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Old 11-13-2017, 11:41 AM   #1
onewiththeanswer
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Post Software for Writing

Hello guys
I am looking for a good software for writing EXCEPT Microsoft Word! I will love to read your suggestions!

P.S. A free option will be awesome!

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Old 11-13-2017, 12:27 PM   #2
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I have heard Scriver is good.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:29 PM   #3
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:06 PM   #4
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Can we assume you are writing a narrative (adult/young-adult fiction or equivalent layout)?

It matters. Children's books with pictures, a lot of non-fiction with images or diagrams, have more specific requirements.

If you are writing narrative fiction then the choices are so wide open that it might help if you narrow things down by telling us what sort of features you prefer/need: Windows or Mac or other? Do you write on the move (and so probably want something with online storage)? You say not MS Word, is that because you don't like MS (which would allow recommending LibreOffice and OpenOffice), or because you don't like the interface (which would count them out)?
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:20 AM   #5
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Win/Mac: I use Scrivener (not free). I only use it for drafting - it is NOT meant to be a word processing piece of software. I get all Ragey McRageperson when people on the L&L forums ask why they can't do something word-processory. I like the ease of use (your mileage may vary) and make heavy use of the Synopsis and Document Notes features.

Win/Mac: The much maligned Word (or Open Office) could be used kinda like Scrivener, but you need to be disciplined about using proper headings (to make it easier to move stuff around e.g. like Scrivener's binder). I quite like Open Office. It's not as groovy looking as Word but does the same job.

Win/Android: There's also the "been around since forever" yWriter by Spacejock. I found it a bit overwhelming but people swear by it. It's free!

There's also an er, outbreak of web based one. All seem to be subscription based (e.g. http://novlr.org/).

I've tried most (all?) of the Mac ones but Scrivener is my favourite.

Before I mac-d, I tried yWriter and ended up using Word.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:41 AM   #6
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Yes, I am writing a narrative, more specific a teen fiction. I am on the move all the time because I get inspired when I travel to unusual destinations. So I am looking for a software compatible with my lifestyle. Currently, I am a Mac user. However, I have a laptop with Microsoft too, but it has some battery problems, so it is not that convenient for traveling.
So, I stumbled across this article, listing the pros and cons of free alternatives to Word, but I didn't find Scrivener in the list. I was wondering whether the ones listed are worth looking at, what do you think?

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Old 11-14-2017, 06:41 AM   #7
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It's possible she meant 'Scrivener.'
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:43 AM   #8
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It's possible she meant 'Scrivener.'
Yes I've just corrected it!
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewiththeanswer View Post
Yes, I am writing a narrative, more specific a teen fiction. I am on the move all the time because I get inspired when I travel to unusual destinations. So I am looking for a software compatible with my lifestyle. Currently, I am a Mac user. However, I have a laptop with Microsoft too, but it has some battery problems, so it is not that convenient for traveling.
So, I stumbled across this article, listing the pros and cons of free alternatives to Word, but I didn't find Scriver in the list. I was wondering whether the ones listed are worth looking at, what do you think?
I'm not going to be much help. When I'm on the move (a rare event) I generally take a laptop (well, tablet with keyboard) in the hope that I'll write something on it (using LibreOffice), but I never do. The most I ever achieve when away from home are some scribbled notes on a pPad*.

If you haven't already looked at Scrivener then I suggest you do - at the very least it is worth looking at. (I don't use it, but I thought it was impressive.)

If the places you go generally have good Internet access then Google Docs or one of its equivalents may be worth consideration - that way you can write from any device you happen to have access to. (I see it's listed on that link you gave.)

Of those items on the linked list, I like LibreOffice (I moved from OpenOffice, and before that WordPerfect). But, in truth, for writing narrative fiction there is basically no difference - any of them will be overkill for the job. If you write while travelling I doubt if you are in much need of a distraction free word processor, as there are generally many other distractions without the minor stuff on the screen.

When it comes to writing narrative fiction almost anything that lets you type text will do the job - especially when writing early drafts. Many a novel has been drafted with software no more sophisticated than Notepad (I presume Mac has an equivalent). Some people prefer such simple tools.


* pPad = paper-pad. This plus a a couple of pens or pencils makes the ideal companion for the traveller. No batteries or power point required. You can write words on it, draw pictures, send messages in bottles ... and if you choose a pad with soft-textured paper it can be invaluable for rural travels where toilets are few and far between

Last edited by gmw; 11-14-2017 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:05 AM   #10
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The best advice is to try lots of the options as tool choice is a very personal thing.

I've settled on Novlr, with my outlines and notes held in Workflowy. I love the way the interface fades out of sight while writing in Novlr and I'm just an Alt-Tab away from my outline. I like Scrivener, but the Novlr / Workflowy combination is much better for moving from machine to machine with everything safely stored in the cloud. Both work offline fine too.

But Novlr isn't free, of course, which was one of your hopes.

For free, give Google Docs a try, with Workflowy for outlining. This will allow you to move between your Mac and your Windows laptop seamlessly, and Google Docs has excellent version control and a good commenting feature for editing.

Graham

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Old 11-14-2017, 09:52 AM   #11
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The best advice is to try lots of the options as tool choice is a very personal thing.
This.

Try a bunch of things and see what you like.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
It's possible she meant 'Scrivener.'
I thought my spelling might be off. Teach me to post without looking.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewiththeanswer View Post
Yes, I am writing a narrative, more specific a teen fiction. I am on the move all the time because I get inspired when I travel to unusual destinations. So I am looking for a software compatible with my lifestyle. Currently, I am a Mac user. However, I have a laptop with Microsoft too, but it has some battery problems, so it is not that convenient for traveling.
So, I stumbled across this article, listing the pros and cons of free alternatives to Word, but I didn't find Scrivener in the list. I was wondering whether the ones listed are worth looking at, what do you think?
I would suggest that Scrivener was not listed as an alternative for Word because it's not a Word processor. It's more a drafting & structural tool (although some use it for the whole process but I certainly don't).

Another online/has a mac/win app is Dabble. It's similar to Novlr but with even less features, which I think helps enormously with distraction free writing. Because I'm easily distrac...oh, look a bird!

Anyway, the support on Dabble has been excellent and very friendly.
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:38 AM   #14
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Amazon has a neat little app for sale for the Kindle Fire that is called Story Planner. It's only $2.49 and the file can be exported to text files (.rtf and .txt) and Final Draft so you can send it to yourself via email and then use it as the basis of your writing project.
Story Planner
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:55 PM   #15
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I use LibreOffice (a spinoff of open office) exclusively for my writing. It does everything I need, save for proper file name versioning. Beyond that I have no issues with it. I just have to be disciplined enough to properly do my own manual versioning. Beyond that, it does everything I need.
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