Writing-related software

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

CaoPaux

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madmumbler

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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

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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

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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

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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
 

50 Scripts

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Dramatica Pro. By the time I began to figure out the nuances of the software, my muse got bored and left.
 

AngelicaRJackson

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Free submission tracking software?

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

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AngelicaRJackson

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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.
 
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Hip-Hop-a-potamus

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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

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Timeline software

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

Temporis

Timeflyer

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.
 
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PaulaO

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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

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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

Temporis

Timeflyer

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

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PowerWriter

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

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NewNovelist

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

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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

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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

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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.
 

kcvale

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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

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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.)
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away