Writing Software

I use four pieces of software for writing: Microsoft Word, Notepad (comes with Windows), Google Chrome (or Mozilla Firefox), and OpenOffice Writer (when I happen to not have MS Word installed, or in the rare event that MS Word fails). Nothing overly complicated; all fairly basic.

NaNoWriMo winners get great goodies at the end of the month, and one of those goodies is 50% off the writing software called Scrivener. I’ve heard raves about the program, how helpful it is… etc. So I downloaded the free trial to see what it was like.

Scrivener seemed like a useful program, but for me, figuring out how to use it and organizing my work within it wouldn’t help me… getting over the learning curve would take too long, when I could spend that time writing in good old Word. My systems for writing work for me, so why fix something that ain’t broken?

In the past, I’ve tried other writing software, but I’ve never found anything that revolutionized the way I write. Some people swear by certain organizational programs, and that’s just what works for them. I’m the type of person who’s reluctant to change or to break old habits/routines, so I doubt I’ll get into any writing software unless it’s really, really awesome and user-friendly.

Have you tried any writing software? Do you use it all the time or every so often?

12 thoughts on “Writing Software

  1. I pretty much stick with Word – thought of venturing into doing a type of Excel spreadsheet at one point to track dates or characters but nothing more adventuresome – I’m glad to hear someone write about Scrivener – I have been wondering about it. Thanks.

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  2. Agree with you re Scrivener. I’ve read wonderful things about it too. I tried the trial version and although I think, if I got to grips with it, it would be very helpful, it would also take a fair amount of time to get used to it in the first place. One day, if I have that spare time, I may well get it. For now, Word it is for me 🙂

    I don’t like storing things in ‘the cloud’ either. Somehow, makes me think I don’t really have ‘control’ of my own data. Rightly or wrongly.

    Thanks for article.

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  3. I use whatever is available. I’ve written scenes at work and emailed them to myself (when I was on break, of course). I’ve written scenes on my phone. I don’t do any fancy organizing, so any sort of text editor or word processor is fine with me. Like you, I don’t want to learn anything complex, because I don’t really need anything complex.

    I did use Excel once to keep track of everybody’s ages when I was writing scenes 20 years apart. If Character A is pregnant with Character B when Character A is 18 years old, they have to be the right ages later on, too.

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  4. I’ve been using Google docs (now Google drive) for years. I love it. It’s a nice place to share your work with others in a protected way, too. But Scrivener is my best-ie! When it comes to my creative work and keeping it organized, I don’t remember what I did before.

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  5. Personally, I prefer Jarte. It’s free, it has all the features most paid word programs have, and oh, did I mention it was free? 😛

    When I really feel like going oldschool, however, I break out my Alphasmart Dana. It’s litterally a typewriter with a screen! – (also known as a wordprocessor.)

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  6. I find myself doing the same thing, using different software for different types of writing, Open Office is just like Microsoft Word, Excel,,Access, and they are free. When I do my post, it is always done on Worldpress software.

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