1. littlebluelie
    Offline

    littlebluelie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0

    Is there a "best writing program"?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by littlebluelie, Dec 30, 2008.

    Hi. I'm a newbie here and I haven't a clue as to where this should be posted.
    Please move it if it doesn't belong. :redface:

    I'd like to know what program you use to write out your masterpieces. I have Microsoft Works vs. 8.5 and I'm not too fond of it, especially since I just completed the first chapter of a novel I'm working on and it's already corrupted the file.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    What's your cup o' tea as far as processors go and why?
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Microsoft Word - it's THE standard for word processing software, and Word files are what most publishers accept for soft copies of manuscripts. A free alternative is OpenOffice, but I use Word.

    Corruption is a possibility with any word processing program, especially while you are still learning how to use it. You best defense is to make backups on a regular basis. Get into the habit of saving copies with the date as part of the file name. Again, this is even more important when you are still learning hopw to use the program, because you WILL make mistakes that may be very hard to fix, or that result in the loss of large pieces of writing.
     
    Yoav likes this.
  3. Mr Vampyre
    Offline

    Mr Vampyre Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere between delirium and hope.
    I use WriteItNow as a means of easily storing my manuscript, but then I transfer everything over to word.
     
  4. laurelin
    Offline

    laurelin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    I use Microsoft Word 2007 edition. I prefer it over the earlier versions as it has a much better-looking template and default font, and a neat thing is that you can put your work into a layout that makes it look spread out on the pages of a novel.
     
  5. Cestralisk
    Offline

    Cestralisk New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I’ve been using Microsoft Word 07 as well. Honestly I don’t like it all that much. There are a lot of options but I miss some fonts and stuff from the earlier days of hmm…perhaps Corel or older versions of Microsoft Word. I also avoid most of the options since I want to make sure it can be converted to other programs if needed. Currently that shouldn’t be much of an issue and it really does have some features that I think are helpful once you learn and adjust to them. I’ve just been unbearably lazy about testing out all the features and for a long time I felt the layout was flashy. In any case I suspect it is customizable…again, lazy. :p

    Typically I stick with the font ‘Times New Roman’ with a font size of 12. ‘Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style’ is checked and I set Line Spacing to Single.

    Obviously those settings are not used for professional manuscripts (as far as I know) but it is simple to Select All and adjust at a later date. I just fine it easier on my eyes. Ah, if you have tips for Microsoft Word 07 I would love to hear them. If it needs to be put in a new thread I’m fine with that since I have no intention of trying to take over someone’s thread. Thanks again! :)

    PS: How accurate is the word count in Microsoft Word 07? :confused: The document properties have a different size than the word count inside the program.

    About Corruptions: I keep a separate backup on my computer, same drive, external HDD, and USB Thumb Drives (unsure of issues regarding Flash Memory since it has limited usage and unsure about corruptions caused via not clicking Safely Remove Hardware before removing). Some people use e-mail accounts to keep backups but I have not applied that technique (yet). I usually have 3 backups by the end of any day that I do any sort of writing (I wish that was every day :( ). I keep previous backups as well (very important, not just for corruptions, imo). These are kept in a folder with the project name and placed in a month folder inside the project folder. If I take a break from writing and then write again, later in the day, I may have a backup with v2 next to the date to show that it is the second backup of that day. On a productive day I can have up to v3 (possibly v4). This may not have been a clear explanation but I should probably provide those details to some other thread (if it has not already been mentioned). Hope this has been of help.
     
  6. BitPoet
    Offline

    BitPoet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Southern Germany
    I've been using OpenOffice for years now, and there's nothing I'm missing. The spelling and grammar correction can easily hold up with MS Word's, all the usual features like word and character count are there. Plus: it's free. A very convenient feature for online publishing and print pre-processing is that it is able to directly export to PDF (without third party printer drivers or addons) with optionally embedding fonts and PDF/A document tagging (i.e., marking text paragraphs as such, making the generated PDF readable on mobile devices and screen readers for disabled people).
     
    Lemon flavoured likes this.
  7. Daedalus
    Offline

    Daedalus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    South Armagh, Ireland.
    Word is free, if you know where to look. I shouldn't be advocating free downloads, but ...

    I think Word 07 is probably the best program I've ever used for writing. I've tried them all, and I keep coming back to Word.
     
  8. othman
    Offline

    othman Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Although I do like word I also quite like Notepad as it's simple but you can't use italics or underline or anything like that but I think it's quite nice in it's basic ways.
     
  9. RomanticRose
    Offline

    RomanticRose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    New Mexico
    OpenOffice is my WP of choice. You can save your work in .doc format so no pesky pasting into Word.
     
  10. tehuti88
    Offline

    tehuti88 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    I just use Wordpad because I post my work to the Web, so it's easy to format it in HTML that way; when I used to use MS Works I'd have to reformat it to go online and it was tedious.

