I wanted to let folks know that I’ve found a very good piece of freeware called yWriter. It was created by a programmer who’s also a published writer, and it seems very useful. (And probably for more than just writing novels or books.)
The idea is that you want to be able to organize novel writing, like software programming, into modules that are easy to tackle individually. In the case of a novel, this would be scenes within chapters. Every conceivable tab is provided for each individual module: a description so you can tell it apart from other scenes (or use the description as a placeholder till you write the thing), what the scene is supposed to accomplish, what kind of conflict is occurring, what characters are involved, what items show up in it (so you can keep track of who has the murder weapon or whatever), notes, and of course the actual scene that you write. You can track POV for each scene. It automatically tracks things like word count, and there are tons of other features and reports and logs you can generate or fill in or use. It will even estimate how much more time it will take you to finish the bits you have left.
Basically, the idea is that every single part of your book is at your fingertips, without having to spend too much time rooting around in a big long file. You can work on the bits you want to work on, but be reminded of which parts you haven’t done. You can move scenes around, or decide not to use them without deleting them. You can see what’s going on with your pacing, and which characters are getting what amount of screen time.
And obviously, you could also use it as organizational software for complex projects other than writing, if you plan out each mini-task as a “scene”; so this software is even more useful than advertised.