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Fahim
10-15-2006, 04:11 AM
Some writers love writing software. Others hate it saying that they are too complicated or that they encourage bad writing. There's always two sides to every argument but in order to be able to judge, you need to know what is out there and how effective it can be. So, over the next few weeks (months? years?) I'll compile a list of writing software available out there with a brief description of the features, price, a website link etc. Hopefully, this will prove to be a good reference for all those people who ask about (novel) writing software :) (I'll add more as I have time and find them - if you have any software that you use which is not in the list, feel free to let me know about it and I'll add it to the list)

Writing Tools
Book Writer (http://www.yadudigital.com/products/bookwriter.htm)
Allows you to have each chapter in a separate document but displays all the chapters in a treeview and allows you to open different chapters in different tabs.
OS - Windows
Document Format - RTF
Formatting - Yes. Full formatting options
Notes - No note taking, annotation tools
Spellcheck - Live spellcheck and thesaurus
Word count - no word count tools
Price - $44.95
Trial Download - Available via site

Rough Draft (http://www.salsbury.f2s.com/rd.htm)
A tabbed word processor with full styling options.
OS - Windows
Document Format - RTF
Formatting - Yes. Full formatting options
Notes - A sidebar which allows you to maintain notes
Spellcheck - Live spellcheck and thesaurus
Word count - Yes. Option to count current file or all open files
Price - Free/Donationware
Trial Download - N/A

WriteItNow (http://www.ravensheadservices.com/)
Java based software which allows you to maintain details about characters, events and locations in addition to the manuscript. Displays chargs of relationships. Generates characters, names and ideas. Tracks submissions.
OS - Windows, Mac OS X
Document Format - Internal database but outputs to RTF, text and HTML
Formatting - Basic formatting - bold, italic, underline.
Notes - An integrated Ideas tab which allows you to maintain notes.
Spellcheck - Spellcheck and thesaurus but no live spellcheck.
Word count - no word count tools
Price - $37.55
Trial Download - Available via site

yWriter (http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.html)
Stores a complete manuscript broken down into individual chapter files and allows chapters to be further broken down into scenes. Allows you to setup deadlines and monitor progress. Provides a graphical storyboard feature to be able to see events on a timeline.
OS - Windows
Document Format - Text
Formatting - No formatting
Notes - No note taking, annotation tools
Spellcheck - No
Word count - Provide word count by chapter and full document
Price - Freeware
Trial Download - N/A

Avenir (http://returnself.com/avenir.php)
Left Margin (http://www.leftmargin.com)
Liquid Story Binder (http://www.blackobelisksoftware.com/)
PageFour Notebook (http://www.softwareforwriting.com)
SuperNoteCard (http://www.mindola.com/)
WriteWayPro (http://www.writewaypro.com/)
WritersCafe (http://www.anthemion.co.uk/)

Other Helpful Utilities
PlotCraft (http://farook.org/bytes.htm#plotcraft)
Story Weaver (http://dramatica.stores.yahoo.net/storyourstep.html)

Character Pro (http://www.characterpro.com/)
Idea Mason (http://www.ideamason.com)
Idea Tracker (http://www.intellectusenterprises.com/)
Manuscript Studio (http://www.manuscriptstudio.com/software.html)
Story Wizard
(http://www.storywizard.co.uk/)

K_Woods
10-15-2006, 04:57 AM
RoughDraft does have a wordcount tool -- in the Tools menu. You have the option of counting the words in your current file or all open files, too.

Now, how accurate that wordcount is compared to the 250/page method or MS Word's counter, I can't say.

Fahim
10-15-2006, 05:03 AM
RoughDraft does have a wordcount tool -- in the Tools menu. You have the option of counting the words in your current file or all open files, too.


Ah, thanks for that :) I should have downloaded it and installed it again to check - was too lazy :p I did try it out a few months back but the details are hazy ... Will update the info.

DamaNegra
10-15-2006, 05:18 AM
WriteWay (http://www.writewaypro.com)
Word processor that splits your document into scenes and chapters within one same document.
OS - Windows, Mac OS version coming soon
Document Format - .wwb but imports to .RTF with standard manuscript format
Formatting - bold, italic, underline, fonts
Notes - You can choose from 10 note templates depending on your needs, plus book, chapter and scene notes
Spellcheck - Live spellcheck
Word count - word usage count, word count by scenes, chapters and whole book, charted word count goals
Price - $39.00 basic version, $79.00 full version
Trial Download - Available via site

Writer's Café (http://www.writerscafe.co.uk/)
Writing program that stores files as .txt and allows you to create flowcharts, notebook for random ideas, journal, writing quotes, writing prompts, pictures, and a cool game for procrasinating :)
OS - Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Pocket Pc
Document Format - .txt
Formatting - none (last time I checked)
Notes - Yes
Spellcheck - No, but it has a thesaurus
Word count - none
Price - $45
Trial Download - Available via site

New Novelist (http://www.newnovelist.com)
Writing program that plans your novel for you and divides it, not into chapters but in what needs to happen (i.e. conflict, climax, etc) depending on what type of story you chose.
OS - Windows
Document Format - New Novelist file (not sure if it is exportable)
Formatting - bold, italic, underline, fonts
Notes - Yes
Spellcheck - Live spellcheck
Word count - (not sure)
Price - 29.99 UK
Trial Download - No

L M Ashton
10-15-2006, 06:47 PM
What about Amanuensis? ;)

scribbler1382
10-15-2006, 08:10 PM
How about Writeroom (http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/product/writeroom), Darkroom (http://they.misled.us/dark-room), WestEdit (http://home.online.no/~westerma/WestEdit/)?

DamaNegra
10-16-2006, 02:56 PM
I'll write reviews from the rest of the software during the week.

Ad Astra
10-17-2006, 01:59 AM
Great, now I've downloaded all the free ones. http://www.pokemonelite2000.com/forum/images/smilies/k1312_tongue2.gif

Tirjasdyn
10-17-2006, 02:23 AM
ywriter does have notes...they are available for each scene and and they are an extesion of the synopsis and outline tools.

Fahim
10-17-2006, 03:04 AM
ywriter does have notes...they are available for each scene and and they are an extesion of the synopsis and outline tools.

I believe you mean the scene description field? I'm looking at notes more like a global notes field/tool which is accessible from anywhere where you can keep notes on things like the history of the universe/world you're working in and other research material :)

Ad Astra
10-17-2006, 11:58 PM
If it counts, there's a very helpful note-taking software called Keynote that's free for download.

http://www.tranglos.com/free/index.html

It's a little complicated to navigate, but you should get the hang of it pretty quickly.,

L M Ashton
10-18-2006, 09:05 AM
Great, now I've downloaded all the free ones. http://www.pokemonelite2000.com/forum/images/smilies/k1312_tongue2.gifYeah, I let Fahim do all that instead. :D He seems to find it fun and enjoyable even. :p

Cav Guy
11-20-2006, 12:24 AM
WriteItNow has word count tools available, both for your entire novel and for each chapter or selections within that chapter. It also has some character generation tools (including some that are keyed to specific regions or time periods), idea generation tools, and a pretty good submissions tracker. The other plus is that the purchase price gives you access to all future upgrades of the software. I've been using it for almost two years now and have no major complaints. They're also very responsive to tech questions and comments.

If anyone's got questions about it, I'd be happy to answer as best I can.

paprikapink
01-06-2007, 04:51 AM
I'm on the lookout for Mac software to use for writing. I just downloaded "Jers Novel Writer." I haven't actually used it yet, but the price is right (freeware, unless I happen to be inspired to send Jerry some money) and the license agreement and release notes are a fun read.

Anyone tried this product already?

MMcC
01-06-2007, 05:28 AM
I got New Novelist for Yule and I absolutely love it.

