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Thread: Software for novelists

  1. #11
    I've never run into anything like that I consider helpful. But whatever works, is the idea.

    I create a table in Word for screenplays of novels, and move scenes around the grid like I used to do with a ruled bulletin board on my wall. Except instead of note cards, the scenes or chapters are keywords that when clicked pull that chapter up to work on.
    Some of them grow into major consoles, with links to research, notes, maps, all sorts of stuff.
    I thought this was a totally cool, really original concept until the other day I heard a writer say he organized novels with a spreadsheet. And realized...hmm, same idea, huh?
    See my books Hidden Content (and in heaven).

  2. #12
    Novel software? I've tried Story Mill and Melle (sic?) however, though they did what they were supposed to do I personally found them distracting. Either something about the UI was too abnormal or it was something else like compatibility with .doc/.docx documents. Of course no word processor I can think of exports .doc properly some do better than others.
    I've been sticking to Apple Pages 4 (iWork '09) for most of my work and the full screen mode along with the simple yet powerful UI makes writing and formatting my finished manuscript a breeze. It exports to Word formats quite well and I'm happy with it. Though with the soon arrival of Office for Macintosh 2011 I might go back to Word because it's what I used in the good old Windows days.
    If you'd really like to try out some novelist software I do however recommend you try Story Mill. Be aware though last I used it the application only ran on Apple Macintosh OS X but there was a Windows version on the horizon.

  3. #13
    Simon Haynes' Spacejock Software has some pretty cool writer tools. It has a complete novel writing program, a very useful app for keeping track of submissions, and some cool ereaders and stuff as well.

    http://www.spacejock.com/

    And yeah, that's as in Hal Spacejock, the outerspace hero of this Australian writer. If you like Pratchett and Star Trek parodies and Brewster Rockit, take a look at the Hal site. There's usual some free ebook around.

    http://www.spacejock.com.au/
    See my books Hidden Content (and in heaven).

  4. #14
    Member Julianne's Avatar
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    yWriter, which I mentioned above, can be found at the Spacejock site.
    Poet in progress
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  5. #15
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    I'm probably old fashioned, but I'm content to create my own files with word for everything. I have tried some of the software, but keep going back to my old methods with word. New learning curves with software always annoys me.
    Janrae Frank
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  6. #16
    It's a sure signal of my age that I chuckled over "I'm old-fashioned, I use a word processor".

    Not that I don't agree.
    See my books Hidden Content (and in heaven).

  7. #17
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    I have a 27 year old daughter who is always telling me about new software for writers and saying "Oh, it's so easy..." Then I try it and end up banging my head against the desk.
    Janrae Frank
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  8. #18
    Lin thinks it's funny that I don't use a word processor to write. I use only text editors; Notepad if I'm on a Windows machine or Vim with Linux. Separate bits that would make up an outline of sorts go into individual folders. It's a very simple system that allows maximum flexibility while I'm writing.

    There is no word processor or any other kind of programme beyond the text editors involved until I reach a stage that requires strict formatting. For example, a report prepared for a government ministry must follow certain formatting rules. One by one I put the contents of my text folders into Word, then go through and make everything look the way it ought to look.

    Much of my work still goes off to private publishers as text files. They have secretaries, don't they?

    I recently upgraded to Office 2007 after running 2003 for a long time. I like the new version of Word, but I would never use it for original writing. The use of a spreadsheet for organising ideas might be something to think about though.

    But I will never give up doing my original writing with text editors, no matter what other software I might have for final formatting.
    Last edited by garza; June 13th, 2010 at 03:10 AM.
    El día ha sido bueno. La noche será larga.

  9. #19
    Well it's not like notepad isn't a word processor. I use it a lot for coding and writing. But get more done with Word or Open Office, especially when preparing screenplays and documents that require a lot of formatting.
    See my books Hidden Content (and in heaven).

  10. #20
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    I use word 2003 still, but expect to upgrade sometime in the near future. I'm very comfortable with word. I have been using it since it first came out back in the days of DOS and just kept upgrading to the next version. I keep a lexicon folder with categories for everything from people to places and a timeline on a spreadsheet. After 20 novels, it becomes difficult to keep things straight. I try to stay on top of it. I once got an email from a fellow who had purchased one of my novels (back when my work was still being published by Renebooks) pointing out that I had described a lycan (wolfweres not werewolves in my novels) as being grey in full wolf form and then two chapters later described him as being black. *head desk* Software to keep track of it all in some manner is essential really. I'm just not as flexible now as I was ten plus years ago when it comes to learning new ones.
    Janrae Frank
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