Sunday, February 27, 2011

Software for writers?

Who has used writing/plotting/organizing applications for writers? (Like Dramatica.) Can you give me some titles and descriptions? Someone asked me, and I thought of:
Write or Die

What about for screenwriters?



elfarmy17 said...

I've heard lots of good things about Scrivener, but I tend to use some elaborate Excel sheets I downloaded before NaNoWriMo last year.

Gary Baker said...

Quite a lot of free templates on the site - writers' room I think - the templates work with Word and cover novels, stage, screen and radio scripts. Not sure if they work with OpenOffice though. Also not sure how compatible with USA formats.

Andrew Rosenberg said...

I've tried them all but I haven't found many better than good old Word or Google Docs.
But here's a list:

Novel Writing:
Liquid Story Binder
Page Four
My Story Writer

Final Draft

I've tried all of the writing ones but they all seems to want to box me in to some structure. I also worry a lot about losing my work by corrupting a file. They seem flaky at times.

The screenwriting ones I may use because you do need to properly structure screenplays.

Robin Lemke said...

I really love Page Four. I believe it's the software that inspired Scrivener, but is for PC. It organizes by "notebook" and you create pages within the notebook and can then move them around easily, and store them in folders inside the notebook, so you can have a planning folder, etc. I can't imagine starting a book in Word anymore

Sylvia said...

yWriter is a basic editor that understands chapters and scenes, so it is simpler to use than Word because you can break things up and move them around (and mark as unused rather than actually have to delete, etc). I draft in yWriter and then only move to Word when my structure is set and I am starting to worry about it looking pretty.

I've heard good things about Evernote for plotting but I'm not sure how that works in practice.

Querytracker for agent research and novel submission.

Final Draft is the mainstream software for screenwriting but I've not used it myself.

I'm addicted to Write or Die but the word wars option hasn't worked in over a month (possibly an issue only for those outside of the US) and the developer has stopped responding. So personally, I wouldn't recommend spending money on it.

Sylvia said...

OH! And Dropbox (free file mirror system) tied into your writing folder so that you have automatic 30 day backups! (and access from all over but it is the back-ups that help me sleep at night).

Hannah said...

I use Liquid Story Binder. It's an organizing tool. It has some great features for screenwriting and they give you a 30 day free trial. I keep it on a flash drive because the program is that compact. Love it.

Steena Holmes said...

I love ywriter. I don't have a mac so the scrivner was a no go for me(although they came out with one for windows, I'm not a fan).

Clare K. R. Miller said...

Scrivener is also for screenwriters!

Edittorrent said...

I love dropbox and write or die.

I hear there's a new beta on scrivener for windows.

Writewaypro, that's a good one, too.


green_knight said...

I'm using software called Avenir which works similar to Scrivener (and might, in fact, upgrade to Scrivener). I still write in Word, but I use Avenir to manage the files - I paste finished scenes so I can have access to a quick wordcount, I keep all of my character notes and setting notes in one place. I like the ease with which I can tag things and mark them for revision; it makes life much easier for me.

What I don't want is software 'to help me write' because my thoughts don't fit into anybody else's template.

Jody W. and Meankitty said...

Hell, I can't even get my ancient version of Word to work most of the time, much less anything fancy :)

Edittorrent said...

Thanks, all, taking notes!

Lisa Eckstein said...

I recently started using a virtual index card program called SuperNoteCard, and it's been tremendously helpful in organizing my story notes and outline. I've posted a review.

Karen said...

I use yWriter as well. It's so easy to move scenes and chapters around, and it exports everything to an rtf file whenever you need it. Notes, Characters, and more all are kept organized in one place - much easier than my old multi-notebeook/post-it system!

Melissa said...

I'm a little late to the party, but I'll like to add Microsoft OneNote is great for organizing ideas and research. OneNote is like a virtual shelf of notebooks. You create a new 'notebook' for each of your projects. Notebooks contain 'chapters' that can be grouped together in any way you like (and yes, you can group together groups of chapters as well). Each chapter contains 'pages.' Best part about OneNote is that you can type anywhere on the page. You just click where you want to type, type out your idea, and then it automatically saves. A page can store text, charts, and, I believe, also pictures. It's a nice way to get your sloppy ideas into a computer. Oh, and if you have Microsoft Office, you probably already have OneNote so it won't cost you anything.

Also I want to add that Scrivener released last week a beta for Windows that has all the features the final release of the program will have (minus a few bugs) so if you tried out the beta earlier and the program didn't do what you wanted it to do, you might want to look at it one more time.

Oh, and yes, DropBox is a must!

green_knight said...

I was intrigued by SuperNotecard so I checked it out. The idea is lovely, but the execution of the Mac version stinks: it's very poorly programmed and I would not feel comfortable having it on my computer.

Andi said...

I've tried many but the only two I've ever stuck with are WriteWay Pro, and now Scrivener (I'm a Windows girl, so Scrivener has only just recently become available).

For file sharing and backups, I love Dropbox. For final MS massaging/formatting, I use Word.