When it comes to tools created by authors for authors, few rise to the standards of One Stop for Writers, a service that will not only facilitate plotting and writing your book, but will teach you how to do it well.
One Stop for Writers has become a fantastic resource for authors, with a few small drawbacks that I will mention.
But for first-time authors, or authors who want to perfect their craft, you might want to give One Stop for Writers a look.
- What One Stop for Writers is
- Its pricing structure
- Its best features and how you can take advantage of them
- Pros and cons for the software
- How to use One Stop for Writers
Table of contents
- What is One Stop for Writers?
- How Much Does One Stop for Writers Cost?
- One Stop for Writers: Core Features
- How to Use One Stop for Writers
- Pros: What I Liked
- Cons: What I Didn't like
- One Stop for Writers Alternatives
- Final Verdict: Is One Stop for Writers Worth It?
Note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, so if you do choose to purchase this or other services, we do get a small commission. But as always, it costs you nothing extra, and it all goes to the coffee fund.
What is One Stop for Writers?
One Stop for Writers is a website/service built for authors by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, both of whom are authors themselves.
This book writing app is an extension of their books, starting with the Emotion Thesaurus, that have already gained thousands of reviews and huge credibility in the author world.
One Stop for Writers takes this to the next level with various tools to plot your novel, build your characters, come up with ideas, show instead of tell, etc.
In fact, with One Stop for Writers, the service will walk you through the entire novel writing process, from the idea to the finished draft.
The Thesaurus books alone are worth paying for, and the additional features make it even better. But speaking of payment…
How Much Does One Stop for Writers Cost?
One Stop for Writers has three pricing option:
- $11 per month
- $60 for 6 months (averaging $10/month)
- $105 for 12 months (averaging $8.75/month)
Of these three, the yearly option provides the best value.
Does One Stop for Writers Have a Free Plan?
One Stop for Writers has a 2-week free trial that gives you access to most of the service. However, if you want to continue after those 2 weeks, you will have to purchase a plan. There is currently no permanently free plan.
One Stop for Writers: Core Features
Let's walk through the various core features of One Stop for Writers, because believe me, there are a lot.
Unique to this service and no others, is a compendium of thesauruses provided by the authors.
These are a series of resources that will help you show rather than tell. For example, the Emotion Thesaurus has a list of emotions, and different ways that you can show those emotions rather than just saying that your character was angry, nervous, happy, etc.
If there is one feature that truly sets One Stop for Writers apart, it is this feature, since providing these thesauruses takes an incredible amount of work and thought, and not just programming know-how.
I actually think that the thesauruses work better as an online resource, rather than the books that Angela and Becca originally published. Because it is much easier to look up the word online, rather than sifting through a book to find it.
Do I think that the thesauruses alone are worth $9.99? For some people, yes. For me, almost. It's up to the remaining features to sell me on whether this is worth the monthly price tag.
The storyteller's roadmap is another feature that I absolutely love. It is essentially a master course in planning, writing, and editing your book.
This feature will walk you through the entire process, teaching you along the way, as you craft your book.
For newer writers, this process is a godsend, if not outright essential. I know of few other services at this price point that will walk you through the process as clearly and easily as One Stop for Writers.
More experienced writers might also learn a thing or two by walking through this process. At the very least, you will discover other ways of writing a book.
Like the thesauruses, this feature is mostly text-content driven, rather than a software tool, but I still find it incredibly valuable.
The idea generator is a creative writing tool that integrates with the thesauruses in such a way as to generate ideas for your book.
But it will not just generate one idea. It will help you come up with ideas for every aspect of your book, from the plot, to the characters, to the world building, etc.
While I did not find this particular tool very intuitive, I am also one of those authors that never runs out of ideas. For authors who are stuck, or don't know where to start, this could be a valuable resource.
Like many other plotting and outlining tools out there, One Stop for Writers has a character builder. But unlike many of those other tools, this one was clearly designed by authors who understand the craft of writing.
In fact, I might even go as far as to say that this is the best character-building tool for those who are specifically writing a novel and therefore need a solid character arc for each character.
One Stop for Writers has several plotting tools, namely:
- Story Maps: a way to plot your novel in a timeline format, using Michael Hauge’s Six Stage Plot Structure.
- Scene Maps: a way to plot the specific scenes of your novel, also in a timeline format.
- Timelines: a way to create a series of events for your book that don't necessarily correspond scenes.
Of the different tools in One Stop for Writers, I felt like this was one of the weakest. While it does a good job trying to be a successful plotting tool, it lacks some of the key features found in other plotting software.
For example, the Story Map only uses one specific story structure. It would have been nice to have a range of options, rather than one rigid structure.
