(From Dave Shaw's post and Simon's followup, here, and yWriter's Help menu.)
Importing an existing work into yWriter is fast and easy. Before you begin, you should make sure that you have read the Help File. yWriter installs this for you when you install the program, and the link to it (on Windows) is located under Start Menu -> Programs -> Spacejock Software -> yWriter5.
If for some reason this link is missing, you can access the help file directly by navigating to
The following is copied verbatim from the Help File:
It's very easy to move an existing document into yWriter5:
Step 1) Open the document in your regular word processor, and make sure each chapter has a proper heading: Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and so on. yWriter will use these headings to break the file into chapters.
Step 2) If you have more than one scene per chapter, make sure the scene break is a set of three asterisks, one space apart: '* * *' (Some people use the # symbol or a single asterisk, but yWriter will ignore those because they could also be used in the text for other purposes.)
Step 3) Save your document as an RTF text file.
Step 4) Open yWriter5, click the File dropdown menu and then click Import into new project.
Step 5) Click Import a Work in Progress.
Step 6) Choose the RTF file you saved in step 3.
Step 7) yWriter will load the file and prompt you to specify a new project file to save to.
Once your project has been saved you can add characters, allocate them to scenes as viewpoint and extras, specify the completion level of each scene (draft, outline, 1st edit and so on) and enter titles and descriptions for all the scenes.
And best of luck finishing the book!