You can pick it up on ebay, sealed and unopened, for less than the website.

paprikapink
01-07-2007, 03:45 AM
Oh, I forgot to be specific enough -- I'm on the lookout for free Mac software to use for writing....:)

Amethyst
01-11-2007, 05:10 AM
Paprikapink, there are a few out there, some are free in beta, but will charge for the final release. Here're the ones I have:

Scrivener (free in public beta - soon to be released; I think there will be a charge for it) - awesome

Scrivener Gold - older version of above, free, very stable but no longer supported

Copywrite - not free, but not very expensive

Writeroom (already mentioned?) beta was free, now it's something like $25 - this is a grand piece of software making the writing interface nearly distraction free. It doesn't have all the extra novel/story tracking goodies of Scrivener or Copywrite, but it is very nice indeed. You might be able to find the previous release which was free, but it has fewer features and customability.

You should have no trouble Googling for the sites. PM me if you need more info.

paprikapink
01-11-2007, 05:15 AM
Thanks, Amethyst, I'll check those out.

Meanwhile, I'm pretty impressed with Jer's Novel Writer, so far. It has a built-in database for keeping track of characters/locations/what-have-you; you can divide your project into chapters, parts, and sections; it has a notes area; and you can make notes in the margins too.

Tirjasdyn
01-11-2007, 09:32 PM
I believe you mean the scene description field? I'm looking at notes more like a global notes field/tool which is accessible from anywhere where you can keep notes on things like the history of the universe/world you're working in and other research material :)

You can do that with characters so far.

Also ywriter 3 is in beta...which has formating and rtf export.

Amethyst
01-12-2007, 06:27 AM
Paprikapink,

Both Copywrite and Scrivener (incl Gold) have the same sort of interface as Jers, with lots of places to make notes and track characters, scenes, info, and the like. Scrivener has inline notes, not margin notes, though. Only Jers has the margin notes, afaik, and they're brilliant, imo.

dpatrick
02-11-2007, 11:23 PM
Anyone heard whether Whitesmoke? They make big claims. BTW I write in WordPerfect.

Dario D.
02-17-2007, 05:12 AM
Ah, glad to see Book Writer listed. :)

'Been using it for years, and couldn't fathom using anything else.

Nolita
04-26-2007, 01:37 PM
I'm liking Jarte word processing software. Tabbed documents, saves to .doc, easy interface to get aquainted with. Word count, spell check, thesaurus, etc. I use the free version. http://www.jarte.com It's only a little stripped(not like other apps). If it's still my best friend in a few months, then I'll completely endorse it.

abemorgantis
04-28-2007, 06:25 PM
I use FrameMaker (They discontinued the Mac version, bastards) on Solaris (and it runs on Windows). It is really amazing, probably overkill for writing but nothing else compares, me thinks.

paprikapink
04-28-2007, 07:59 PM
I just dumped my WIP into Google Documents. It's stripped down, but it's got basic formatting, it gives a word count, it tracks revision, I can access my files from anywhere, and if I want I can give access to (or take access from) my writing group and get review comments online. Those are my reasons for trying it. After I've done this for a while, we'll see what reasons I come up with, if any, for abandoning it. I've abandoned Jer's Novel Writer. Mostly because I couldn't select blocks of text the way I wanted to (the software helpfully selects what it thinks you must want), and I couldn't select the whole file to dump it into other software...maybe I could have, but I couldn't figure it out lickety-split and got fed up. I'll miss the margin notes.

Fahim
04-29-2007, 06:25 AM
I'll miss the margin notes.

Check out the comments feature in Google Docs (Insert tab - Comment) - while not quite margin notes, it allows you to insert inline notes into your text :)

Anne Lyle
05-24-2007, 05:43 PM
Someone's mentioned Scrivener, but there's no summary yet, so I'll add one, if that's OK. While I'm at it, I'll do one for SuperNotecard, which I used to use before discovering Scrivener.

Scrivener (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html)
Outlining/drafting/editing software. Allows you to have each chapter/scene in a separate document, but you can merge multiple documents together temporarily and edit them as one. Can view documents as normal text, index cards or outline. Research section allows inclusion of images and multimedia files.
OS - Mac OS X Tiger (10.4)
Document Format - RTF (export)
Formatting - Uses TextEdit
Notes - Yes. Separate synopsis field, notes, keywords, three customisable drop-down fields
Spellcheck - uses built-in Mac spell-checker?
Word count - real-time word count
Price - $34.99
Trial Download - Available via site

SuperNotecard (http://www.mindola.com/)
Outlining software (can use it for writing, but that's not its strength). Index card emulator, with lots of visual options: coloured flags, tension 'thermometers' and so on. Includes sections for characters, which can then be automatically added to cards via a text search.
OS - Windows XP (needs Java installing), Mac OS X Jaguar (10.3) onwards
Document Format - RTF (export)
Formatting - Limited
Notes - Yes
Spellcheck - probably as per Scrivener
Word count - real-time word count
Price - $29
Trial Download - Available via site

Amethyst
05-25-2007, 07:45 PM
Thanks, Redfox. More support for Scrivener here. An outstanding program for writers. I'd like to add that version 1.1 is about to be released, so keep a watch for that.

And in the notes section, there's a toggle to go between Document Notes (separate for each file) and Project Notes (overall notes for your project).

Scrivener organizes work into Projects rather than document by document, so you can have all your novel, for instance, in one Scrivener project, with all your chapters, fragments, notes, etc., still separate documents. Very nice.

I also have SuperNoteCard and still use it from time to time, mostly because it has many more features (stacks, for instance) than Scrivener's implementation and I sometimes need that. But for the simpler linear outline, the card feature in Scrivener works great.

oldsioux
06-20-2007, 07:42 AM
I'll write reviews from the rest of the software during the week.

Hello, all!

Just wanted to mention AbiWord.

I just became an ICL student and all my previous 'authoring' has been on web pages and FP98 simply does NOT do manuscripts the way I need them. So, I went on a search of my own.

I found AbiWord at http://www.abisource.com/ and so far it's features equal the best of programs like Publisher and far surpass M$WERD!

You might want to try it out and give a review on it, too.

TTFN

Syl

Scothoser
08-07-2007, 10:25 PM
I just dumped my WIP into Google Documents. It's stripped down, but it's got basic formatting, it gives a word count, it tracks revision, I can access my files from anywhere, and if I want I can give access to (or take access from) my writing group and get review comments online. Those are my reasons for trying it. After I've done this for a while, we'll see what reasons I come up with, if any, for abandoning it. I've abandoned Jer's Novel Writer. Mostly because I couldn't select blocks of text the way I wanted to (the software helpfully selects what it thinks you must want), and I couldn't select the whole file to dump it into other software...maybe I could have, but I couldn't figure it out lickety-split and got fed up. I'll miss the margin notes.

I've started using Google Docs for the same reasons. It's also platform independent, works well in Safari (which means it should work in Konqueror for those of you with Linux), and provides the needed formatting for an agent. I can even use it with a Pocket PC/SmartPhone/iPhone, as long as I have the internet connection to support it.

It's also stored in a place other than my hard drive, so if my drive fails, I've still got the book. I've found that nothing is more annoying than losing whole projects (with outlines, first drafts, etc.) through a bad drive.

Scothoser
08-07-2007, 10:27 PM
Hello, all!

Just wanted to mention AbiWord.

I just became an ICL student and all my previous 'authoring' has been on web pages and FP98 simply does NOT do manuscripts the way I need them. So, I went on a search of my own.

I found AbiWord at http://www.abisource.com/ and so far it's features equal the best of programs like Publisher and far surpass M$WERD!

You might want to try it out and give a review on it, too.

TTFN

Syl

I have a friend that lived for AbiWord. He still uses it, though he has almost completely migrated to Open Office for work. ^_^

Good to see an open source alternative that works for you!

Simple Living
09-14-2007, 07:42 PM
Did I miss it or has Dramatica Pro been neglected to be mentioned?

It's quite spendy but I've heard mostly great things about it. It's around $299, the last time I checked. If you have a student ID, it's available for only $99.

Has anyone tried this? I've always been intrigued by it but haven't used it.

I would like to hear some of the arguments for and against writing software. The arguments against it do seem to be more sensible to me. Mostly, no cookie-cutter novels.

Any editors out there with opinions on the matter?

Fahim
09-15-2007, 03:19 AM
I would like to hear some of the arguments for and against writing software. The arguments against it do seem to be more sensible to me. Mostly, no cookie-cutter novels.