Additionally, the timeline and scene maps only allow for one plot line. I have found that, while plotting my books, that I need multiple plot lines so that I can map out each step in each character's arc, the events of the main plot, the events of the subplot, etc. One Stop for Writers does not have this feature, meaning that this particular service is incredibly basic compared to other such services.
In short, don't buy One Stop for Writers for the plotting tools.
When building my world, I find that there are many things that I often overlook. This Worldbuilding Survey is a great way to make sure you don't forget any aspect of your world building.
This tool allows you to select a specific worldbuilding feature, and it presents you with multiple questions to make sure you have thought your world building through.
I actually found these questions to be rather thought-provoking, and a great asset when building my world.
Once again, this is more of a content-based tool, which seems to be where One Stop for Writers shines. The authors have clearly put an immense amount of thought into all of these questions.
How to Use One Stop for Writers
After you have created your account on the website, you will see a tab in the top right corner labeled “My Workspace”.
Once you have entered your workspace, you can create a new project, or any of the creation tools I have listed above. Simply select “New”, find what you want in the drop-down menu, and select it.
This will automatically take you to the individual tools, and I believe it is the easiest way to navigate to these tools.
You can also access the important tools in the top menu. The thesauruses have their own menu item, and the rest of the tools can be found under “The Stacks”.
For a full walk-through, I will let the creators themselves answer your questions in this video:
Pros: What I Liked
There is a lot to like about One Stop for Writers. Here are some of my favorite features:
- A Wealth of Information: by far One Stop for Writer's biggest strength is the information. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi clearly know their stuff, and they have written multiple books-worth of knowledge, available through the service. In my opinion, this is the real value of the service.
- Unique Thesauruses: the thesauruses are what put these authors on the map, and it remains one of their most popular resources. I believe it works better in this online resource, rather than in the books.
- The Character Builder: I found this to be one of the best character builders anywhere. It not only features your standard character-builder attributes like physical details and motivations, but also includes a space to talk about the characters' wound, fear, lie, secrets, etc. Each of these sections also has a short educational paragraph to teach you about character building.
- The Worldbuilding Survey: I found the questions asked in the Worldbuilding Survey to be very insightful, useful in properly fleshing out a world.
- The Storyteller's Roadmap: I absolutely love this feature. If I were starting over as an author, this is exactly where I would go to walk me through the process. It is thorough, educational, and I absolutely trust that I could write a book while carefully following this framework.
Cons: What I Didn't like
Despite all of the pros, there are a few things that I don't care for in this program.
- The UI Interface: once you really dig deep into One Stop for Writers, you get a sense for how it works and how it is organized. But upfront, it is not very intuitive, and I found myself struggling to figure out how to do simple things like create a timeline, for example. It is not a very clean design.
- The Plotting Features: having worked with more advanced plotting programs like Plottr, I find that the plotting tools in the service to be almost unusable. While One Stop for Writers has some great resources to learn how to plot, I think you are better off with a spreadsheet, a series of sticky notes, or even a pen and paper. I also think they should have multiple types of story structures, not just the one they use.
I get the sense that the two co-creators are more writers than they are programmers or web designers, and it shows. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I think the strength of One Stop for Writers is in its content, but I do think the more technical aspects of the service could be improved.
One Stop for Writers Alternatives
Let me start out by saying that there is no good alternative for the content available in One Stop for Writers. As an educational experience, I believe it is unmatched.
However, if you are looking for services to specifically help you plot a novel or organize your world building, there are two alternatives that I might recommend.
For Plotting: Plottr
Plotter is our go-to software for plotting a book and establishing a timeline. It's features are highly intuitive, and you could have multiple plot threads, and it features multiple story templates with which to get started.
For Worldbuilding: Campfire Write
When it comes to building your world as an author, our number one recommendation is Campfire Write. For authors, this is a fantastic tool for world building. It allows you to create interactive maps, characters, locations, and even languages.
World Anvil is another good world building platform, but we believe it is better for game masters and world builders, rather than authors.
Final Verdict: Is One Stop for Writers Worth It?
As I have mentioned multiple times now, I believe the true value in One Stop for Writers is its content. Between the multiple thesauruses, the storyteller's roadmap, and much more, this program is easily worth the money.
However, as a technical tool, I would recommend other plotting programs out there, specifically Plottr.
But even Plottr doesn't have the wealth of knowledge behind it that One Stop for Writers gives you.
I would especially recommend One Stop for Writers for newer authors who want a little handholding while plotting, writing, and editing their first book. The Storyteller's Roadmap alone is worth a subscription for a few months at least.