Saturday, 23 July 2011

Writing Software

I've finally forked out some cash for a real - ie. paid for - word processor. Couldn't quite stomach the $150 demanded by Microsoft Word so I've gone for Apple's Pages instead. At £13.99 it seemed like a no-brainer.

I used to be a serial software junkie. Since I got the Mac my wanderlust has abated. I use Scrivener for just about everything but there are times when you need a reliable programme to open downloaded files. I've used the freebies, Open Office and Neo office but always ran into some sorts of problems with them, usually compatibility issues. Hopefully I won't have to contend with those any more.

People often ask about writing software on writers' forums. It amazes me how much negativity they engender, usually among people who have never tried them. And if anyone thinks they will write a book for them they are deluded. But there are some really useful programmes available.

For novels, Ywriter is free and about all you need to organise your chapters and scenes, research and files. I've used it in the past although these days I prefer the flexibility of Scrivener. For plotting there are a number of programmes available, the most expensive of which is Dramatica Pro. I looked at it some time ago but found it too complicated and jargon filled to help me. Others swear by it. A cheaper alternative I've dabbled with is Contour.

But the thing to remember about them all is they are only tools and may not suit everyone. But if you find Writing Software that helps you, then have at it!


mooderino said...

It's a subjective thing, although a lot of the software of this type that I've tried has a lot of extra features I never use just to bloat it up to look like value for money.

My starting point is still pen and paper.


Royce A Ratterman said...

We just installed Word 2010 last evening. It is about the same as the 2007 Word we used at the U.S. Embassy here in Norway, but ours at home is in Norwegian.
I did notice that it shifts its document language detection automatically - so ... if you live in a foreign country and use multiple languages, this version supersedes '97.