I don't know if I mentioned this in this thread but I do know that I've said this elsewhere - expecting writing software to actually write the novel is sheer laziness (not to mention a lack of brain cells :p). That's not what writing software is about. Good writing software should help you with the writing process and make certain tasks easier. However, plotting and writing is still up to the entity between chair and keyboard :) So I don't really see how there could be more cookie-cutter novels by using writing software. But then again, maybe you are thinking of those suggest-a-plot or suggest-a-story type of applications when you're talking of writing software ...

Amethyst
09-15-2007, 09:03 PM
I have Dramatica Pro but haven't used it for years. Actually, I never used it in the sense of creating a novel from it. I had thought the software would help me create/hone the story I was working on at the time, but all it ended up doing was annoying me when it would cut off areas that I wanted to explore and go down avenues that didn't interest me at all.

The software I have asks you a series of questions and then, based on the answers to those questions, takes you down one story path rather than another. It probably can help some writers, but I'm not one of the them.

Do they have a demo? If so, I would definitely try it before buying.

WVWriterGirl
10-04-2007, 11:07 PM
I would like to know some others' opinions of Liquid Story Binder XE. I've downloaded it and use it, and I like it. I'm toying with the idea of buying the license for it. I'd just like to collect some other opinions on it (maybe by those who have fully explored the software - I've only just scratched the surface).

Thank you!

DamaNegra
10-04-2007, 11:16 PM
I'll try whatever software I can download without paying this weekend and give my reviews on it ;) Sorry for not continuing this thread, life kinda caught up with me.

Fahim
10-05-2007, 03:28 AM
I've used Liquid Story Binder before and it is one of the few writing tools that I really liked :) The notes/source collection feature is great and the fact that you can not only store notes but images as well makes it a great tool to collect all your research for a story in one place. And the fact that it allows you to work in outline mode and has a timeline feature seals the deal as far as I'm concerned. I believe the only reason that I stopped using it was because Liquid Story Binder stores all files for a particular manuscript in one folder and so ends up scattering a bunch of files and sub-folders on the hard disk. I would have preferred everything to be in one single file for the sake of portability.

Simple Living
10-05-2007, 07:50 PM
I don't know if I mentioned this in this thread but I do know that I've said this elsewhere - expecting writing software to actually write the novel is sheer laziness (not to mention a lack of brain cells :p). That's not what writing software is about. Good writing software should help you with the writing process and make certain tasks easier. However, plotting and writing is still up to the entity between chair and keyboard :) So I don't really see how there could be more cookie-cutter novels by using writing software. But then again, maybe you are thinking of those suggest-a-plot or suggest-a-story type of applications when you're talking of writing software ...

Thanks for responding, Fahim.

I will admit, I'm a total novice when it comes to writing software. I've never used it before. I do my first drafts by hand and "on location." If I'm writing a restaurant scene, it helps to be sitting in a restaurant to write it. My scenes are so much better that way.

Writing software writes the novel for you? I can't imagine. My understanding was that it keeps track of details for continuity and to ensure no loose ends or unanswered questions. I know it does more, but I liked the idea of what the software could do. It had impressive reviews by pro-writers. That's the only reason I considered it.

In the meantime, I decided against it anyway. Thanks again.

David I
10-22-2007, 11:28 AM
I've used Liquid Story Binder before and it is one of the few writing tools that I really liked :) The notes/source collection feature is great and the fact that you can not only store notes but images as well makes it a great tool to collect all your research for a story in one place. And the fact that it allows you to work in outline mode and has a timeline feature seals the deal as far as I'm concerned. I believe the only reason that I stopped using it was because Liquid Story Binder stores all files for a particular manuscript in one folder and so ends up scattering a bunch of files and sub-folders on the hard disk. I would have preferred everything to be in one single file for the sake of portability.

I use MS Word (because so much of my non-fic work requires compatability with other MS Office products), but I've been looking at Liquid Sotry Binder, which looks pretty cool.

But I don't quite understand what you mean about preferring everything to be in an single file (any publisher taking soft copy will want something in a common word processing file without all your notes and drawings and outlines) or by "scattering a bunch of files and sub-folders on the hard disk." Does it really fling them around, or does it lay them down in a logical, orderly fashion?

Any clarification you can give would be appreciated, as it is a seductive tool. Thanks.

Fahim
10-22-2007, 01:00 PM
IBut I don't quite understand what you mean about preferring everything to be in an single file (any publisher taking soft copy will want something in a common word processing file without all your notes and drawings and outlines) or by "scattering a bunch of files and sub-folders on the hard disk." Does it really fling them around, or does it lay them down in a logical, orderly fashion?.

Sorry, I wasn't being literal with some of my statements :) If I recall correctly, Liquid Story Binder puts each project in a separate folder with sub-folders under that folder for each chapter or section. While that arrangement is eminently logical, what I hate about that is the fact that I have to deal with multiple files. For instance, I like to backup my WIP everyday into a separate file with the date added to the file name. I can't do that easily when the manuscript is in a folder. Sure, I can ZIP up the full folder and then rename the file with the date, but that's more steps and I'm lazy :p

And that was where "scattering a bunch of files and sub-folders on the hard disk" came from. Liquid Story Binder doesn't actually "scatter" files across the hard disk. There is a logical order to the way it does things - it's just not the way I would have liked it :)

farfromfearless
12-08-2007, 08:23 AM
I blogged about this topic recently -- software for creative writers (http://www.farfromfearless.com/2007/11/29/software-for-creative-writers/). I've listed some of the alternates to the "feature rich" applications in Fahim's list for anyone looking for a simpler user experience.

Mumut
08-18-2008, 12:18 PM
I want desktop publishing software but I see the price can vary from 'free' to over a thousand dollars. My first need is a simple magazine product. I've been lumped with producing the Manx Society's newsletter and want it to look reasonable. Then I'm thinking of producing my own books after the contract with my publisher finishes. Can I do both of these with free software like PagePlus?

Matera the Mad
08-18-2008, 03:58 PM
Maybe. Depends on how much you want to learn how to do. You can probably do a lot more with Word than you know. I do newsletters using Word or MS Publisher. Using Word and a free PDF converter, I could set up a passable book. You can't expect too much help from the software ;)

jake2020
09-06-2008, 05:01 AM
I use Rightwriter to check my grammar and I like it a lot. It is easy to use, just copy and paste for a quick check. It has saved me from many embarassing(and stupid) mistakes that often result from mixing two thoughts or editing.

I have tried many of the grammar checkers(whitesmoke, writers workbench, and editor, plus gramatica which I dont think they make anymore) and rightwriter is the one I keep coming back to.

None of them are perfect but rw does a really good job and catches 90% of my errors which helps me a lot in editing and proofing.

They have a free demo but I cant find the link to it, right-writer.com is the site though.

As far as writers workbench, it was too complicated. I need something quick and easy to use otherwise I dont bother. And for editor, well, lets just say the less said about it the better.

Hope that helps.

Carmy
09-06-2008, 07:42 AM
You mean this site? http://www.the-right-writer.com/

No mention of a free service.

CrissyM
05-29-2009, 08:59 AM
I have an old copy of Lotus Smart Suit. I use it because it has the tabbed property so i can sort my chapters. I've learned to use the Windows Word with the table of contents but it just isn't the same as flipping through tabs.

Unfortunatly Lotus does not transfer files into Windows, though it does make them into RTF and HTML, and can be transfered that way.

leahzero
05-29-2009, 06:44 PM
I want desktop publishing software but I see the price can vary from 'free' to over a thousand dollars. My first need is a simple magazine product. I've been lumped with producing the Manx Society's newsletter and want it to look reasonable. Then I'm thinking of producing my own books after the contract with my publisher finishes. Can I do both of these with free software like PagePlus?

Depending on your budget and the time you have to invest in learning the software, I recommend Adobe InDesign. It's the industry standard in print publishing. The software is for layout, not for composing text, but if that's what you need, you won't find a better application.

Visionary
06-03-2009, 08:39 PM
So what is the software recommended for newbies

dpaterso
06-03-2009, 08:55 PM
If you're a Windows user and don't already have MS Word, and if downloading/installing isn't a problem, I'd go for OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org/)

-Derek

Visionary
06-03-2009, 09:12 PM
If you're a Windows user and don't already have MS Word, and if downloading/installing isn't a problem, I'd go for OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org/)

-Derek

Derek,

Can I just tell you how much I love your avatar? Jake Ryan has always been the ultimate hero for me!

