Roam for writing novels and worldbuilding

I’m developing a graph of resources for writing novels, short stories and other works of fiction. At this point, it contains templates that I have developed myself for my own project, and various resources that I have collected online. I’m interested in adding resources that will be helpful to other writers, especially with NaNoWriMo coming up.

This is a work in progress (to be honest, it will always be :slight_smile: ) so feedback and suggestions are appreciated.


This sounds super cool! Thanks for sharing.

I have a question for you: Do you use Roam for writing content, whether for a novel or blog?

The reason I ask is because I have been using Ulysses for all of my writing and was considering trying to use Roam for this, but the bulletted format feels like it wouldn’t work well for most writing exercises. I was mainly thinking for the purpose of export and publishing.

If you, or anyone else, is using Roam as your writing tool, I would love to understand the export workflow. Especially for blog articles.

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Hiya. I am writing my novel and building my world in Roam currently and am putting together a course for other creative writers (I don’t imagine Roam will be intuitive to most. Would love to chat sometime. I’m on Twitter at @laptoplifelisa - happy to share my graph with you or others also.


Hey Lisa, how are you handling the export of your writings out of Roam?

Maybe I’m just missing something obvious, but wouldn’t everything come out as bulleted?

Also, how do you pull text sources from many different pages into one cohesive work?

Curious if you’ve ever used Ulysses for writing and how you think it compares.

If you click on the page title you will get an additional menu. Just select - view as document and your bullets will magically disappear :slight_smile: You can then export a markdown files which word recognizes and just open in word.

The pulling of sources from multiple pages into one cohesive work is the magic of Roam. You can open in the side panel and recreate any new outline structure without losing your original. I prefer to use the text and alias block option because I can edit but still keep/refer to the original if it is from a different page.

I have never used Ulysses. I used to write in Scrivener which is probably similar. Scrivener is a leader in compilation and output, but since I have vellum I am happy to just output to Roam. Scrivener outlining is too rigid for me, and the separate folders for research and narrative elements are not nearly as useful as backlinked blocks and pages.


Thanks for the tip to right-click the page title. I did not know about that but literally found it today as I was looking through here. I guess it now makes sense for me to ditch Ulysses too! LOL Although, Ulysses can also publish my work to my blog from within the app. Will have to play around a bit and see if I can ditch it.

At this point I’m writing my content in Roam. I use “#tex” to indicate blocks of content. But I don’t have an export strategy at this point.


I am currently in the process of figuring out a foolproof system for fiction writing in Roam.

This is what I’ve got as of now.

What do you mean by “foolproof”? I’m not sure that there is any “foolproof” system for worldbuilding, but Roam gives you more flexibility than any writing/worldbuilding software solution I’ve encountered thusfar.

Have you browsed my writing Roam? There are plenty of templates for various things such as worldbuilding, characters, etc. And if there is something you want more information about, link to the page here and we can discuss it.

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