Writing Software: The Journey

After starting three separate manuscripts, I’ve discovered that writing in Word is not what to do if you’re trying to accomplish a completed full-length novel.  Successful novelists I’ve spoken with look at me as if I’ve told them I’m using an abacus instead of a calculator.  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I’m not far off.

I had started researching various writing software after I read on someone’s blog (possibly Larissa Ione’s, but I’m not sure) about Scrivener.  Scrivener seems to be what many prefer, but that only works if you’ve got a Mac.  Much to my dismay, the software is not available for Windows-based systems.  So, while I’m now (for the first time ever) praying for a Mac, I decided to investigate some of the software programs recommended by the Scrivener folks for those of us not blessed with a Mac.  They list several good ones on their website.

Last Tuesday, I went to an ARWA meeting where our speaker was going to be our own Julie Kenner talking about building a story bible.  Little did I know, this would be a life-changing experience for me.  Well, okay, a writing-changing experience for me.  She had several screen shots printed out of what Scrivener looked like and how she used it for various things.  She also used something called Evernote, but I have yet to look into that.  After asking some of the ladies in our group what they used and after some investigation, I discovered that WriteWay Pro is my best option.  For a close but not quite comprehensive option that’s free, look into yWriter 5.

For me, the more organized I can make something, the more excited I get about it.  This goes for just about every aspect of my life.  Case in point, I bought a new family planner recently and sat down for quite some time just to play around with the dates, stickers, etc.  My schedule is now highly organized, but I digress.  I was feeling lost and overwhelmed after sorting through 100+ pages of current manuscript trying to figure out when the first time my hero bit my heroine occurred.  Yes, I said bit; it’s a vampire story.  Plugging it into WriteWay Pro (only the demo right now as I have yet to purchase the full software) has been extraordinarily helpful, but it is taking away from my writing time while I try to organize my scenes into chapters.  The good news is my first chapter is 100% established and I feel that this manuscript now has a concrete base that I’m excited about continuing to develop!

Note: I don’t have links to any of these posted, but if you Google the aforementioned software, it’s easy to find.

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~ by Kat on November 16, 2009.

6 Responses to “Writing Software: The Journey”

  1. Oh, oh, oh! *g* Writeway Pro! That’s what I used before I got a Mac, and I LOVED it! It’s designed by Lara Adrian’s husband with romance writers in mind (actually all fiction genres,) and it’s FANTASTIC! You can download a free trial too!

    I know, I sound like an infomercial… *g*

    Anyway, here’s the link: http://www.writewaypro.com/

    Love, love, love it!

  2. Okay, I’m a moron. I didn’t see that you’re already using it! (Even though you say it pretty clearly.) Sheesh, I need coffee!

  3. Hee hee, you sound like Julie Kenner did about Scrivener. I’m telling you they should’ve recorded her so the website could put up the video as a promo.

    Question: Do you recall if there is a way to get rid of the “Acts” and just use chapters and scenes?

    • Heh. I do love Scrivener too — there really are pros and cons with each program. I think my favorite thing about WWP tho, is the project computer/tracker thing that does charts and graphs and keeps track of your daily, weekly, and monthly project in comparison to your goal.

      As far as getting rid of the Acts…I think there is, because you can create more acts, but I’m not sure how. The computer my WWP is on doesn’t work right now, so I can’t check.

      Personally, I like the acts, because it helps me figure out how many words should be in each (there’s a feature that breaks it all down, but again, I can’t remember where it is.)

      I also love how easy it is to move the chapters and and scenes around. Would die if I couldn’t do that! I will NEVER write in Word again! 🙂

  4. LOL. Sounds like I have some more playing around to do. I’ve only had it for about five or six days now and I’ve noticed that the more time I spend playing with it and plugging in my manuscript, the less “real” writing I get done. It’ll just take some time.

    I think I’ve managed to talk my parents into getting me the CD-ROM for Christmas, so I’m excited about moving beyond the demo! Thanks so much for your responses and input! 🙂

  5. would love to see what you think about My Story Writer. you can download a free trial at http://www.mywritingsoftware.com. I’m with you on the challenge (and time) it takes to get a work-in-progress entered, but also see the time value in the long-run of having everything in one place.

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