Thanks for the recommendation. I have MS word so I will check out Open Office.

CaoPaux
07-19-2009, 07:04 PM
A couple writing programs I've played with (and liked):

Papel: http://papel.teiru.net/papel/index.html

StorYBook: http://storybook.intertec.ch/joomla/

And a note/idea/plot organizer:

http://softwarebybrian.com/cms/content/view/20/2/

ETA: Here's an author's overview of the above (plus ywriter, which I also love): http://kaitnolan.com/2009/07/16/from-pantser-to-plotter-my-conversion-part-2/

madmumbler
09-23-2009, 04:06 PM
OOOH OOOH! *waving hand wildly*

SuperNotecard by Mindola software. They have a version for fiction/non-fiction and one for screenwriters:

http://mindola.com/

It's like a virtual deck of index cards. I LOVE IT! I write all my novels on it now. It's perfect for my writing style because I rarely write A-Z. I bounce around the scenes as they come to me and this helps me organize so much faster. I don't have to scroll back and forth through a manuscript looking for anything and wasting time.

NAYY just a REALLY happy user.

Archullus
12-22-2009, 08:19 PM
There's far more out there than I expected. I use "Novel Writer Standard" which cost perhaps 10 and is a 2004 version.
It has tabs for Overview, Chapters, Characters, Events, Locations, Ideas, Notes, Charts and Submissions. A useful feature is that it creates a backup each time you save. This has saved a load of creative heart-ache on several occasions. I don't use it's export facility preferring to copy-paste and then use Open Office Writer to format.
Similarly I skip round it's spell check process using Writer again.
On the whole it is suitable for the way I write. I wouldn't write if I had to work directly in Word for example. Nevertheless it wouldn't stand out in a crowd.

The product is currently supported by Avanquest, and I suspect there will be more recent versions.

Seams
12-22-2009, 09:11 PM
i have dramatica pro

i've only just played with it a bit, but had areas for characters/plots/subplots/timelines

i haven't wrote a novel but i keep that program just in case i do

Lilwritermonkey
12-31-2009, 03:04 AM
Thanks for the info...I'll try out some of the free ones. Ive been looking for something to count my words, because I dont have MS Word on my computer :P

anotherday12
01-15-2010, 12:48 PM
I'm going to have to give Papel a try.

Thanks for the info :fistpump

50 Scripts
01-22-2010, 07:22 AM
Dramatica Pro. By the time I began to figure out the nuances of the software, my muse got bored and left.

Kosh
02-22-2010, 12:46 AM
Writeitnow is actually $59.95, 19.95 if you're upgrading from version 3 to version 4.

AngelicaRJackson
03-26-2010, 09:14 PM
I have a 2000 Writer's Market electronic edition on disc that's finally giving up the ghost, so I subscribed to the online edition of WM. But that version of the submission tracking is kind of clunky, not as easy to track dates and such at a glance.

Any free manuscript submission tracking software to recommend (PC for me, but by all means list Mac if it's good for others)? Or cheap but reliable? I probably won't renew WM online next year, so I'd like to start something else now and be able to maintain that continuity.

leahzero
03-27-2010, 03:31 AM
Any free manuscript submission tracking software to recommend (PC for me, but by all means list Mac if it's good for others)?

Duotrope's Digest has a submission tracker in their web application. It's free.

http://www.duotrope.com/subtracker.aspx

(You probably need to register before you can view this page.)

AngelicaRJackson
03-27-2010, 04:22 AM
Thanks, I kind of remembered that one, but I was getting it confused with Zeotrope. I'll check it out.

KatYares
03-29-2010, 06:19 PM
Take a look at Sonar - www.spacejock.com

AngelicaRJackson
03-30-2010, 12:28 AM
I will try Sonar, thank you. I signed up for Duotrope and discovered they didn't have a lot of listings for juvenile/YA publishers.

Update: I spent about half a day entering my previous submissions into Sonar, but it still wasn't quite what I wanted. I wanted to be able to see at a glance, which mss were still out and when a reply was expected.

I ended up setting up an Excel sheet with fields for submission date, target date, response, Publisher/agent, and then boxes to check for sim sub, synopsis, SASE, etc. Duotrope does have some valuable info on markets, but if I'm going to have to type stuff in to have a custom tracker, Excel seems as easy as anything.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-19-2010, 07:07 PM
Can anybody recommend any of these for this particular purpose? I need a TIMELINE; one that I can organize by year and month.

I'm working on a creative nonfiction work about a real silent film actress.

Good LORD the research I've had to do has been mind-numbing. Not just the films themselves and her life, but she was CONSTANTLY back and forth between NY and LA and various other places where the films were being made. I have to keep track of when she was filming, when a film was released, items in her personal life- illnesses among her family members, when she traveled to places according to newspaper accounts, etc.

Anyone seen anything like this? It seems like one of these pieces of software would be easier than doing it with colored markers on butcher paper. I tried the freebie of Writers Cafe, and it hasn't been that helpful.

Amethyst
04-22-2010, 06:51 AM
Can anybody recommend any of these for this particular purpose? I need a TIMELINE; one that I can organize by year and month.

...



I use Bee Docs' Timeline, but I've also used Temporis and Timeflyer, though I'm not sure that last two have been updated recently. I do know that Bee Docs' Timeline is in active development.

(These are all for Mac.)

Timeline3D (http://www.beedocs.com)

Temporis (http://www.bartastechnologies.com/products/temporis/)

Timeflyer (http://www.asinglepixel.com/ASinglePixel/index.html)

I hope one of these can help you.

Edited to add: If you would prefer an index card metaphor, then SuperNoteCard might be what you're looking for. It's available across several platforms (Mac OS X, Win, etc.), and Writer's Cafe used to also have a storyline / index card program included with it. I haven't used that last for quite a while, so I don't know its current state of development. My favorite regular outliner is OmniOutliner Pro, which would also work.

PaulaO
04-22-2010, 11:15 PM
I use OpenOffice exclusively. Now that it can keep comments viewable between it and M$Word, I don't even have Word on this 'puter anymore.

For thinking, planning, layout of thoughts kind of thing, I use Inspiration. I am mega visual and it helps me to "see" storyline, etc.

http://www.inspiration.com/

I've tried a lot of the software mentioned here and found that none really fit me. There's so many of them available because we each write differently with enough similarities for some software to work here and there.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
05-05-2010, 06:49 PM
I use Bee Docs' Timeline, but I've also used Temporis and Timeflyer, though I'm not sure that last two have been updated recently. I do know that Bee Docs' Timeline is in active development.

(These are all for Mac.)

Timeline3D (http://www.beedocs.com)

Temporis (http://www.bartastechnologies.com/products/temporis/)

Timeflyer (http://www.asinglepixel.com/ASinglePixel/index.html)

I hope one of these can help you.

Edited to add: If you would prefer an index card metaphor, then SuperNoteCard might be what you're looking for. It's available across several platforms (Mac OS X, Win, etc.), and Writer's Cafe used to also have a storyline / index card program included with it. I haven't used that last for quite a while, so I don't know its current state of development. My favorite regular outliner is OmniOutliner Pro, which would also work.

Hmmmm...I'm a PC gal. I'll have to do some research.

WriteMinded
09-28-2010, 08:22 PM
PowerWriter (http://www.write-brain.com/power_writer_main.htm)

Not one of those monsters that presumes to write the book for you, but costy just the same at $99.00.

Outline on the left = Act, Chapter, Plot Points.

Word count, chapter word count, formatting, spellcheck (not that great), thesaurus (don't use it so I don't know how good it is). Export(quick, easy, and dependable), import (haven't used it).

Embedded notes, and quick notes (which I use when I'm not sure of something, like: is this possible? did I say that already? how many are left now?) A place to keep notes on the General Story, Acts, Chapters, Plot Points, Characters, and Notes/Research. I only use the last two. Oh yeah, and it comes with a good name list that you can add to.

Things that are missing: No timeline. Nothing to track submissions.

