Saturday, August 06, 2011

Software Programs for Writers

The August issue of Romance Writers Report has an article about software for writers, and I read it with great interest. I've never used anything other than Word. Lori Devoti discusses 7 different programs; most are resonably priced.

The first is Excel, which most people already have. I have to admit that the only thing I know how to do in Excel is open a document. I am not a numbers person, and it makes me think of numbers way too much. Intimidated? Um, yes.

The two programs Lori writes about that appeal most to me are Scrivener and Writer's Cafe. I am so old school -- highlighters and index cards, anyone? -- and the idea of being able to do this on my laptop is exciting.

Lori also examines Snowflake Pro, Writers Blocks, Writeway Pro, and Liquid Story Binder. All have interesting features.

I am tempted to buy one. Have you used any of these or any other writing software program? I'd love to know what you think!

13 comments:

Carla Swafford said...

I know that Gwen is a Scrivener guru. Except for reading her blogs about it and knowing it's for Apple computers, I know nothing on any of them.

Not much help am I. (Where the hell did Yodo come from?)

Carla Swafford said...

LOL! That's Yoda.

Lisa Dunick said...

You should try Scrivner. They give you a 30 day trial, but it's not 30 continuous days--it's 30 days of actual use. You could get a feel for it that way.

Kat Jones said...

Like Carla, I don't know anything about these programs and am no help. But I am interested in learning more.

Louisa Cornell said...

Maybe someone knowledgeable could do a workshop on these programs? I know nothing about them, but I am always up for any way to take my writing to the next level.

Suzanne Johnson said...

I have tried the free trials on Liquid Story Binder and Scrivener. LSB wasn't intuitive for me, but I think Scrivener has potential if I can ever find enough "down" off-deadline time to really learn how to use it.

Heather said...

I'm taking Gwen's Scrivener class right now, and it is great. Even though I'd been using Scrivener for about a year and a half, I knew I wasn't getting all the functionality out of it that it had to offer (which is why I'm taking the class). That being said, I've found the program to be intuitive and useful. I could totally tell a difference in my productivity when I started using it.

Pat Trainum aka P. T. Bradley said...

Scrivener is now available for PC users as a beta program and will be up for sale Aug. 15, I think. I've been using the beta program about 3 months now and love it. I love having my characters and all their information, including photos, in a file I can access while working on my chapters.
The learning curve wasn't that bad. lol

Gwen Hernandez said...

Hey, thanks for the plugs, Carla and Heather. Yeah, I came to make a case for Scrivener, but it looks like I don't have to. ;-)

Interestingly, I just read the RWR article yesterday and was a little annoyed because Lori reviewed Scrivener but hadn't used it. So when she said that she likes WriteWay Pro because it lets you set targets that will calculate how much you need to write per day, I wanted to hop up and down and tell everyone that Scrivener for Mac will let you do the same thing.

Okay, enough ranting from me. =)

JoAnn said...

Thanks for your comments,everyone! I am on a PC laptop, so I had thought that Scrivener wasn't an option. But thanks to the good input here, I think I will give it a try. Gwen, I hope to take your class in March. I should have lots of questions for you by then!

Chris Bailey said...

Can any of you experts comment on how Scrivener interfaces with other programs, like the ubiquitous Word? When I got my new Mac, I downloaded Pages, and love it, but I could use that tantalizing productivity boost.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Chris: Scrivener lets you compile (export) your manuscript in a whole host of formats for final packaging, including DOC, RTF, EPUB, PDF, TXT, HTML, and more. Basically, Scrivener plays well with others. ;-)

Chris Bailey said...

Thanks, Gwen! That was exactly what I needed to know. Now all I have to do is give the trial a run!