1. Aleque
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    Aleque Member

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    Questions about software

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Aleque, Apr 10, 2013.

    Hi

    Is it allowed to ask about software in here? I'm looking for a specific software that might help with my writing process. I want to elaborate my needs further if it is allowed.

    Thanks
     
  2. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    You can ask, but we will have to respond in private. Promoting specific products or posting links is not allowed.
     
  3. Aleque
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    Aleque Member

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    Ok sorry
     
  4. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Did you read what i said about posting links?
     
  5. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I use different Microsoft Word files for what you describe in that link.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you don't need any software other than ms word and your 'little grey cells'... unless you're writing screenplays, for which you'll need a formatting program... the one used by most pros is final draft... some use movie magic's screenwriter and beginners like the free celtx program...
     
  7. bluejt2000
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    bluejt2000 Member

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    yWriter is an excellent tool for organising your work, and it's free. If you think it's not for you then you can just uninstall it. Beware of programs that claim to 'help' you to write--that's best done by the 'little grey cells', as mamamai suggests.
     
  8. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Where can I get some of these little grey cells?

    ... Ho ho ho... I'm soooooo funny.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You can summon them with a little grey cell phone.

    Microsoft Word is all you need, but Scrivener has more of what you want.
     
  10. Aleque
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    Aleque Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Yes, I really just try to use Word as well but maybe some of you can be so kind to share few tricks to organize several aspects of my projects? Those can be:

    1) Custom tricks that can be achieved using these so called grey cells :)
    2) Specific features/functions of Word, like Outline View used together with Headings in order to be able to drag entire categories (and sub-categories) from one place to another with little effort.

    Is there a feature in Word that can be used to create small links? So if I am mentioning a specific character under the "Plot" section, I can click the character's name to go directly to the description and personality section of that corresponding character.

    Or perhaps something else that makes it easier to navigate around with methods other than scrolling.

    My entire project is currently divided like this:

    Plot > Subplot > Specific episodes > Overall plot ideas > Plot twists
    Characters > Char 1, 2, 3, etc > Character Development
    Special Effects & Camera Tricks
    The Essence of the Project & Motivation
    Soundtrack inspirations
    Movie & Game inspirations
    What-Ifs, Alternative Ideas and Questions

    So, as you see, there are a lot of aspects to manage! :) The more I write, the more messy it becomes.


    Thanks in advance
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ms word has a tutorial...
    https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&tab=Tw#hl=en&gs_rn=9&gs_ri=psy-ab&tok=lgAQFsfd3zPSlJkAaf218A&cp=10&gs_id=12&xhr=t&q=ms+word+tutorial&es_nrs=true&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=ms+word+tu&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.45175338,d.cGE&fp=ec7fd4726efbd3f0&biw=979&bih=333

    along with a 'help' option right there on your ms word document page [click on the '?' at upper right corner]... you need to spend some time there, instead of asking us to spell it all out for you...
     
  12. Aleque
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    Aleque Member

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    What is the purpose of a forum then, if one can't ask for advice. Is there really a reason to reinvent the wheel?
     
  13. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    You can check out my "Organizing your story notes in Word" blog in my signature, and that can help you organize your chapters better.

    Overall, however, I think you're going to need something more than Word. You should check out scrivener as an alternative, as it's a program designed specifically for novelists and screenwriters. I don't know how it compares to yWriter, but it has a free trial and it does everything I wanted Word to do and more. First of all, navigation is a breeze in Scrivener. Essentially, your document is comprised of mini-documents which you can organize into folders, reorganize, move around, etc. You can also view them in note-card form on on a "cork board" and shuffle them that way, too.

    In Scrivener, there are a number of different ways to do this kind of thing. For example, in each mini-document, you can add what are called "keywords." This can be a character name, a setting, a plot device, etc. and you can then easily navigate all mini-documents with that keyword.

    In Scrivener, your project is divided into different parts. There's the "draft" section, where you do your actual writing. There's a "Notes" section, where you can keep detailed notes on your characters, setting, themes, etc. There's also the "research" section, where you can add whatever research you want. Here you can put websites (which are archived and viewable without internet connection), youtube videos, mp3s, etc. All of it is easily organizable into folders.

    The more you write, the more you need a program designed for bigger projects. Still check out yWriter and other writing programs, as they could potentially do everything Scrivener does and more (I never compared Scrivener with anything before I bought it), but whatever you do, I recommend moving past MS Word. It sounds like you're outgrowing it fast.

    From the rules: "Links for commercial or promotional purposes are prohibited." This is for signature only. Also, if you don't make any money from offering a link, then it's not really promotional.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The purpose of the forum is to help the members improve their writing. It isn't to push or endorse products.

    In fact, this site prohibits advertising.

    You won't become a better writer with the shiniest tech. All you need is a good word processor. It must be capable of creating and editing Word-compatible documents, because that is the principle submission standard. Other than that, tech is a shiny distraction.
     
  15. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    But if you are inundated with story notes, multiple drafts, and otherwise messy documents, this becomes a distraction. Software like Scrivener can help you keep organized in ways Word cannot, thereby removing a distraction.
     
  16. jeepea
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    jeepea Member

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    I used to say things like this when I was still writing with my Smith-Corona and others were starting to use computers. When I did finally make the change, I used DOS and WordStar for five years after it became obsolete. I mean who needed Windows and the ability to actually have the correct printer driver? After that, I did use Word for many years and wrote a number of macros to help me with my writing. And now I use a program that allows me to keep notes and research all in one place, create and manage an outline, backup and restore parts or all of the document, make comparisons between drafts, arrange my notes on a corkboard not to mention the use of links between documents and keywords for sorting.

    There's nothing "shiny" about a tool that helps you be more productive while you are creating.
     
  17. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    My weapon of choice is open office. Cog is right, having a specific word processor is not going to make you a better writer. At best it will incentivize you if you enjoy using it. As for organizing I'd suggest making a folder on your desktop and putting folders within those folders if needed to keep everything organized.
     
  18. Aleque
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    Aleque Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I will try the software that has been mentioned right away and report back with possible serendipities.

    Off-topic: TerraIncognita, you look lovely ;)
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That isn't the point. No tool is going to make you a better writer (or a worse one). But a tool can help reduce the drudgery involved with the work. Word is usable, but it certainly isn't optimal.

    Cogito's post surprised me, given that he's a scientist. I wonder if he still uses a slide rule. (I use slide rules just because I think they're fun; they're a hobby of mine. I sure don't do my engineering work with them.)
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I k.ow how to use a slide rule, and I have a pretty good one collecting dust in a drawer. When I was in college, electronic calculators were just becoming available, but were well beyond the means of all but the wealthiest students.

    Not all tech is useless.

    One of my pastimes is fishing. It never ceases to amaze me, the array of plugs, poppers and jigs lining the shelves of every tackle and bait shop. But ask any savvy fisherman, "Will that thing really catch more fish?" He'll smile and say, "Nope. But it sure does catch fishermen."

    So it is with the array of "writer's software" out there. It isn't created to fill the needs of the working writer. It's created with a bunch of flashy features, and the marketing tells you why you can't get by without it.

    Suckers looking for shortcuts swallow it. Hook, line, and sinker.
     
  21. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Microsoft Word works just fine for me. I don't need anything fancy.
     
  22. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    That's why I said it would incentivize you. :p On another note I really don't like word which is why I use open office. It's cleaner and easier to use, imo.

    Absolutely. It's better to be a savvy shopper and realize when someone is trying to pull one over on you with marketing. It's truly incredible when you dig down into it. There's a lot of psychology involved in an effort to push products. I want the specs and the reviews and I'm good to go. At the end of the day it just needs to be solid and user friendly.
     
  23. Kendria Perry
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    Kendria Perry Member

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    I use a composition notebook and a number 2 pencil. Works likes a charm, and for the low low price of only $1.50!
     
  24. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Do you submit handwritten stories for publication?
     
  25. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I have a sketchbook and number 2 pencils that I use for some stuff. But, I couldn't imagine writing an entire manuscript on paper. It would take so long to do anything. I am all about efficiency. :D
     

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