Speaking of timelines: Writing software that can track times between dates prior to the Gregorian Calendar are rare. Only one I know of is yWriter. Odd, don't you think? Does anyone know of an application (free or cheap) that can manage it?

Shaun Spratling
10-14-2010, 11:14 PM
I just noticed something funny. I was on NewNovelist's website while looking for some organizational software for plots, characters, and the like. The software sounded like junk to me, so I looked in the Published Authors section of the website at some testimonials, and guess what?

Every single author on that list was published by a subsidy house. Publish America, Tate, AuthorHouse, the list goes on and on...

Does this insinuate something? I think it does. Software to keep your ideas organized is all good, but if you need software to write your novel for you, then maybe think about another career path. It's a shame that all the people looked at those testimonials from all of the "published" authors and were convinced to buy the software...likely not knowing that landing with one of those "publishers" would cost them 100 times the cost of NewNovelist...

sunandshadow
10-15-2010, 12:25 AM
I just noticed something funny. I was on NewNovelist's website while looking for some organizational software for plots, characters, and the like. The software sounded like junk to me, so I looked in the Published Authors section of the website at some testimonials, and guess what?

Every single author on that list was published by a subsidy house. Publish America, Tate, AuthorHouse, the list goes on and on...

Does this insinuate something? I think it does. Software to keep your ideas organized is all good, but if you need software to write your novel for you, then maybe think about another career path. It's a shame that all the people looked at those testimonials from all of the "published" authors and were convinced to buy the software...likely not knowing that landing with one of those "publishers" would cost them 100 times the cost of NewNovelist...
NewNovelist does not write your novel for you - there isn't a single software that exists which is capable of writing a novel for you. Mostly all writers' aid softwares are a list of questions which are supposed to prompt you to come up with a plot outline and some character development. NewNovelist in particular strictly follows the hero monomyth pattern, so basically it describes the characters and plot steps of a hero monomyth story and prompts you to describe your own ideas for each character and step of the plot. The result is a few pages of notes, not anything resembling a novel.

sunandshadow
10-15-2010, 12:30 AM
No one seems to have mentioned StoryBase yet. It's a simple plot idea generator - you can enter two or three of your characters' names, choose a category or a few categories of plot events you are interested in, then the program sticks your characters names into brief descriptions of plot events, and you use these as a brainstorming prompt. Like, you might tell it your characters are names Joe and Jane, and it might suggest to you a plot event of "Joe steals something valuable from Jane" or "Joe must keep a secret from Jane".

There is also a book version of this software (called Masterplots? Masterplotter?), it is non-customizable and just provides a categorized list of a lot of plot events they found by analyzing a lot of movies.

Tirjasdyn
10-15-2010, 07:51 PM
I use ywriter and sonar. Scrivener for Windows beta starts at the end of the month and I plan to at least try it out.

Storyblue is not free but it's simple novel writing software with a few notes features. Stoybook is planning software but doesn't allow non-gregorian dates for the time line.

Because I can't find ANY timeline software that lets you use your own calendar (fantasy author blues) I use Excel to to do it. It's not ideal but it works.

Ralph Pines
10-29-2010, 06:50 AM
I just downloaded Storybook and as soon as I figure how to use it I hope to give it a try.

kcvale
10-29-2010, 09:06 AM
I admit it. I'm a software junkie. I love playing with new software. My new writing favorite is Storybox. It's along the lines of yWriter but I like it better.

psykeout
10-29-2010, 09:27 PM
I downloaded StoryBox to try out before NaNo and was quite disappointed. When I opened the new project and started adding characters, outlines, etc. all it would do would have a pop-up box with errors. I'll stick with StorYbook for NaNo, but appreciate you pointing it out.

(as a side note, I too am a software junkie...that's why I just HAD to try it.)

kcvale
10-31-2010, 02:44 AM
I downloaded StoryBox to try out before NaNo and was quite disappointed. When I opened the new project and started adding characters, outlines, etc. all it would do would have a pop-up box with errors. I'll stick with StorYbook for NaNo, but appreciate you pointing it out.

(as a side note, I too am a software junkie...that's why I just HAD to try it.)

Huh, I'm surprised and sorry to hear that. I've used it pretty heavily for about 2 weeks and have had no problems. I better back up my back-up back-ups, just in case. I really like Storybox, it's laid out like I work.

psykeout
10-31-2010, 07:48 AM
FYI (for you and everybody else) : Scrivener is offering their beta for NaNo 2010. It's valid until the end of the year. Here's the link...

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/nanowrimo.html

Like I said, I liked the idea of StoryBox, but just couldn't get over the error boxes popping up.

Scribhneoir
10-31-2010, 08:03 AM
No one seems to have mentioned StoryBase yet.

<snip>

There is also a book version of this software (called Masterplots? Masterplotter?), it is non-customizable and just provides a categorized list of a lot of plot events they found by analyzing a lot of movies.

Actually the book version of StoryBase is called Plots Unlimited and was completely copied (with very minimal updating) from William Wallace Cook's Plotto, originally published back in the 1920s.

I've played around on StoryBase.net and it's a fun way to kickstart your brainstorming, but I don't think I'd bother buying the software itself.

Tirjasdyn
10-31-2010, 04:19 PM
I've been playing with the Scrivener for Windows beta. And I'm not very impress. At the time of it's release on Mac it was all they had at the time. That's not the case now and I find it lacking. Most folks who like it better so far have told me they like it because it's pretty...I guess that's something.

RandomJerk
10-31-2010, 06:15 PM
So, I'm happy to see OO.o mentioned, and kudos to the AbiWord reference!

I'm anxious to see how things will develop with LibreOffice. I've installed it, but haven't really given it a whirl yet. If you do, it's in beta still, so it may eat your hamster. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libreoffice

I've recently installed FocusWriter http://gottcode.org/focuswriter/
Looks really great, and I enjoyed using it for the little time I did.

I'm now working with TextRoom http://textroom.sourceforge.net/
Very similar to FocusWriter, very minimalistic. However, it has one thing that makes it perhaps the greatest piece of software, ever. Old-school typewriter sounds. Love it. I find it soothing. I'm odd, fine. You can shut it off, too. But I think your writing would suffer.

psykeout
10-31-2010, 06:28 PM
I'm a huge fan of OO and will continue to use it. It's the main focus of how I write, as I use StorYbook just to organize the thoughts, characters, places, etc. LibreOffice looks almost exactly like OO, but I haven't looked at the website to find out the differences.

Got to figure out which one to play with during NaNo downtime.

RandomJerk
10-31-2010, 10:50 PM
Right now, I don't think there's a ton different, past the splash and some visual differences. The difference is the Foundation itself, and what they can bring to the table. I believe all the plugins and whatnot are still just vanilla OO.o packages, including the spell-checking. The vast majority of the code is the same, as far as I know. I think it will be quite some time before there's a major reason to choose one over the other. Oracle has been behaving quite poorly, and this may come to bite them in the arse.

Manuel Royal
10-31-2010, 10:57 PM
I've started using FreeMind to outline my current screenplay. Nothing amazing, just a way to visually organize the elements of the story. Works for me.

mfassett
11-12-2010, 01:16 AM
I downloaded StoryBox to try out before NaNo and was quite disappointed. When I opened the new project and started adding characters, outlines, etc. all it would do would have a pop-up box with errors. I'll stick with StorYbook for NaNo, but appreciate you pointing it out.

(as a side note, I too am a software junkie...that's why I just HAD to try it.)

I'm disappointed to hear that, too. There's a bug report button in the UI. Did you report the problem with the text of the errors? I work really hard to make sure these sorts of things don't happen, or if they do happen, they get fixed right away. Of course, if I never hear about them, I can't fix them.

Nuklear1
12-29-2010, 09:02 PM
I am surprised to see that no one mentioned Dramatica Pro, unless I missed it somewhere. Not for sure if they still market it. I purchased version 4 about eight years ago. I found it to be to overburdening. Never really could get into the swing of it.

sunandshadow
12-31-2010, 12:36 AM
I am surprised to see that no one mentioned Dramatica Pro, unless I missed it somewhere. Not for sure if they still market it. I purchased version 4 about eight years ago. I found it to be to overburdening. Never really could get into the swing of it.
I use Dramatica myself. It is very complicated, with a fairly steep learning curve, but that's because it's a whole theory of writing, not just a program built on a theory users are supposed to already be familiar with, such as the hero monomyth. It's also designed to let people approach it from several directions, which resulted in unintentional confusion because there isn't a single clear path for newbies to approach it from.

