October 31, 2020, 07:32:51 PM

Author Topic: Writing Software  (Read 8239 times)

Offline MTMaenpaa

Writing Software
« on: February 06, 2011, 03:48:21 AM »
Just curious.  What software do you use to write?

I was a long time MS Office user, but switched to Open Office a few years back because it loaded faster.  Then I discovered Scrivener, which was at the time Mac-only.  So I went and found Page Four, which is a similar style of program.  Then the folks that make Scrivener released a Beta for Windows just in time for NaNoWriMo this past year.  I'm hooked.

Scrivener has an excellent set of organizational tools specifically targeted at writers, from automatic manuscript format to being able to import the full content of a website into research folders.  My wife teases me, I've become such a fanboy for this software.

Check them out here: http://literatureandlatte.com  The Windows edition is still in Beta, due to be officially released before the end of Spring. License is $40, or half that if you completed NaNo this past year.
Writer, editor, photographer, whiskey maker, ex-chef, current parent. Queer AF.

Offline Tiffany Kysis Tackett

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2011, 03:57:08 AM »
Currently I am using MS Office 2007.  I really like the pre 2003 editions, but I'm too lazy to hunt one down. *shrug*  It works well enough for me, since I'm not doing any crazy formating, and I keep separate notebooks, sketchbooks, and legal pads for all of my development and notes.  I have a tiny computer screen (all I have is a netbook right now), so having multiple windows open at once is just asking for a vessel to burst in my eye.

I tried out the beta for Scrivener before NaNoWriMo, and I really love all the features, but I also love hand writing all of my development, especially since I can randomly draw pictures of stuff to illustrate right in the middle of the page, or in the margins.

Something I love for NaNoWriMo, at least, is Write or Die.  I have the desktop edition (the free online one can be found at www.writeordie.com).  You set up how many words you want to write, and in how much time, then you set what kind of grace period you want (how long it lets you pause in typing before the screen starts turning red) and the difficulty mode (if it just screams at you when you stop typing too long, or if it starts shaking, or if it outright starts deleting your last words as punishment to keep you typing).  It is a blast to use, fun for writing sprints and word wars against other writers, and really helps you pump a lot of material out in a small amount of time.

That's my list, I think.  Oh wait, I always use iTunes while writing, but that's music related.

Offline Arthum

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 09:16:47 AM »
Well I use either the Open Office o my own piece of paper and a pen :D Depends if I'm at the lectures and we don't have anything to do at all or if I'm at home ^^ But the pen and paper applies anytime when I don't have access to my own PC. I'm starting of thinking of buying a netbook though, just for making notes at the lectures(I type much faster then I write with a pen :P ) and for writing stuff while we talk on Skype.

Offline Dan D Jones

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 02:40:22 PM »
Currently, I'm using FocusWriter for the actual writing.  One of the biggest draws for me is that works well and it's available for both Linux and Windows.  I've been using Linux exclusively at home for over ten years, but my work-provided laptop is Windows, so I need to be able to work on both OS's.

In addition to the actual writing, I use Excel and Open Office Calc spreadsheets for things like timelines.  I use Evernote and Basket Note Pads for outlining, and Freemind for general planning, plotting and notetaking. 

I've played with Storybook but it doesn't really seem to fit my style of working.  I haven't given up on it but so far I haven't used it a great deal.  I'm intrigued by Scrivner and may give it a shot when/if they ever release the Linux port.  There was an unsupported beta for Linux back in October but the download link now gives a 404.


Offline professional-liar

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 05:03:14 PM »
I'm a big Scrivener fan.  You can really tell the designer has some experience with writing longer works.

The new version really rocks.

Check out my webcomic-The Venom King www.venomkingcomic.com

Offline MTMaenpaa

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 07:02:30 PM »
But the pen and paper applies anytime when I don't have access to my own PC.

I think this qualifies as hardware rather than software :)  I put ink to paper a lot, usually for notes or the beginning of a work.  After a while, like you said, I can type faster than I write.  I'm partial to Scrivener because I can have multiple projects open, and multiple pages within them.  The toolset fits in well with my lack of organizational skills, and yet still manages to keep me focused.

I've played with Storybook but it doesn't really seem to fit my style of working.  I haven't given up on it but so far I haven't used it a great deal.  I'm intrigued by Scrivner and may give it a shot when/if they ever release the Linux port.  There was an unsupported beta for Linux back in October but the download link now gives a 404.

Not that I know anything about the subject, but can't you emulate the windows OS in linux?  I have a friend running Ubuntu and she still runs all her Windows software.  I'm a Luddite when it comes to these sorts of things, but do you think that would work for the Windows version of Scrivener?
Writer, editor, photographer, whiskey maker, ex-chef, current parent. Queer AF.

khaldun106

  • Guest
Re: Writing Software
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 11:08:15 PM »
Seriously guys, you should try yWriter 5. It's available from an Australian writer who writes humour sf. His books are actually pretty hilarious, but he used to be a computer programmer and the software is free. I use it for my writing. It's easy to organize and it saves autobackups every time you close it and periodically during writing.

Check it out @
http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.htmlhttp://fantasy-faction.com/forum/writers-corner/writing-software/

A free copy of his first book is available at
http://www.spacejock.com.au/Hal1Download.html.

Cheers, hope it helps guys :)

Offline LizUK

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2011, 03:30:44 PM »
I use Scrivener and have written my most recent in that.  It is a fantastically robust bit of software.  I have no idea how the microsoft version works but my upgraded 2.0 for my Macs work like a treat.

You can outline, plot, import research, pictures, pdf's, searches, whole websites at a click - and it is right there, in the same folder, ready to look at without having to change software / out of the same window.  The writing and editing is easier than Word and it backs things up automoatically.  It's great and I love it with all my heart and soul.  It really is worth the money.

Offline Khaldun

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2011, 06:27:46 PM »
Never tried Scrivener. Not sure if I could be convinced to use it since I'd have to pay instead of continuing to use yWriter. (It doesn't help that Scriverner is still only at the Windows beta stage, unless googling and clicking the first result has failed me).

Offline Dan D Jones

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2011, 08:09:59 PM »
I've played with Storybook but it doesn't really seem to fit my style of working.  I haven't given up on it but so far I haven't used it a great deal.  I'm intrigued by Scrivner and may give it a shot when/if they ever release the Linux port.  There was an unsupported beta for Linux back in October but the download link now gives a 404.

Not that I know anything about the subject, but can't you emulate the windows OS in linux?  I have a friend running Ubuntu and she still runs all her Windows software.  I'm a Luddite when it comes to these sorts of things, but do you think that would work for the Windows version of Scrivener?

Wine (originally stood for WINdows Emulator, now stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator, since it technically doesn't emulate Windows but uses other techniques) will allow you to run Windows software under Linux.  Unfortunately, it tends to be a bit flaky at times.  Some things work quite well; other things work very poorly.  When I'm writing, I want to be focused on my writing and not distracted by untrustworthy software. 

Offline MTMaenpaa

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2011, 08:14:46 PM »
When I'm writing, I want to be focused on my writing and not distracted by untrustworthy software. 

Amen to that!
Writer, editor, photographer, whiskey maker, ex-chef, current parent. Queer AF.

Offline Dan D Jones

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2011, 09:22:23 PM »
When I'm writing, I want to be focused on my writing and not distracted by untrustworthy software. 

Amen to that!

I can just imagine.  I finally get some insight into how to write that tricky scene that's been blocking my story.  Enthused, I sit down and start pounding the keys.  Several hundred words later - CRASH!  Restart the software.  "We're sorry, that file is corrupt and can't be opened..."

Offline The Mad Hatter

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2011, 06:15:38 AM »

Pages. I use it both on the Mac, and on the IPad.

I used to use Open Office, and yes it works, but Libre Office is better. I'd be using it, if it was available on the IPad.

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter


Offline Tiffany Kysis Tackett

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2011, 04:19:14 PM »
I totally forgot!  For screenwriting I use Final Draft 8.  That's writing software.  Yup.

Offline Funky Scarecrow

Re: Writing Software
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2011, 04:31:52 PM »
For banging out text quick and dirty, I use FocusWriter. For formatting that text, I use OpenOffice and for those times I tinker with the screenplays and comic book scripts I play around with writing, I use Celtx. All free, all relatively user friendly and all multi OS friendly so I can use them on the ubuntu/linux desktop and the vista laptop.
I am NOT short. I'm further away than I look.