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  1. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    Favorite writing software?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Nicoel, Oct 29, 2015.

    I'm doing a presentation on writing softwares, and Id like some more to talk about. What are your favorites? Why?

    Ive already got the regular kinds:
    1) Scrivener
    2) Snowflake
    3) Microsoft Word
    4) Word Pad
    5) Open Office

    Is there anything in Scrivener or Snowflake that is particularly unique and awesome?
     
  2. Bookster
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    Bookster Banned

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    There's already at least one thread about this (though I can't find it right now). I use Wordpad for everything, but my formatting needs aren't all that complicated, and I don't need the project management tools in Scrivener.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I like Scrivener. I also like simple text tools like PyRoom or FocusWriter.
     
  4. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Anything that doesn't try to correct me. If I wanted help I would ask a person. :p
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You're probably not getting much action in this thread, Nicoel, because the topic has been done to death, reborn as first slow zombies, then fast zombies, Mila Jovoviched into submission, and then society has arisen again to continue on after the apocalypse. I was there for most if and here are my observations.

    "MS Word is all I need"

    You've already shelled out the cost for MS Word because it's a basic appliance. It's the four door grocery-getter that every family needs. And, again, you already paid for it and it wasn't cheap. And it does do the job - maybe not top down with the wind in your hair, but... - so why look for anything else? You've already sorted out a personal project management scheme on your computer that works for you, so again, why look elsewhere?

    There's a small separate camp that believes that if you don't use MS Word your novel will never even get looked at. Don't argue with them. It's pointless.

    "Snowflake"

    This is actually a different beast to a word processor or a management software. This is a scheme for writing a novel that indicates there is a mathematical method to the madness and if you just follow it, glory is yours. I've never tried this, though the planner in me is intrigued. Anyone who calls him/herself a pantser probably thinks this method is heretical and needs to be killed with fire.

    "Scrivener"

    The other side of the MS Word vs. Scrivener battle. It's just a word processor with a management scheme built into it. That's it. It won't make you a successful writer, just a more organized one. It's very popular with Mac users because though it comes for Mac, Windows, and also Linux, it's originally Mac and unashamedly so. It looks Mac, it feels Mac, it walks Mac, it talks Mac. Some people super-mega hate it for this. *shrug* Mac users also tend to like it because MS Word for Mac suuuuucks. [I'm a Scrivener boy, btw.]

    "Word Pad"

    Why should I have to pay money up front - any money at all - to write? That's ridiculous. I already paid for the computer and now you want more money? Get stuffed. Also, minimalism is where it's at. Nothing on screen that can distract me.

    "Open Office / LibreOffice"

    I don't care too much about the minimalist thing, but I agree with "Word Pad" that you can bite me if you think I'm giving you any money so I can write my book. Screw you. The future is free, baby.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Really?
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, man. There's a conflation of the software platform and the file type, and, for this small camp, any explanation that one is not the other falls on deaf ears and glossed-over eyes. This is the camp that is often heard saying: "It is the industry standard, so it's what I [must] use."
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I know a science fiction writer published with a big publisher who still uses a DOS-based word processor :) For submissions, .doc/docx are a standard (though not exclusive formats), but LibreOffice, OpenOffice, MSWord, Scrivener, Google Docs, and plenty of others will all give you a .doc/.docx file if you want it. For the publisher receiving manuscripts they're not going to know or care which program produced the .doc file.
     
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  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yep, but these are the words that make members of that camp unfocus their eyes and look at their shoes. This is the heresy they must not hear. These are the words of the infidels, you and I. They will surely pray for us sinners. ;)

    ETA: And just to be perfectly clear to all, these are not typical MS Word aficionados. This is a small extremist branch. :ohno:
     
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  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    [​IMG]

    ((OK, I'm done. How often do you get to use Warhammer heresy gifs in conversation?))
     
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  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Hahahaha :-D
     
  13. litjar
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    litjar New Member

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    I love using Microsoft Word because that is just what I have always used.
     
  14. Vito
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    Vito Member

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    Word 2013 with grammar and style check turned on because I like to see all the squiggly lines.
     
  15. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Notebooks aren't exactly free, you know. :p

    But I agree with you that free is the future. The question is how to monetize it since people need money to eat.

    Scrivener is a good app but I believe I haven't used it to its full potential. :( I was expecting to add links inside my manuscript whenever a character gets mentioned that would refer to their character sheets. Also, I feel weird about using RL photos of people for inspiration to my characters' looks because I'm weird like that and feel "shame" for doing so. :D
     
  16. Alstroemeria
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    Alstroemeria Member

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    FocusWriter, easily.
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I have several. I'm attracted to the decorative, vintage looking kind that emulate old leather-bounds. ;)

    Well, the statement of mine that you quoted isn't actually my personal feeling on the matter. It's just what you often hear aficionados of free software mention. How do the creators of those software platforms monetize their endeavors? I have no idea. I don't use that software, tbh.
     
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  18. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Textedit, plain text. Doesn't distract ;)
     
  19. datahound2u
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    datahound2u Member

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    Some software companies have gone to a "software as a service" concept, such as Microsoft. The Microsoft Office package used to be prohibitively expensive for me, but when they went to this new concept a few years ago, I was able to afford the monthly fee for using the software.

