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Old 07-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #1
KindleKid
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Best Writing Software?

I'm sure this comes up constantly, but what software do people use to write their books? I was just going to do the writing in MS Word or RTF. Does anyone have suggestions? How do you add photos? I can't find a good way to add photos with a caption and include in the ebook.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KindleKid View Post
I'm sure this comes up constantly, but what software do people use to write their books? I was just going to do the writing in MS Word or RTF. Does anyone have suggestions? How do you add photos? I can't find a good way to add photos with a caption and include in the ebook.
It's all dependent on your wants and previous experience, and also what your end product might be or what service you want to use to publish your ebook.

I've used software on Mac / Linux / Windows (currently on Windows), here's my recommendations:

Distraction free writing, full screen, ouput as plain text:

Linux - Textroom
Windows - q10
OSX - Writeroom (paid)

Plotting/Planning/Outlining and Writing

Linux - never found one
Windows - Roughdraft
OSX - Scrivener (paid)


Straight word-processing (output as RTF/.Doc)


Linux - Abiword
Windows - Atlantis Ocean Mind (paid, best money you'll ever spend)
OSX - Nisus Writer Pro

Because I'm using Feedbooks to publish my work I've pretty much settled on Atlantis and Word 2010 (Atlantis also has ePub output) and I cut and paste the text into the Feedbooks online formatting application. Atlantis also has a nifty keyboard sound when you type, which I love.

Yes I love Atlantis
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:08 PM   #3
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I would say Word, or another word processor like Open Office. I've used several other writing programs that do all sorts of things for you, but so far I've ended back with Word. I find it gets in the way of writing less than the other programs.

I'm not sure about placing photos in you books. My guess is Book Designer would help with that, but I have very little experience with it. You can probably find a lot more guidance in the Workshop forum

Last edited by carld; 07-27-2009 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:42 PM   #4
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Atlantis is a great program, no question there. For straight text entry I still use a copy of Word 5.5 for DOS under DOS 6.2.2 in a VM machine. Other than that use the Word or Open Office application. Both will suit the need.

Adding pictures and captions to your work is more a function of layout and design. There are many programs that do a superior job to the word processors in layout and design. Write first, worry about design later.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:42 AM   #5
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There is a poll also in this forum that has the very same discussion ongoing:
Poll: What writing software do you use?

My preference is PowerWriter (Win only) and yWriter (Win & Linux):

like PowerWriter because it organizes writing tools closest to the way I think. I like the blank page in the largest part of the window, a tree view of the book, acts, chapters and scenes in the left pane, and multiple tabs for the writer's paraphenalia across the bottom of the window. It has a good number of prep tools (Premise, Synopsis, Characters, Plot Points, and Notes/Research). A useful feature is the ability to embed notes (e.g. "come back to this paragraph and write a long description about what the protagonist was feeling..."). I paid $100 for PowerWriter three years ago and there hasn't been a major upgrade but several small updates. Very stable and the only reason I keep looking elsewhere is that it stores all data in a PowerWriter database. It will auto-backup to another drive which I do, but as nervous as I am about losing my drivel, I still output an RTF file about once a week so that if PowerWriter never works again, I could move my work to about any other program.

You can't beat yWriter for value though since it is Free (Donations recommended since the author of yWriter is a Sci-Fi writer that uses it to write and publish his works, and improves yWriter along the way). Very full-featured and if it displayed the blank page while showing all the tabs for charaters, locations, items, etc., it would be my only creative writing tool. Truthfully, I sent Simon a small donation last year because I used yWriter during NaNoWriMo which was long enough to know it just doesn't fit me as well as PowerWriter does. simon keeps improving it (now version 5 and each was a major upgrade with small updates in between) and I keep downloading the updates and testing what he's changed about once a month. At some point he'll add enough features, or the features that fit me, and it will supplant my old PowerWriter fav. I look forward to this for one big reason: Simon uses RFT files as the individual documents to park data in this program, not a proprietary database. To me that's pretty big and if the Scene editor just acted a little more like a word processor, it would be the perfect tool for me. Many folks, including several puplished authors use it as their primary tool.
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