN icon and choose the contextual menu ‘Show in Finder’
  • Then duplicate the OYN folder (which is found in the Applications folder by default) and move the copy to a safe place.

To back up on a PC:

  • RIGHT CLICK on the OYN icon and choose “Open File Location.”
  • Then copy the ENTIRE OYN FOLDER TO a safe place.

How do I retrieve the Demo Project after deleting it?

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program ImportDemoMenu

If this isn’t working for you, you can also import the Demo Project from the root folder of the Workbook program (see video in previous question for instructions on importing projects).

Or you can download the Demo Project here and then import it back into your program.

How do I add a photo of my character to the Appearance section of the Character Interviews?

You can add images to appropriate fields in the program in one of two ways. You can drag an image from another folder into the program. If your computer does not support this function, simply right-click on the field, choose “Insert Picture,” and select your photo from anywhere on your computer.

Adding a Character Image - Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

Can I customize the colors in the color-coding tab of the Scene List?

Not at this time, but we’re working on it.

How much of the books Outlining Your Novel and the Outlining Your Novel Workbook are included in the program?

The program includes all of the text from the book version of the Outlining Your Novel Workbook. The workbook was designed to offer enough information and instruction so that all the exercises make sense. However, I do recommend using it in concert with the main Outlining Your Novel book if possible.

How can I reuse settings from one project in a different project?

About the Program

The Outlining Your Novel Workbook computer program was designed by Bob Miller, based on the Outlining Your Novel Workbook by K.M. Weiland. It features every question and exercise (and more!) found in the book.

If you are interested in purchasing the program, you may do so here.

Get the Program:

PC Minimum System Requirements:

Processor: 1 Ghz x64-bit processor
Hard Disk: 500 MB
Supported OS: Windows 11, Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise (not Home edition), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7

Mac Minimum System Requirements:

Processor: 2 Ghz
RAM: 4 GB or more
Hard Disk: 500 MB
Supported OS: Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura

(*If you use El Capitan 10.11 or Yosemite 10.10, you will need to run an older version of the program: Click here to purchase.)

Contact Support

If you are experiencing a technical difficulty or have a question about the program that is not listed above, you may contact us, using the form below. Please allow two business days for a response. Thank you!