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Software recommendations? (1 Viewer)

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DCreamer

Member
Will anyone be kind enough to recommend either using or avoiding any of the software products for story and novel development and writing? Organization is not my strongest attribute and I am tempted by the advertorials promising these products will help with creativity, plot and character development and a polished finished product.
 

Lord Darkstorm

Senior Member
Notebook is good (as in the kind you can pick up at any store that sells office supplies), I like OneNote, which is a part of microsoft office, but it serves the same purpose as a notebook, just on the computer.

I've looked at several of the programs (dramatica included), and found that they weren't really helpful. They require too much time to learn usually, and even then, they have clunky user interfaces that are not smooth like they should be. So you end up spending more time working the interface than getting things done.

The point is that no software will get you past the point of understanding how to organize a novel. Try some writing books on structuring a novel, I've been reading 'Scene and Structure' which has been helping me understand more about the structure of each scene and how they go together. It, or any other good writing book (I check reviews on amazon usually before buying one) that helps teach you what you want to know will be far cheaper, and give you a great deal more value.

I hate to make it sound like there aren't any good programs out there, because there is. But like any other tool, you need to know why you need it before you get it and try and use it. Then you spend more time playing with the tool than getting anything done.
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
To use any software designed to reduce the drama of writing you have to be the sort of person that does not need it - If that sounds a touch oxymoronic, it isn't. To use a program that has scene cards, character cards, cards for plot development etc., you have to be the sort of person who uses.... Any writing program as as good as the person using it - If you aren't an organised person they is worse than useless as finding a lost note or reference can be a lot harder than than riffling through a stack of 5 x 4s on the desk-top. Try a free or cheap one like Scrivener and see if the methodolgy suits.
 

movieman

Senior Member
Yeah, I've been playing with Scrivener and suspect I'll buy it after NaNoWriMo; they're apparently making it free to use for November and giving 50% off to anyone who 'wins' NaNo. Being able to see everything in index card form and keep the research material in the same place as the novel seems pretty useful.
 

DCreamer

Member
Thanks

Thanks to everyone who replied. That question was from a three am thought process and having someone suggest reading some books on the subject created a duh moment. That was good advice.
 

theorphan

Senior Member
I have used Scrivener Beta for Windows to develop the beginning of my story and found it quite helpful. The only reason I decided to stop using it was that while in Beta every month you need to download a new version. It is free in Beta though and they have a none Beta Mac version. Sometimes I miss my Mac :(.
 

Anders Ämting

Senior Member
While on the subject, a few days back I tried downloading and installing Wikid Pad, since I'd heard the guys at Writing Excuses talk about it and it sounded useful. However, no matter how I tried I couldn't get it to work. I suspect I don't have the required database managing systems.

Does anyone else use a personal wiki software for writing? And if so, can someone recommend me something that isn't too much of a hassle to install?
 

Steerpike

Senior Member
I think most of that stuff ends up being distractions from writing. You spend all this time configuring the program the way you want it, typing or pasting in research, character bio notes, images, world-building notes, outlines, &c, and in reality you could have spent that time actually writing your story.
 

Anders Ämting

Senior Member
I think most of that stuff ends up being distractions from writing. You spend all this time configuring the program the way you want it, typing or pasting in research, character bio notes, images, world-building notes, outlines, &c, and in reality you could have spent that time actually writing your story.

To be honest, I'm way too lazy to bother keeping a lot of notes ("World-building? Who the heck has the patience to build a whole world!?") so I tend to stick with the bare essentials and stuff I don't want to risk forgetting. Mainly, I just want to keep the stuff I do write down in one place without having to skim through a long-ass document to find what I'm looking for.
 

QDOS

Senior Member
Hi
As to any software offering to help you create your scenes, you would be better off reading existing Novels.:read:

Software to check out :flower:

‘Ywriter5’ is word processor which breaks your novel into chapters and scenes, and keeps track of your work. Useful if your storyline is complicated and you have a large number of characters and scene locations. Gives you the opportunity to map out scenes and chapters and develop your plots in advance of the draft text.

‘WordWeb’ is an Off/Online dictionary with regional selection.

‘WordTalk’ is Text- to-Speech generator. The lazy way to read through and editing/proofread your script.

Random Generators for fiction can consist of multiple columns of information. Each constructed for a specific genre or for general elements, such as character names, scene locations, items (talismans, trophies or murder weapons).

The Random Plot Generator can be a simple three way split, protagonists, action, and antagonist. By joining these three together you can obtain a sentence overview such as:- Alone, a washed up detective enters an abandoned warehouse to confront an evil Drugs dealer.

Check out these sites
www.fakenamegenerator.com
www.sff.net/people/julia.west/callihoo/ideagen2.htm
www.funstuff.pantomimepony.co.uk/writers-plot-ideas.htm
www.seventhsanctum.com/

QDOS :cool:
 
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