using software to help you write

i downloaded yWriter this week and am in the process of transferring my story into it. so far, it has great little nooks and crannies i can stick ideas and notes and other bits as they come along, while promising to keep an eye on the overall plot and format of my story. if it delivers, i may start sticking the rest of the contents of my box at the end of my bed in there and i can stop tripping over the blasted thing...

who else uses writer-intended software to write their stories? any other recommended software out there?

Can you link to this?

I usually stick to a wordprocessor ( with a wireless keyboard from across the room. I've been using WordPress to post my stories.

Try MyNovel

Its so darned awesome. Its alot like MS outlook layout. :) Try the demo, you can't SAVE but you can atleast look at it. If you do decide to buy it, look for it in the google store. Its much easier.

I use OpenOffice as well, for writing prose. When I'm writing in script style, I use Celtx to save me hours of obnoxious formatting difficulties. Celtx's free, and also has a nice area to include MP3s of audio used in the episode, character sheets for the guest stars, and easy PDF conversion. ^^

here's the link... it's a free 3Mb download, and it was written by a published author so he has included some reminders on writing in the software too. you can also download some of his work from his site. wonder if i should ask him to come join us here? lol.

This actually seems like a really good program, especially for someone like myself who has files and notes scattered all over a directory for a project that hasn't even got off the ground (ie. nothing posted, only 1 full and 2 half chapters written).

I used yWriter when I first started Children of the Halo, but I'm naturally a very disorganized person, so for some reason I couldn't stick with it. I much preferred to grab a word processor (OpenOffice) and a wiki-style notekeeping program. (I use Wikidpad, it's freeware.)

Mind you, even with Wikidpad I still find random notes about random plot points in random file locations. Nonetheless, it's all I really needed.

As I grapple with the reality that I'll be writing this thing the rest of my life at this rate, I'm looking into this very thing myself. I'm trying out Scrivener, a Mac OS X thing. I've been writing in OOo, but my notes are ending up alllll over the place. It's getting nuts. So I'm going to give that a try.

If you are using a Mac, I've found NoteBook from Circus Ponies to be the best all around creation tool. It's kind of like a section paper notebook and outliner in one. I've tried a bunch of the writers' tools, including Scrivener, and just found them stuck in somebody else's process. NoteBook, on the other hand, is general purpose. Means you have to set up your template yourself, but once you have it, you can work the way you want to.

That said, Winter Rain is written entirely in Pages, these days -- because of the way I'm writing it, I don't have any notes or character sheets or any such other thing, so my usual NoteBook approach hasn't been worth the effort. Plus, I've set up a template in Pages that looks like the Winter Rain website, so I edit in the same "look and feel" it will be published in. Helps me maintain the mood.


I just simply use MS Word but save it in .rtf format. I hate when I copy and paste from MS Word and it ended up with weird HTML codes.

I use OpenOffice these days: it doesn't choke up the computer like Microsoft Word (and other fine MS Products grumble grumble) sometimes do. And because there are three different computers in the house, and computers at University, I find it prudent to just put a single processor on all of them.

Of course, those are only the days when I am not a raging spittle-encrusted luddite who huddles in a corner and writes by hand, looking up only to howl obscenities about computers and, more frequently, nervously inquire if there's a chance for a cup of tea.

Reporting back on Scrivener: IT ABSOLUTELY ROOLZ. If you have Mac OS 10.4 or greater, it'll be the best $50 you ever spend on your writing.

Heavens, am I the only one who writes on paper?!

I'm trying out Scrivener (because MeiLin recommended it) and am pretty sure I'm going to buy it. I actually just use Google Docs to write Chatoyant College, but I'm using Scrivener for a couple of other projects and I love it. It's great for helping me not feel like I have to write linearly.

ejames, I write on paper, but only for daily journal entries and when my computer isn't handy! I type much faster than I handwrite (my boyfriend says it sounds like a machine gun when I type), and it's a lot more legible, too. Besides, the writing has to get on the computer at some point anyway.


I write a lot on the computer too (almost everything you see on Novelr has been written in Wordpress, for instance, sometimes drafted for up to a week to ensure it's as polished as I can possibly make it) but for important long things like, say, essays on the kinetic beauty of martial arts - things that I hold dear to my heart - I resort to paper. The slower speed at which I write on paper actually forces me to think seriously about my sentence level prose, and the use of certain words and/or clauses.

Though, yes, I do admit that getting all that writing onto the computer afterwards is quite a hassle.

I've never written on paper. Even when I was a kid, I used a typewriter. I just think too fast to get it down any other way; longhand frustrates me to the point that I can't think at all.

I write mostly on a computer (because I can't read my handwriting within a few hours of putting it to paper), but I still do write on paper from time to time. There's something about moving a pen across the page that helps me think. These days, I often take my notebook and my iPod Touch to a restaurant and write over brunch, Sunday morning. First I scribble something on paper, then type it in to my IPT every few paragraphs. Once I get going, I usually ditch the paper and just type.

As for software, I've tried most of the Mac tools out there, and found them all frustrating in one way or another. For Winter Rain, I'm currently sticking with Pages -- I've set up a template that has the same look-and-feel as the Winter Rain website, so it helps set the mood. For everything else, I use Circus Ponies Notebook, because it lets me keep everything in one place.

I only write on paper when I can't use a desktop PC, and I only write on desktop PCs if I can't use a laptop. It's not impossible for me to write on but it is slow and unpleasant, and I can't easily go back and pad out/correct things.

Someday I shall have me a nice PDA of some description, and I'll be writing EVERYWHERE! ;)



Ryan, I have an Asus Eee (mini laptop)... it was cheaper than most PDAs, far larger screen and better specs - weighs just under a kilo. It goes everywhere with me, and gets used everywhere too :-D Something like it might be worth a look, in that someday. If we're not all using wristcomps with rollup kbs by then, of course.

nomesque: The expensive new laptop whose case disintegrated on me within a year of use, which cracked both the motherboard and wireless card, was an ASUS. I won't be getting anything from them again.

Anything I get in the gadgets department will be a handheld of some type that fits right in my pocket.