    I'm not saying whether this "software as a service" concept is good or bad. I suppose it can be considered both, in a way. It does allow folks like me to use the software for a small monthly fee, but on the other hand, I will never own the software, so I can only use for as long as I'm willing to pay for it.

    For my writing, I've been using Scrivener for the last year or so. It does everything I need or want it to do, and I'm sure it does quite a bit that I haven't even discovered yet. For what it does, I think Scrivener is priced very reasonably. One of the downsides to Scrivener (and I'm sure Scrivener isn't alone here) is that when a new major release comes out, you have to buy it again if you want the new features. You can still use the version you have, but at some point in time, as operating systems advance, that version will likely no longer be supported.

    Another downside to Scrivener is that it doesn't offer a companion mobile app. It does allow you to sync with several other mobile apps, but it's somewhat cumbersome to do that. However, a downsized version of Scrivener is [hopefully] going to be release next year for IOS. (I'm not sure about Android).

    (I only meant to offer my two cents' worth, but I see that I've written a full nickel.)
     
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  20. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use MS Word (2003).

    Why?
    • It's easy to ignore and/or hide all those features I don't need,
    • I can pare the toolbar down to nothing,
    • it's easy to change the background colour to yellow (easier on the eyes for long sessions),
    • it opens fast,
    • I can have several documents open at the same time in different windows (I use multiple screens and sometimes have three versions of a single novel open so I can cut-n-paste),
    • when I size/place the window, then close it, it re-opens in the same place and the same window size,
    • when I set the zoom level, next time I open Word, it remembers that, too,
    • I've used the same normal template since I bought Word 2003 (~5 years ago),
    • I paid $35 for it on eBay (yes, it's fully licensed), and
    • I started using it on Windows XP, continued using it with Win7 and now on Win10, no problems, no worries.
    I may upgrade to Word 2007 if ever I can get a really good price on it. :)
     
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  21. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Scrivener is my tool of choice.

    Other than the occasional formatting mishmash when I cut and paste from difference sources, everything else about the software has been intuitive so I've never used a help guide to navigate myself around. And I do like that Scrivener adds an extra layer of organisation that I wouldn't have with Word. If I used Word alone, I'd have a mess of files with random names and totally forget where I placed everything. So as a rather haphazard and disorganized person, Scrivener works for me.

    It's been a very long time since I've been to the Scrivener forums but previously the support was excellent and they were responsive to user feedback. So in my mind, it's still fully featured software that is reasonably priced with everything I need to get me writing now. But as datahound2u mentioned, I'm sure there are so much more capabilities I haven't even used but will hopefully get to when I finally finish a project. First I have to break this bad habit I have of always clicking "File">"New Project". It's so easy to do but I can't blame Scivener for that...hehe
     
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  22. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Scivener, like most people, I have only scratched the surface of it's potential.
     
  23. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think there's a definite connection between "favourite writing software" and "typical writing style".

    I could be wrong (because I've tried it and the quickly stepped away) but I think Scrivener is best for people who write non-linearly, want their scenes divided from each other (I'm not sure why they want this, but many people seem to) and probably people who do a lot of planning and/or research and want to be able to organize it?

    I think Word makes a lot more sense for people who write linearly (like me!) who start at the start of the book and just type through to the end.

    As I said, I've tried Scrivener, but only briefly, because for the way I write, it just seemed to be introducing a lot of unnecessary complications. But obviously there are people who swear by it!

    In terms of other software? The last time I used OpenOffice was a while ago, so maybe it's improved, but at the time there were issues with getting edits back from people using MS Word. The "track changes" function didn't work well between the two programs, and since "track changes" is pretty essential for editing, it was a serious problem. (ETA: And this is where @Wreybies' despised "industry standard" comes into play - if there are compatibility issues between the two programs, then it makes sense for everyone to use the same program. If that program were OpenOffice, that would be fine. But that's not how it is - Word is the industry standard. So if there are still compatibility issues, it's the one you need to use if you're in the industry). But if they've got that problem sorted out, it definitely makes sense to go with something free rather than feeding the juggernaut.

    WordPad, for me, is a bit too basic. I don't use most of the MS Word features, but I use some of them, and I'd miss them if they weren't there.

    I've never heard of the Snowflake software - I assume it's based on the Snowflake writing method, which I found far too rigid and formulaic for my taste. But if someone is already successfully using the snowflake method, maybe it would be useful for them to have software that is specially designed for their writing style? I don't know - I'd be careful of the hype on this one - $100 is pretty steep for unproven software, and I don't think I actually know anyone who writes books using the snowflake method.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
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  24. Lucidity
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    Lucidity Member

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    I wouldn't exactly call it "writing" software but I use it for for mapping.

    E-Draw

    Free, very easy to use and I like it. Great for getting down all ideas, and you can have different pages through tabs, so I can categorize my ideas
     
  25. SilentDreamer
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    SilentDreamer Member

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    I've used LiquidX, and Scrivener - (and Word, but who hasn't?), and to be honest, Scrivener does what I need it to - and I've probably not scratched the surface of it's potential.

    Liquid X was similar, but mostly designed for screen writing I think. Got a bit confusing, then I or it lost half of a story...so....I tried something else.
     
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