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Writing software

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Iamfenian, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Iamfenian

    Iamfenian Closed Account

    Has anyone used novel software sucessfully? I wish I had read the Mythic Scribe's review on this as I purchased some software last night that I absolutely hate the format. I read the MS review and actually chose 'My Writing Spot' not because it's free but I like the format although it doesn't come with all the bells and whistle. Anyone here have had a good experience with writing software? I would LOVE to know!:D
  2. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Lots of people swear by Scrivener, including me. I got it for 20 bucks (after my NaNoWriMo discount) and it's the best 20 bucks I've ever spent on anything writing related (other than my laptop). Some people hate the format on that one as well, but you can always download a free sample (for 30 days I think) and see if you like it. It's great for organizing and going back and forth in between chapters. There are still lots of features I'm figuring out as I go along, but yeah, it's awesome for me.

    There are other free programs that others have mentioned like yWriter, but I don't know much about that one.
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Yeah, Scrivener is great. You can get a Linux beta for free, and it works well.
  4. Aspasia

    Aspasia Sage

    Though not really novel software, I really like to use Tiddlywiki to organize my planning / worldbuilding. It's a free html wiki you save to your hard drive and work with. I really like it so far -- especially that you can edit the appearence with css, makes it easy to change the look of it if it isn't to your taste. It's a pretty neat idea, I like it a lot.

    I've recently discovered yWriter, been playing around with that and it seems to work pretty well. I like the ability to move scenes around a lot. And it runs under WINE in Linux! Hooray!

    A Scrivener beta free for Linux you say ? I didn't know about that! I might just have to look that up...
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Yeah, just go to the forums and you'll see the thread for the linux beta. They have .deb files, which are nice and easy to install if you have a compatible distro. Otherwise, I think the tarball is there as well.
  6. WarriorPrincess

    WarriorPrincess Minstrel

    I use WriteWay Pro, I think its great. It has character profiles ect great layout, lots of features to make your writing job easier.
  7. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    I personally prefer yWriter to Scrivener. It isn't as pretty, but it makes up for that with functionality. A lot more features, plus it is completely free (only on Windows, though, so that's something to consider). The only major drawback it has to Scrivener is that Scrivener can be used just for your story notes, whereas yWriter really does work best if you use it both to keep your notes and your actual novel (plus all the drafts). And I, personally, prefer to write my novel in Microsoft Word or Open Office. But if you don't mind using the in-app word processor (it's basically the same as Scrivener's), the way it ties everything together is absolutely beautiful and very neatly organized. Definitely would recommend it.

    I'm also quite fond of Q10 (Windows only, but similar things exist on Mac and Linux), which is a 'minimalistic', full-screen text editor. You can change the colours to fit your tastes; I like a dark background with a pale text, but others prefer the reverse. Or you could write on lime green; it's your choice. And it has stats on the bottom, which is great for NaNoWriMo. It has alarms and notes and other useful features, plus it's free. Very nice. It doesn't export as nicely as some programs, but it does the job.

    Since both of the above are Windows exclusives and I've never owned a Linux, here are some things I've used on my Macbook: Mellel is beautiful for re-reading your drafts and editing. Bean is probably my favourite Mac word processor, and it is free. WriteRoom is a $10 version of the minimalistic/full-screen editor, which would be worth the price when you consider that you can get a version for your iOS devices and that it syncs to DropBox, so you can access it from anywhere. Or you could just get a Dropbox account and back everything up there yourself. I've tried a trial for Ulysses and liked that, too.

    All said and done, though, Microsoft Word is still my top choice. The 'Document Map' makes taking notes very easy, it's obviously a fantastic word processor for writing in, the comments/annotations are excellent for drafting and editing, and you never have to export and reformat anything because it's what you tend to end up using before you send out your manuscript anyway. And if you feel like it, you can still make it look pretty and you can use hyperlinks to link to other documents, websites, the Skyrim launch executable, whatever.

    The only one I wouldn't recommend is Liquid Story Binder. Tries to include everything from your playlists to your photo galleries, but by using windows to separate everything, you might as well just download iTunes and Scrivener/yWriter for all the convenience it adds. And the price tag is a bit high, too.

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