megwrites: Shakespeared! Don't be afraid to talk Elizabethan, or Kimberlian, or Meredithian! (shakespeared!)
[personal profile] megwrites
Does anyone out there use writing software of any kind? Do you find it helpful or convenient or not?

If you don't use software, what kinds of methods do you use to keep track of things in the planning/outline stages (character sketches or random ideas or worldbuilding tidbits that pop in your head) or as you're writing, in whatever way or sequence you do that?

I'm wondering because I'm contemplating whether some kind of software will help my organizational skills as far as plotting and other behind-the-scenes things when writing. It's occurred to me that one of my problems is that I'm terribly disorganized and that sometimes makes writing and later editing a little bit more difficult. Also, being able to get an overall, organizational view of what I write might help me create a story that reads better, and that's sort of the point. Telling the best story in the best way possible.

I'm usually of the school of thought that when it comes down to it, writing shouldn't involve a lot of props or extra features, that it's basically about a person, some words, and the medium in which those words exist (electronically, pen and paper, etc).

But at the same time, I'm also of the school of thought that great stories aren't just dropped onto the page perfectly formed, and that the best ones are the result of a lot of planning, effort, and revising.

So, anyone?

ETA: For clarity's sake, I should mention I am using Mac, not PC! Sorry, forgot that that might be important.

Date: 2010-08-29 02:51 pm (UTC)
quivo: A lowercase q on a pink-and-brown backround. (Default)
From: [personal profile] quivo
Depends on what computer you have available. If you have a Mac, you'll want to try out Scrivener or one of it's alternatives (the Scrivener people have a pretty exhaustive list of other Mac apps that people use for writing/organizing). If you have a PC, there's one developing Scrivener-style app, and a few others: Page Four, Writemonkey (a minimalist but flexible option) and a couple other ones I'm forgetting.

Personally, I'm on a PC, and have found that folders and WordPad and the search function in folders are just enough to keep me going, but ymmv. Hope this helps :)

Date: 2010-08-29 03:48 pm (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
+1 on Scrivener. I've found it very useful for a) keeping research material organized with a project and b) outlining and being able to move things around.

Date: 2010-08-29 06:55 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Writing)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
I use Avenir, which is similar to Scrivener. I tend to _write_ in Word and simply store all scenes and additional information there, so there's only one place I need to write down physical description of my characters.

Eventually (hah) I want to write my own timeline tool, because I need one and thre isn't one that's useful for second world fantasy, but that's a long way off.

Date: 2010-08-30 02:01 am (UTC)
amberdine: (peony)
From: [personal profile] amberdine
+1 on the Scrivener recommendations. Been using it since it was beta. One of my favorite programs ever. Several of my friends have switched to Macs so they could use Scrivener.

Date: 2010-08-30 03:10 am (UTC)
azuire: (Default)
From: [personal profile] azuire
Liquid Story Binder, or Scrivener* are your best bets. My friends use them and I've heard nothing but praise.

*NaNo regularly has Scrivener codes for winners, I think they'll be doing it again this year.

Date: 2010-08-30 08:30 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] miss_haitch
I don't use software, but I have loads of different documents with little note-snippets about worldbuilding, characters and planning. It works for me, but is rather disorganised!

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