There's a new version of Dramatica due out this upcoming year, although I'll wait and see whether it actually has any new features or easier functionality before I get excited.

kalencap
01-28-2011, 09:48 PM
Just started with Scrivener (for Mac) this month for the new project. Most of my writing-related time is focused on editing my wip, so looks like it will be a while before I really get the hang of it.

cuallito
02-15-2011, 07:20 AM
Anyone know of writing software that will highlight or capitalize or do something similar the stressed syllables of words and sentences?

So: Tiger, tiger, burning bright/In the forests of the night

gets displayed as:

TIger, TIger, BURning BRIGHT/in the FORests of the NIGHT

kafeinuhai
02-15-2011, 07:42 AM
Another vote for Scrivener for Mac, here. LOVE it. It did take me a while to figure out how I wanted to use it... but once I started creating my own templates and embedding all of my writing/editing notes in them (i.e., the top one thousand words I use way too much!), I really love it.

There are a lot of great features, it just takes a bit to find all of them. And the new version has rounded corners on the index cards. lurv.

ejket
02-20-2011, 11:35 PM
I've been trying out an interesting writing app (Mac only) called OmmWriter (http://www.ommwriter.com/). It uses a simple, full-screen, distraction-free interface with relaxing music and sound-effects to create a zen-like productive atmosphere. As hokey as this sounds, it seems to work for a lot of people, including me. It's great for braindumping notes and first draft material, but not for fancy editing and formatting.

There's a free trial, but it only costs $5 at the Mac App Store.

alleycat
02-20-2011, 11:37 PM
I've been trying out an interesting writing app (Mac only) called OmmWriter (http://www.ommwriter.com/). It uses a simple, full-screen, distraction-free interface with relaxing music and sound-effects to create a zen-like productive atmosphere. As hokey as this sounds, it seems to work for a lot of people, including me. It's great for braindumping notes and first draft material, but not so much for fancy editing and formatting.

There's a free trial, but it only costs $5 at the Mac App Store.
That's sort of interesting.

I would try it just for the fun of it, but I use Windows.

ejket
02-20-2011, 11:47 PM
That's sort of interesting.

I would try it just for the fun of it, but I use Windows.

http://www.ommwriter.com/en/frequently-meditated-questions.html


Now that OmmWriter Dana is complete, we have started work on the Windows version. Since we are not renowned for our speed of deployment we shy away from giving a launch date. When? We cannot say. But with patience comes virtue.
There's also at least one similar app native to Windows -- I saw a web page on it, but can't remember where. I'll try to find it for you. I think there's nothing quite like OmmWriter, though.

ETA: Okay, I found some alternatives (http://alternativeto.net/software/ommwriter/?platform=windows) for Windows, and I think the one I looked at before was CreaWriter.

alleycat
02-21-2011, 12:19 AM
Just for fun, I usually try out any new writing software if it's not too expensive. I've never found anything to beat Word for actual writing, although I do like Page Four as a general organizational tool.

I think the worst piece of software I tried was one called NewNovelist. I poked around on it for a day or two and haven't clicked it open since.

ejket
02-21-2011, 01:46 AM
Just for fun, I usually try out any new writing software if it's not too expensive. I've never found anything to beat Word for actual writing, although I do like Page Four as a general organizational tool.

One reason I like OmmWriter is that it forces me to turn off sources of competing stimuli -- or I should say that it makes me want to turn them off so I can enjoy the environment. Writing is a mind game, and these little things can make a big difference. And just as you can train a dog to salivate at the sound of a bell, I'm sure that you can train yourself to produce brilliant prose with ambient triggers :)

It's definitely useless as an organizational tool, though.

DanielleSilverheart
03-25-2011, 09:09 AM
I have tried writers-crit program along with Masteredit. I seem to have an affinity for the words "that, "and", "was." Unfortunaly, now I know better..

Tirjasdyn
03-25-2011, 08:30 PM
The PC version of Omni Writer is Focus writer. Zen writer is similar but no backgrounds.

graceangela9
05-31-2011, 02:26 PM
Some writers love writing software. Others hate it saying that they are too complicated or that they encourage bad writing. There's always two sides to every argument but in order to be able to judge, you need to know what is out there and how effective it can be. So, over the next few weeks (months? years?) I'll compile a list of writing software available out there with a brief description of the features, price, a website link etc. Hopefully, this will prove to be a good reference for all those people who ask about (novel) writing software :) (I'll add more as I have time and find them - if you have any software that you use which is not in the list, feel free to let me know about it and I'll add it to the list)

Writing Tools
Book Writer (http://www.yadudigital.com/products/bookwriter.htm)
Allows you to have each chapter in a separate document but displays all the chapters in a treeview and allows you to open different chapters in different tabs.
OS - Windows
Document Format - RTF
Formatting - Yes. Full formatting options
Notes - No note taking, annotation tools
Spellcheck - Live spellcheck and thesaurus
Word count - no word count tools
Price - $44.95
Trial Download - Available via site

Rough Draft (http://www.salsbury.f2s.com/rd.htm)
A tabbed word processor with full styling options.
OS - Windows
Document Format - RTF
Formatting - Yes. Full formatting options
Notes - A sidebar which allows you to maintain notes
Spellcheck - Live spellcheck and thesaurus
Word count - Yes. Option to count current file or all open files
Price - Free/Donationware
Trial Download - N/A

WriteItNow (http://www.ravensheadservices.com/)
Java based software which allows you to maintain details about characters, events and locations in addition to the manuscript. Displays chargs of relationships. Generates characters, names and ideas. Tracks submissions.
OS - Windows, Mac OS X
Document Format - Internal database but outputs to RTF, text and HTML
Formatting - Basic formatting - bold, italic, underline.
Notes - An integrated Ideas tab which allows you to maintain notes.
Spellcheck - Spellcheck and thesaurus but no live spellcheck.
Word count - no word count tools
Price - $37.55
Trial Download - Available via site

yWriter (http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.html)
Stores a complete manuscript broken down into individual chapter files and allows chapters to be further broken down into scenes. Allows you to setup deadlines and monitor progress. Provides a graphical storyboard feature to be able to see events on a timeline.
OS - Windows
Document Format - Text
Formatting - No formatting
Notes - No note taking, annotation tools
Spellcheck - No
Word count - Provide word count by chapter and full document
Price - Freeware
Trial Download - N/A

Avenir (http://returnself.com/avenir.php)
Left Margin (http://www.leftmargin.com)
Liquid Story Binder (http://www.blackobelisksoftware.com/)
PageFour Notebook (http://www.softwareforwriting.com)
SuperNoteCard (http://www.mindola.com/)
WriteWayPro (http://www.writewaypro.com/)
WritersCafe (http://www.anthemion.co.uk/)

Other Helpful Utilities
PlotCraft (http://farook.org/bytes.htm#plotcraft)
Story Weaver (http://dramatica.stores.yahoo.net/storyourstep.html)

Character Pro (http://www.characterpro.com/)
Idea Mason (http://www.ideamason.com)
Idea Tracker (http://www.intellectusenterprises.com/)
Manuscript Studio (http://www.manuscriptstudio.com/software.html)
Story Wizard
(http://www.storywizard.co.uk/)

I totally agree with you that there is always two sides of an argument so some people think that writing software helps them in writing and some say that writing software is useless.But i think that writing software really works and the software i have used are storybook,storymill and scrivener.

dpaterso
05-31-2011, 02:30 PM
graceangela9, I appreciate you're interested in writing software, but replying to posts dated 10-14-2006 is taking this a bit too far, methinks. All your posts read like software spam but without any links.

-Derek

adnan
06-07-2011, 10:39 PM
I've tried StyleWriter for editing/proofreading my WIP. It is good. It integrates into Microsoft Word as Add-In (I am using Word 2007).

