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  1. LadyWriterOnTheTV

    LadyWriterOnTheTV Member

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    What program do you use for writing a book?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by LadyWriterOnTheTV, Jun 18, 2013.

    What program do you like for writing a book?

    1. Microsoft Word?

    2. Open Office Writer?

    3. Google Document?

    4. Other? (Please specify)
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    4. Other (Scrivener).

    Scrivener is nice and easy to use, and I can use it on both Linux and Windows, which is great. I actually write out my first draft with a fountain pen, but when it is time to put it in the computer, I use Scrivener.
     
  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Scrivener
     
  4. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Microsoft Word.

    Just curious - what does Scrivener do that Word doesn't? Or NOT do that WORD does?
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It organizes things for you, simply put. It allows you to view your work in the form of the outline you have created, insert, move, join, cut, and many other little things. It also syncs with mobile platforms like cellphones and tablets running writing programs, so your on-the-go ideas are waiting for you on your laptop when you get home. And if you happen to be on a Mac, as I am, Word 2011 (the 2013 version doesn't port over until 2014) is one of the worst ports they've ever done. It's a monstrosity that runs at a snail's pace.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    The thing I like about it is the ease of organization. You can split the project up into chapters or scenes, and the files are shown in tree-form along the left-hand side of the screen. If I want to move a scene to an earlier point, I just drag it. Also nice is the "compile" feature, that then takes all of your chapters or scenes for a given project and compiles them into a single manuscript using whatever format you designate.

    For me it is the organization and efficiency that makes it worth it. The act of sitting down and writing is the same. It doesn't try to help you write your story or anything, thankfully.

    There is more to it, but those are the main points for me. You can see a description of some features by Googling Scrivener :D
     
  7. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks to both Steerpike and Wreybies. Something for me to consider.
     
  8. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Very important point that Steerpike makes here. It's not one of those programs. It's doesn't prompt you through the writing process. It's an organizational tool.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Ed:

    I don't know if you use Linux at all, but if you do the Linux version is actually free. It is a beta, but I've had no problems with it. If you have a Mac, apparently there are some additional features that aren't in other versions. There is a free trial for both Mac and Windows versions, but I'm not sure how long it lasts.
     
  10. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I got in trouble for saying, or maybe it was just for posting the link. :(

    But I will say I agree with the ease of organizing with Scrivener. One can move the chapters around much more easily than trying to with an outline in Word.
     
  11. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    30 days
     
  12. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    30 days for the trial. It's a full working trial, not one of those just the main features deals.
     
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Forgot about the link thing. I removed it :)
     
  14. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    They are working toward full features on the Windows version as well. I've been with Scrivener for a goodly while and I play over at their forum as well. It was a Mac-only platform for a very long time, so the Windows version still has some features they are working on.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Makes sense. Like I said, even the Linux beta works great for me. The .deb files are available in the forums (they have a tarball as well, but I haven't tried installing from those). For people who are using Windows, it would cost nothing to dual boot some easy Linux distribution like Linux Mint and use the free version of Scrivener for the time being.
     
  16. chicagoliz

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I bought scrivener on amazon a month or so ago, when it was on special for half off. I paid $22 and change. I don't know whether it is still on special. To be honest, though, I haven't yet used it -- so far I'm still on Word. When I do a major edit, which I'm putting off until September (when both my kids will be in school), I'm going to give it a go. Right now, I'm just concentrating on writing shorts, for which Word is fine.
     
  17. LadyWriterOnTheTV

    LadyWriterOnTheTV Member

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    I have never heard of Scrivener till now.

    From this conversation, and from googling and seeing a free download, I am left unclear as to whether it is freeware or if it is something one must purchase. "Trial version"?

    I'd be needing the Windows version, if I were to get the program.
     
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    It's a trial, after which time you have to buy it. The software occasionally goes on sale for half off. Go ahead and install the trial and see how you like it. You will be able to open the files in other programs if you decide to leave Scrivener, or you can export from there into a variety of formats.

    Or, if you're using Windows chances are your machine will run Linux Mint, and you could run the free version of Scrivener in that. You might need some help going down that path, though.
     
  19. B. anthracis

    B. anthracis Member

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    I'm using Word and now that I've learned how to use it effectively for book writing purposes, it's fine. Cutting and moving is nothing but copying and pasting. I will say though, that I wish I would have learned how to get rid of that ^**$ing row of square dots that pop up every X pages. I've since learned how to make it so that no more pop up but the old ones are still there and are a PITA to get rid of.

    If I could (if I was willing) to just retype everything onto a new format, I'd go with something else besides Word; but it can work.
     
  20. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It's free, but will only function for 30 days. Then, if you want to continue it, you have to buy it.

    Interesting stuff. OTOH, it looks like its main benefits would be lost on me because when I am writing a novel, each chapter is its own file until the first draft is completed. I've never felt the need to move a chapter after the first draft is compiled into a single file. Still, something to think about.
     
  21. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    The chapters would remain in their own separate files. When you run the "compile" command it consolidates them all and gives you a single, final file to use, but it doesn't change the underlying project file, where the scenes, chapters, etc. are all in individual files if that's how you have them set up. Does that make sense?
     
  22. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That's actually very much how Scrivener handles chapters. It allows you to have several documents within a chapter folder so that you can deal with the chapter in scenes or however you want and then compiles them together for you as the one chapter.
     
  23. Mithrandir

    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    I considered using Scrivener, but after investigating word a little more, I found some analogous features. If you put proper heading in, you can move scenes and chapters around just like scrivener.

    Oh, and Scrivener definitely costs something.
     
  24. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It makes sense, but since I already have the functionality in WORD, I don't see that I'd be gaining much by going to Scrivener.

    As a drummer, I'm something of a gear freak. With writing, not so much.
     
  25. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not that much.
     

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