Sunday, November 3, 2013

28 Question of the Week: What Writing Software Do You Use?

Hey everyone! It’s Clara Kensie, back with a new Question of the Week! Pretty much the only thing writers love as much as writing is talking about writing. So each week here at Adventures in YA Publishing, I post a question for you to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers: craft, career, writers’ life, reading and books. Together we’ll become better writers by sharing tips and discussing our habits and practices.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
November 3, 2013
WHAT WRITING SOFTWARE DO YOU USE?



Hello, my lovelies! While much of the writing community is digging into their NaNoWriMo novels this weekend, I have a rare break from writing. My copy edits for RUN TO YOU Book 1 (Parts One, Two, and Three) were finalized last week, and on Friday, my editor sent it off to production. Also on Friday, at 7:15pm, I sent RUN TO YOU Book 2 (Parts Four, Five, and Six) to my critique partners. By 7:16pm on Friday, for the first time in months, I literally had NOTHING that I needed to write. A very strange, empty feeling! It won't last long--my CPs are returning their feedback in a few days, and the final manuscript is due to my editor on December 1, so I'll have to get busy with revisions immediately--but I have a weekend of free time. I'm spending my weekend catching up on errands, reading, and spending time with my family. It's glorious.

Anyhoodle. Question time! This week’s question: What writing software do you use?


photo credit: RLHyde via photopin cc

MY ANSWER: Scrivener! I don’t know how I ever wrote without it. I rave about Scrivener so often that my writing group asked me to do a presentation and show them how to use it. I gave that presentation last week, and I converted many of them! I’m also giving my Scrivener presentation to a local RWA group in January.


YOUR TURN: What writing software do you use? Scrivener, MS Word, Write It Now? I’m sure there’s a bunch out there. An old fashioned typewriter? Paper and pen? If it works for you, tell us about it!

28 comments:

  1. Scrivener! Just like you said, I'm not sure how I ever got by without it. :-)

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  2. Another Scrivener fan here! I love the ease of finding a particular scene, the ability to see my original scene during a revision, the document and project notes, the place for character and research notes.... Love it!

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    1. My response to all of the above: ME TOO!!!!

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  3. Hmmm, you have made me curious about this Scrivener thingie... I use the last generation of Word. I'm so NOT tech savvy that I don't even know what version it is, I only know it's not the current one because every time they "improve" a program I can't figure out how to use it or find the features I liked about the last one. So I guard my seven-year-old laptop with my life!

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    1. J.D.- It took me a few tries with Scrivener before I finally "got" it. I've been using it for two years now, and I still learn new things about it. But the beauty of Scrivener is you don't have to use all the fancy bells and whistles if you don't want to. You can make it as simple or as complex as you like.

      If you're interested in trying Scrivener, you can download a free 30-day trial. I also recommend an instructional book called SCRIVENER FOR DUMMIES, by Gwen Hernandez. Gwen also gives online workshops on Scrivener. Give it a shot! http://gwenhernandez.com/scrivener-training/scrivener-online-classes/

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    2. Thanks, Clara, I think I will!

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  4. I use Dragon. Sometimes dictating instead of typing mixes things up and frees my mind.

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    1. I've considered dictation software. Sometimes my thoughts come so fast that my typing fingers can't keep up, and I wish I could just speak the paragraph out loud. My smartphone has a microphone, and sometimes I'll dictate an idea as an email to myself, instead of typing it out on those tiny little keys.

      And guess what? If any of you are interested, Dragon dictation software has a Groupon for the next three days! $38.99 instead of $99.00. Great deal! Here's the link: https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-dragon-naturallyspeaking-12-home-edition-4

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  5. I use word but am intrigued now about Scrivener! am off to go do some research, now that I've got my NaNoWriMo work done!

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    1. Yay! I hope you give it a try, and I hope you love it!!!

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  6. I've been hearing about Scrivener for months now. What makes it so great? And is there a version for PC users? I don't have a Mac, but sometimes I lust after them in the Apple stores. :-)

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    1. Kimberley, there are so many great things about Scrivener, I can't list them all here. I love that it's so easy to navigate around the manuscript. I also love that you can take snapshots of each scene before you change it, so your previous version is right there in case you need it. All of my research is in the file. Making index cards, outlining; it's all so simple with Scrivener.

      Yesterday, I came across this blog post about how Scrivener can help with NaNo, but the post applies to every Scrivener novel project: http://charmaineclancy.com/scrivenerfornanowrimo/

      I have a PC too. There are a few more bells and whistles on the Mac version, but the Windows version is catching up quickly. I hope you give Scrivener a try, and that you love it!

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  7. Scrivener all the way! (I still use Word for the final polish, but Scriv for everything else.)

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  8. This is crazy but I bought Scrivener over a year ago, began the tutorials, but still haven't used it! You've motivated me to upload my first draft and continue on with what so many feel is a powerful software tool. Thanks for the reminder!

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  9. I am such a Luddite. I still use Word but keep promising myself I will get Scrivener. One thing I would like to know is if it's easy to move Word files into Scrivener. Anyone know?

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    1. Yes, Rosi, there is an import function in Scrivener. You can import Word docs, pdfs, web pages, mind maps, etc. Super simple!

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  10. I finally learnt how to tolerate typing in Word three years ago, after avoiding it like the plague for years. I've learnt to live with it, but still find it a lot more confusing and frustrating in comparison to the simpler word processing programs I always used before. I want to someday buy back my first two computers, the 152K Mac and the 1993 Mac, in part so I can finally type in peace again on MacWriteII and ClarisWorks. I also liked AppleWorks on my old eMac. It's too bad the older programs don't seem to be available as downloads anywhere, since I'd gladly go back to either MacWriteII or ClarisWorks.

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  11. I have yWriter downloaded. I've used it on occasion but generally I write with Word.

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  12. I've recently become obsessed with Hiveword (it's free and online and so, so helpful for organization and prewriting!)

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