So far, it looks quite good to me. It provides good guidance on style, word usage and grammar. And it made me realize that I am a very big fan of word VERY :-)

It looks that it'll improve my style before I put it in front of beta readers in SYW threads.

graceangela9
06-22-2011, 04:01 PM
graceangela9, I appreciate you're interested in writing software, but replying to posts dated 10-14-2006 is taking this a bit too far, methinks. All your posts read like software spam but without any links.

-Derek


You can't call my post as spam.I was just giving my view about the software so what if i replied older post.If i would be a spam i definitely give my link .I was just sharing which software is use.But my mistake is this i have quoted so older post .

Matera the Mad
06-22-2011, 04:22 PM
IMHO graceangela9 isn't going to last long around here.

Medievalist
06-22-2011, 07:18 PM
Say goodnight graceangela9. You're going away now.

DanielAnuchan
07-16-2011, 02:01 PM
I've started using FreeMind to outline my current screenplay. Nothing amazing, just a way to visually organize the elements of the story. Works for me.

I've used FreeMind for years and found it very helpful in organizing and brainstorming. Most of my stories started in FreeMind.

wyndmaker
02-10-2012, 10:11 PM
Thanks so much for all of your input folks, I have been using Microsoft WordPad and can not double space, or figure out how to do page numbers and headings without totaly messing everything up. Now I at least know where to start looking to get some decent software, also a new computer wouldnt be a bad place to start.

theresa.mcclinton
02-22-2012, 06:30 AM
I sampled WriteWayPro, and that was okay. What I didn't like about it was the word processor lacked. Now I believe they are coming out with a new, updated version, but I haven't looked into it.

Then I went to new novelist and it was more organized, in my opinion, and had more features. So I invested in that and used it for a while. I liked it, and was rather disappointed to find out that they don't make a mac compatible version. So when I got my MacBook Air, I had to discontinue use of it. :(

I haven't tried any other writing software, but if you don't have the money to invest in any, I think Word and a good beta will do the trick. If you save your chapters individually in a folder, not only will word catch more errors-since it won't be so junked up with 80+K words-but Word can be used for much more than writing your chapters.

Hope that helped. :)

kborsden
02-22-2012, 04:08 PM
For structured poetry and song lyrics, I'd suggest Verse Perfect. It's free and uses online dictionaries additional to its built in one for spelling--it has a live thesaurus and rhyming dictionary (plus roundex table for partial rhymes), it counts your lines and syllables and has verse form templates, a trainable pronunciation manager and is compatible with speech to text softwares. For an everything-in-one-window type interface, it's not overly cluttered and features can be enabled/disabled to suit the user.

The s-counter is a bit off sometimes and can be unreliable, probably because it relies on spelling instead of phonetics, and it hasn't been actively maintained since 2007. A metrical foot overview or even a reference table overlay would also have been a nice extra, but as far as applications aimed at poetry, and free, it does the job rather nicely. There is an associated forum of users whoo create and share their own verse form templates and a user manual in case anyone gets lost.

WriteMinded
02-22-2012, 07:33 PM
I sampled WriteWayPro, and that was okay. What I didn't like about it was the word processor lacked. Now I believe they are coming out with a new, updated version, but I haven't looked into it. Is there a word missing in your first sentence? What was it that WriteWayPro's word processor lacked? I've checked out the application on their website a couple of times and was interested in it. I'd like to know what you disliked about it.

Laer Carroll
10-11-2012, 11:06 PM
Keep in mind that every writer is unique and has unique needs. What works for one may not for another, and vice versa.

I've tried all the software help tools and in the end returned to using Word and a fact organizer I created. (I'm a software engineer of long experience. It was actually easier for me to whip up a customized version rather than use one someone else had created.)

Michael "O"
01-07-2013, 03:11 AM
ETA: Here's an author's overview of the above (plus ywriter, which I also love): http://kaitnolan.com/2009/07/16/from-pantser-to-plotter-my-conversion-part-2/[/QUOTE]

Hello!

Question.....Where does MS Word rank?

Tirjasdyn
01-07-2013, 05:33 AM
ETA: Here's an author's overview of the above (plus ywriter, which I also love): http://kaitnolan.com/2009/07/16/from-pantser-to-plotter-my-conversion-part-2/

Hello!

Question.....Where does MS Word rank?

Word is pretty much standard.

WriteMinded
01-07-2013, 07:15 PM
ETA: Here's an author's overview of the above (plus ywriter, which I also love): http://kaitnolan.com/2009/07/16/from-pantser-to-plotter-my-conversion-part-2/

Hello!

Question.....Where does MS Word rank?[/QUOTE]

[/QUOTE]

MS Word is a wordprocessor. The programs discussed on the website are writing programs. yWriter is quite nice, though glitchy on my system. I use one called PowerWriter.

The "Quote" thingy won't work on this post. I've tried it six times now and it still came out like this.

Rockweaver
01-10-2013, 11:22 PM
i have been using MS Word for my main outline and OneNote to organize ideas etc.

you can also get from http://www.openoffice.org a free open source word processor.

if you have not tried OneNote i would encourage it. think of it like a large notebook. have an idea make a page write it out. i have been using it to save also stories from the web, news articles, and history facts.

i would like to know if anyone has tried "Dragon" software and if so the pros and cons to it.

thanks

merry_and_silver
01-17-2013, 04:25 PM
I'm going to stray from the beaten path and suggest that a full-featured text editor like Vim or Emacs may be appropriate for some people. I use Vim and like it a lot.

Vim makes it easy to move sentences and paragraphs around with simple keystroke commands. It is easy to deal with multiple files in Vim. You can organize your project into as many files as you want, and insert files in your document wherever you want with a simple keystroke command, without having to open the inserted file first. You can "fold" your documents into chapters if you want, which makes each chapter (or scene, paragraph, whatever) appear as a single line on the screen. You open and close the folds with a keystroke command to work on them. Folding is great for high-level organization. You can also mark, using all the letters of the alphabet and more, different places in your document, there are movement commands to get you to the beginning of the document, end, mark a, mark b, next paragraph, etc. There are too many more useful features here to list. No matter what you do to the document, it is still a plain text file in Vim, ready to format later. The learning curve for Vim is steep, and the documentation is scary, because Vim was made for computer programmers, but writers only need to learn a very small subset of what Vim can do to be productive.

I've gotten away from the Words and OpenOffices of the world as much as I can, although I do use OpenOffice quite a lot for some jobs. My rule is that formatting a document is the absolute last thing that I want to do, because undoing improper or unwanted formatting is such a pain in the behind. Modern word processors are designed to trap writers into unwanted formatting. So I write with a text editor, and format later. Vim is faster and easier than a word processor anyway.

Vim will be the first choice of only a very few people, but for those who can get past the initial frustration and learn enough to be productive with Vim, it is awesome. Best.

ScottJohnson
01-30-2014, 01:09 AM
Is Scrivener a good piece of software?

Morgan_R
02-12-2014, 09:28 AM
Is Scrivener a good piece of software?

I own Scrivener, and I like it a lot. I'm actually a bit surprised not to see it in the first post. But you don't need to take my word for it -- they've got a fully-featured demo, so you can try it out for yourself. :)

Medievalist
02-12-2014, 11:01 AM
Is Scrivener a good piece of software?

You either love it or hate it.

1. Download the free 30 day demo (https://store2.esellerate.net/store/checkout/CustomLayout.aspx?l=&ClickID=&s=STR5463446766&pc=&page=MultiMoreInfo.htm).

2. Depending on your learning style, watch the videos or go through the tutorial.

videos: https://literatureandlatte.com/video.php?show=v154

hunnypot
01-16-2015, 10:26 PM
I've got a new computer (Windows 8.1). I have notepad and word pad but I'm not happy using them as there is no word count or spell checker. I have Final Draft 8 which I have used for scripts. Is the novel or manuscript layout in this version of Final Draft good for a UK based writer?

Also, I have used MS Works Word for my writing on my old computer but now there's a problem. There is no MS Works on my new 8.1 so I cannot open anything without getting all that mumbo jumbo letters throughout my work. Sorry for not giving the correct info - I'm not tech savvy.

