General · Writing

On Writing Software

I don’t use writing software. I will admit to using OneNote to keep track of  character profiles, research, and world building items –  notes on magical rules, nobility, geography and so on. When writing a fantasy novel, I would use a separate notebook to keep track of things. It seemed easier to use OneNote. I don’t have a laptop and even though OneNote is designed for the tablet PC, it works just fine on my desktop computer. Also, the files don’t get lost. My notebook migrates frequently around the house (I swear, the things have legs!). So I end up using a different notebook.  Than I end up confusing and frustrating myself when I need to back and look up a detail. A computer file is better all around and I don’t have the formatting issues I had with word when I tried to use that to write world building type notes.

I don’t use OneNote for the actual writing. I suppose I could, but writing on word is just better (it has much prettier word processing functions).

I have discovered other people use purpose built writing software to write stories. Novels and screenplays. Who know? I certainly didn’t!

There are scrivener, dramatica pro, storybook, final draft and I don’t know how many others. Scrivener appears to be very popular, but it is also only for macs. It also seems to be expensive. Such writing software is supposed to help with story structure. I am going to try out storybook. Maybe it will help with the novel in progress.

Why storybook? Because it is open source, it works with windows and it is for novels. Quite a few pieces of writing software are mac only or are designed for screenplays and are expensive to boot. But also because I like what the website says about different views – seeing scenes chronically, a view for seeing which scene is in which chapter (thinking I could use this for planning), and a book view. They have a thing for keeping track of plot lines (each line is colored differently) and time lines. I also like what it says about chapters and scenes and all. They seem flexible enough that can I move scenes here and there. I do that anyway in word (and get mightily irritated when I want to switch scenes around and run into word issues).  I really like the chart thing. It is supposed to show which characters are where and when and a lot more. Anyway, I am going to try it out. Hopefully it will work.


12 thoughts on “On Writing Software

      1. I tried it, too! I think it’s pretty great. Some stuff could be simplified, like allowing to drag and drop scenes all over the place, but apart from that I really like it.

        1. I was thinking that too! It makes me think more about how my plotlines and how the scenes go along with that. Yeah, I also wish there was more dragging and dropping.

      1. Well, the first impression was good, but then it died on me and refused to work after that. Stupid buggy beta versions. I’m gonna wait for the next version to come out and try again.

        So far I can say that I like the variety in templates they have (novels, short stories, non-fiction, scripts ranging from screenplays to comic books). The corkboard interface (real index cards on coark board) looked like a nice idea, too, couldn’t play around with it a lot yet, though (also, I thought there was no need to take the cork board that literally).

        The next version is apparently due on 12th, but maybe I can convince this one to run poperly again before that time. Or maybe I take a look at the tutorial if they have one (haven’t checked yet) and see what it can do. In any case, I’ll let you know what I think of it.

        1. Beta programs are the definition of buggy software! Which is annoying . . . but at least your experimentation will make it better, huh?

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