    Things like fonts don't matter much when one is trying to get published. (And I'm not, but all sorts of fancy fonts and colors and sizes in a story are very unprofessional and hard to read.) The only real advantages I see in a word processing program are possibly the formatting for submission, and the spellcheck, but I proofread my stories since spellcheck is unreliable, and if I'm unsure of how to spell something I can just look it up in the dictionary. Spellcheck is nice but I could live without it. (I can also just copy/paste my HTML text into the word processor and spellcheck it that way. That's how I do wordcounts.)

    This isn't very helpful, but you did ask what we use. Even the best word processing program can't make a person write well.
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    That's right. We do not advocate theft of intellectual property on this site, in any form.
     
    HopingAgain likes this.
  12. kyle777
    Offline

    kyle777 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia
    I use NewNovelist. It's not the greatest software, but it does have the advantage of separating the chapters so your document doesn't seem so cluttered. I'd advise just sticking to a standard Word template. Gets the job done without any complicated messes.
     
  13. goldhawk
    Offline

    goldhawk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    The Great White North
    I use a text editor. I learnt it long ago and can use it with my eyes closed (OK, I can use it without looking at the keyboard). When I have to use a word processor, I use AbiWord. It's FLOSS (Free/Libre Open-Source Software) so anyone can use it. It loads faster than OpenOffice and feels more responsive.
     
  14. sweetchaos
    Offline

    sweetchaos Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Oshawa, Canada
    I'm a big fan of yWriter. I write in small bursts, so the fact that it seperates scenes really helps. I can do a quick scene, put it away, and come back at another time to do the next scene -- or even a few in advance (i have tons of scense from the end of the book already written up, lol)

    Also, my OCD quicks into over drive wheni 'm organizing things on my computer and yWriter makes this so much easier. Everything is neat and organized and I don't have to have 12 anxiety attacks before everything has a place.

    It's open source and available for free to the public. It even just had a massive update to yWriter 5 and is just so darn pertty now. :)
     
  15. Mr Vampyre
    Offline

    Mr Vampyre Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere between delirium and hope.
    I don't use it as much anymore, but I do recommend: http://they.misled.us/dark-room

    It's just a nice, toy-free enviroment. It's handy for creative work if you hate pen and paper.

    I wouldn't mind trying this program for a new novel. It gave me fits when I tried to have a little mess about important my present work though :)
     
  16. robertpaine
    Offline

    robertpaine Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Definitely use Microsoft Word 2007, it's simple to use and makes formatting your stories easy. (Y)
     
  17. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    if you want to write professionally, you should be using ms word... for the reasons given by several posters above...
     
  18. Kylie
    Offline

    Kylie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    America
    I use Microsoft Word. It's very easy to use and format :D
     
  19. Spearnymph
    Offline

    Spearnymph Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Canada
    I used Microsoft OneNote for a while. It has tabs so I could keep chapters and notes side-by-side in the same document. I've been favouring Word lately, though. It's good for formatting and other basic stuff but has enough trinkets (like the open-book layout laurelin mentioned) to keep you from getting bored. (Some writer I am, I know.)
     
  20. Scarecrow28
    Offline

    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    496
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    That's Classified
    Right now, I've got Microsoft Works (not sure what year). I've decided to wait to upgrade and just save my files as RTF's for now. I was going to buy 2007, but I'm probably getting a new computer within the next year so I didn't figure it was really worth it. Anyways, Work's is fine as long as you don't mind having to manually save it as RTF's.
     
  21. littlebluelie
    Offline

    littlebluelie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, that's what I do. But now the program is acting weird...adding strange characters between the words I type. I'm not sure how to explain it. I'm probably going to buy Word 2007, since everyone seems to be advocating it.
     
  22. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,872
    Likes Received:
    10,048
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I would add that you make said back-ups to a different medium. I make my back-ups to a 2 gig flash drive. When my computer died it saved me from losing my stories.
     
  23. Sarah's Mom
    Offline

    Sarah's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    New England Coast
    Hi, I'm new and I just today discovered yWriter.

    I'm in love.

    I've been a writer for years but never went into novel-writing because it's such a pain to try and remember how old was that character and what was the weather when Jessica got out of the cab and where was that scene with the German Shepherd?

    In fact, most of my issues with novel writing could be classified as data management problems.

    I recently decided I will write this book before I die and joined this forum yesterday and today found this freeware. (There is a donate button on his site, but he wants you to have it free, whether you donate or not) and I just got done in about four hours what would have taken me days just using Word and then I would have been unable to locate half of it when I needed it.

    I guess it depends on your style of writing, but this is a Godsend, afaic. You might like it if you get as lost in your own rush of ideas as I do.


    Elle
     
  24. FrankABlissett
    Offline

    FrankABlissett Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Sault, Michigan
    Open Office - for the cost.

    Google Docs - not a great word processor by any standard, but very portable.

    -Frank
     
  25. Amyre
    Offline

    Amyre Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I usually use either OpenOffice or WordPad. It's actually easier for me to write in WordPad because there are less distractions. Shiny things are the bane of my existence.
     

Share This Page