WriteMinded
01-17-2015, 08:29 PM
I've got a new computer (Windows 8.1). I have notepad and word pad but I'm not happy using them as there is no word count or spell checker. I have Final Draft 8 which I have used for scripts. Is the novel or manuscript layout in this version of Final Draft good for a UK based writer?

Also, I have used MS Works Word for my writing on my old computer but now there's a problem. There is no MS Works on my new 8.1 so I cannot open anything without getting all that mumbo jumbo letters throughout my work. Sorry for not giving the correct info - I'm not tech savvy.
If you want just a word processor, there are quite a few nice FREEBIES out there. And they can open .doc and .docx files. Here is one: http://www.abisource.com/

Sorry, don't know anything about Final Draft.

BryanT
06-09-2017, 05:13 AM
This is a very interesting collection of information and notes. I have primarily used word processors (MS Word, and Pages) on a PC and Mac. I recently switched over to using an app called Storyist for the iPad, and for the iPhone.

I like the way it groups things together, so I can build out character dossiers, and other descriptive information. I can flip between the novel I'm writing, the character dossiers, and other primary notes that I find help keep me organized. It has Chapter and section navigation, and is very intuitive overall.

Does anyone else have experience with, or use apps on mobile devices to do their writing?
I wanted to get an idea about what others use, because I am a bit of techno-geek, and am always interested in finding out about new or different tools, especially with the rise in devices.

AW Admin
06-09-2017, 05:44 AM
This is a very interesting collection of information and notes. I have primarily used word processors (MS Word, and Pages) on a PC and Mac. I recently switched over to using an app called Storyist for the iPad, and for the iPhone.

I like the way it groups things together, so I can build out character dossiers, and other descriptive information. I can flip between the novel I'm writing, the character dossiers, and other primary notes that I find help keep me organized. It has Chapter and section navigation, and is very intuitive overall.

Does anyone else have experience with, or use apps on mobile devices to do their writing?
I wanted to get an idea about what others use, because I am a bit of techno-geek, and am always interested in finding out about new or different tools, especially with the rise in devices.

I really love Scrivener on OS X and iOS.

And Bear.app on OS X and iOS has been really useful for shorter pieces.

BryanT
06-09-2017, 06:31 PM
I really love Scrivener on OS X and iOS.

I have used Scrivener in the past, and did a trial of it several years ago for writing in my tech blog. It was a toss up for me between the 2 of them. I will have to take another look at it.
One thing that I did learn from the Scrivener appstore video was how to use the index card view. So, that's cool. It really looks like the 2 apps are very similar.

Do you use the Scrivener Research part? That's one of the items that was highlighted in their video. It doesn't appear that Storyist can do that -- but I suspect I could.


And Bear.app on OS X and iOS has been really useful for shorter pieces.

Bear app! Wow! I just looked it up and had to download it. It works with the apple pencil, so if I get a wild hair and want to try to draw something while I am writing, that is a huge plus. It looks like Bear doesn't have the (writing) organizational capability that both scrivener and Storyist have.

what kind of shorter pieces do you use Bear for (or have you used)? -- the only issue I have with Bear, so far is that the Pro version is a subscription. Nothing wrong with that, it ensures continued development, But by and large while it is a cool app, I can see why you say it is best for shorter stuff.

AW Admin
06-09-2017, 07:09 PM
what kind of shorter pieces do you use Bear for (or have you used)? -- the only issue I have with Bear, so far is that the Pro version is a subscription. Nothing wrong with that, it ensures continued development, But by and large while it is a cool app, I can see why you say it is best for shorter stuff.

I write online help systems, many of which used proprietary tools; Bear is really useful for drafting short Help segments, in part because the Pro version supports very clean HTML export as well as Markdown, both of which are used by many Help systems.

I also use Bear to draft Blog posts, exporting the HTML to wither the CMS or to BBEdit if I need to tweak the HTML/CSS or include JavaScript.

Bear is not, at all, comparable to Scrivener.

BryanT
06-10-2017, 12:34 AM
I write online help systems, many of which used proprietary tools; Bear is really useful for drafting short Help segments, in part because the Pro version supports very clean HTML export as well as Markdown, both of which are used by many Help systems.

I also use Bear to draft Blog posts, exporting the HTML to wither the CMS or to BBEdit if I need to tweak the HTML/CSS or include JavaScript.

Bear is not, at all, comparable to Scrivener.

I can definitely see the pluses for that kind of work. I hadn't considered Bear for its HTML / CSS markup capabilities but that does sound like a great use of the tool. I will tuck that away for future reference since I also write technical blogs (but haven't done one in quite some time) -- and there is nothing quite like writing something in a browser window only to find that your login has expired and you lose everything you have written because of it. I think that's the reason that i looked closely at Scrivener several years ago.

Thanks for sharing how you use the tools that you write with!

Bryan

GoSpeed
07-10-2017, 05:10 PM
As of 1 May 2017, WriteWay Professional (http://www.WriteWayPro.com) is free. The developer has decided to move on to other things (probably retirement). Support will still be available to a limited degree.

Maryn
07-10-2017, 05:34 PM
As of 1 May 2017, WriteWay Professional (http://www.WriteWayPro.com) is free. The developer has decided to move on to other things (probably retirement). Support will still be available to a limited degree.Am I not looking in the right place? All I see for free is the Demo Edition, which doesn't check off the box about downloading as .doc or .docx.

Maryn, confuzzled as usual

WriteMinded
07-11-2017, 05:11 PM
As of 1 May 2017, WriteWay Professional (http://www.WriteWayPro.com) is free. The developer has decided to move on to other things (probably retirement). Support will still be available to a limited degree.I was interested in that bit of software. However, I read so many things about problems folks had with it, primarily its tendency to lose pages and chapters of work, that I gave up on it. Have you tried it? Did you have a better experience?

Qwest
04-23-2018, 05:23 PM
Has anyone upgraded to scrivener 3? I am really happy with scrivener 2, so I don't know what extra benefit 3 would give me. I'm sure there's also a whole lot of functionality I'm not even accessing in scrivener 2, so I suspect scrivener 3 would be overkill for my purposes...

I actually do quite a bit of planning and early drafting in scrivener, and then at some point I generally feel compelled to move over to word, and always complete there. So I do a lot of shifting from Scrivener to word already.

I guess I'm wondering if folks have gone for scrivener 3, how they're finding it?

Thanks!

Xelin_G
05-09-2018, 06:58 AM
Aside from screenplay, I am planning on writing my first novel. Woah. I have lots of options now for the software to use. For screenplay, I was able to get the free version of Celtx years ago. I heard it's no longer free or what. I was looking for a free tool at the time and I that's what I found.

cbenoi1
05-09-2018, 06:45 PM
For screenplay, I was able to get the free version of Celtx years ago. I heard it's no longer free or what.
It is still free but is now web-based, which limits you to three projects. There are Android and iOS-based apps too to go with that.

-cb

talktidy
05-10-2018, 03:23 AM
Has anyone upgraded to scrivener 3? I am really happy with scrivener 2, so I don't know what extra benefit 3 would give me. I'm sure there's also a whole lot of functionality I'm not even accessing in scrivener 2, so I suspect scrivener 3 would be overkill for my purposes...

I actually do quite a bit of planning and early drafting in scrivener, and then at some point I generally feel compelled to move over to word, and always complete there. So I do a lot of shifting from Scrivener to word already.

I guess I'm wondering if folks have gone for scrivener 3, how they're finding it?

Thanks!

Are you a Mac or a Windows user? Scrivener 3 is currently Mac only, but a Beta version of Scriv 3 has been released for Windows and I understand the actual release for Windows is slated for this year.

If you are a Mac user, you could download a trial version and see what you think. I believe there is an option to save projects as either S2 or S3, because some Scriv users are set up on both platforms. You can similarly download the Windows Beta and see how you go, except usual caveat applies - don't use it for something you couldn't bear losing.

Qwest
05-23-2018, 01:45 PM
Thanks Talktidy! I appreciate the response. I'm mac, and I love Scrivener as is (aside from a few personal gripes that I have with most software I use). I think I'll give the trial a trial ;) but only when I'm finished the research project I'm working on.