Let’s Talk About Writing Software

Let's Talk About Writing Software

This post reminded me that I’ve been wanting to poll folks about writing software lately. I know everyone talks about the wonders of Scrivener and how it changed everything for them and such, but there are other programs out there as well. I’m wondering how well they work for people.

I know some still prefer homespun methods of keeping track of stuff like plot threads, character traits, settings details, etc. Sometimes having it all in one program does help those who need a little guidance in order to be organized. I’m still int he process of finding the best way for myself, so I’m definitely intrigued by what others are up to.

So, if you use writing software that provides a bit more functionality than a word processor, let me know what you use and why you like it. Also what you wish it could do but doesn’t, and wish it wouldn’t do but does. Or, if you’ve cobbled something together from several different programs, I’d love to hear about that, too.

What I’m not interested in hearing is variations on: “Real writers don’t need fancy writing programs, you should JUST WRITE.” Because, honestly, everyone is different. Some of us do better with extra tools. And I’m sure everyone agrees that no matter how good a writing program, it cannot write something for you. So if you feel the urge to whip that out, kindly talk about puppies and kittens, instead.

*stomps foot* I Still Want Scrivener… but I am willing to settle

*stomps foot* I Still Want Scrivener... but I am willing to settle

Seriously, my need for Scrivener is growing every day.  But as there is no hope on the horizon for those of us with PC or Linux, I am seeking other alternatives.  There isn’t much out there for Linux, which is the OS I really need it for.  I do most of my writing on the eeepc and prefer something that will work on that to something for windows.  I am also not interested in emulators.  Well, scratch that–if a Mac emulator for Linux that worked was available, I would consider it.  But emulators generally make me break out in hives.

I tried Writer’s Cafe for a while, but there is no atual word proessor within the program and that made it not as useful.  And then at one point it lost a bunch of my data–I was done.

It occurred to me that there might be creative ways to use OpenOffice to get what I need.  Essentially, I have a lot of information that I need to access quickly as I write — research notes and websites and names of things and some outline stuff.  I need it organized in a good way so it’s easy to enter and find.  I need it to me on my local disk cuz I can’t always get to the web and don’t always want to.  I think notecards are awesome.

So, I need some organization advice, I guess.  What is the best way to gather together all these disparate things in a computer environment that keeps the information I need handy so I don’t have to pause too long and get more writing done?