I’ve been using Scrivener for a while now, to outline my newest novel, to write something which is under wraps for a while with my buddy Bryce, and just to piddle. I imported some of my old stuff just to see what it could do. And better still, what it can’t do.
The list of cans outstretches the can’ts by a long way, but I’m completely sold on this software for a few reasons.
A long time ago, I started using Liquid Story Binder XE. This would have been … what? 2007? Maybe.
Anyway, I started using LSBXE and quickly realized the benefit of having a dedicated software bullt around the way writers want to work. Having timelines, sequences, rough- or detailed outlines at hand, character dossiers, even images and mood music all in a single package could accommodate either pants-seaters or planners/outliners. There are a ton of features in LSBXE and a word processor too. But…
But nothing. I’m a software slut, that’s the problem. So for the next four years I went on a quest to find other writer-oriented software packages which might make the planning and execution of a novel easier. I found full-screen text editors, and those are AWESOME for blocking out distractions and getting the words on the page, but they lack style and pizzazz and any sort of the planning tools which can help a writer guide themselves through the story. But for just getting things written, software like WriteMonkey, DarkRoom or JDarkRoom, Q10 and others are brilliant. They even have some features a writer can use to help them reach daily writing goals, so if you’re NaNo-ing yourself into an insane November, you can at least count the words and characters you’ve put up. To me, this is a pantser tool. The planning has to be done elsewhere, if you do it. But if you’re a pantser, these do full-screen like a fully-featured word process simply can’t. Continue reading
As you know, my beloved and I are avid users and proponents (evangelists, some might say) for Windows Live Writer. If you’re on Windows and you have a blog, you need that software. It’s the single best blogging tool available to mankind, bar none.
But, like the sleazy, smarmy jackass I am, I can’t remain faithful. I have to check other things out. I may never actually use those things, but I like to know about them.
If you check out my Software Reviews page, you’ll find ScribeFire there. I wrote that post a long time ago, and ScribeFire’s been through a lot of changes since then. So when I saw my wife installing it for FireFox 5, I knew something was up.
Last time I told you a little bit about OneNote, the virtual notebook system from Microsoft and how AWESOME it is. Today I’m going to continue running down some of the features of the system for you.
My wife is the resident expert on this one, but I got some sound information from her.
Specifically for writing, however, this system is incredibly versatile and wonderfully constructed to ensure you can add anything you need to the notebook so you have it right at your disposal.
I’ve experimented with just about every piece of writing software out there I could find. If I could get it free or cheap, odds are, I used it. RoughDraft, Page Four, yWriter, Liquid Story Binder XE, Text Box Writer, Write Monkey, Dark Room and JDark Room, Q10, Momentum Writer, Word, OpenOffice Writer, WordPerfect, and a plethora of others – I’ve used ‘em and have loved ‘em all.
But honestly, only Liquid Story Binder XE, yWriter and Page Four were software packages you could say were designed with writers in mind. They’re able to piece together a novel how ever you, the writer, want to work with them. yWriter has discreet scenes you can edit and move around, and LSBXE has undergone changes to make it scene-oriented too. It also includes story sequencing, mind mapping abilities, music to set the mood for you, and more. Page Four is a series of notebooks with pages, and while that’s pretty amazing to work with, it’s a little cumbersome if you like to plan and then write, like I do.
I’m not an outliner. I tried that and it promptly got in my way. I need a looser guide to writing, and that is where today’s awesome software package comes in: