Word processors / writing software

Lumens

Hopeless Neuromantic
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What do you use, and why?

I am currently using Google Docs because I can access it on my Android tablet, even in offline mode, and edit in the car or park. Besides, there's a backup in the cloud somewhere. I am a little sceptical of Google though, and might consider something else for the longer term.
 

Vaz

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Scrivener. Because its corkboard feature is handy for jotting down a sentence or two about whatever scene/chapter you're working on. Plus, ita compile feature simplifies formatting.
 

Nick B

author Nick Bailey, formerly Quellist.
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Word, and dropbox. Because its collaborative work. Means we can work on any device, anywhere.
I want scrivener, but my co-author doesn't...
 

Biskit

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Open Office because I wanted to get away from Word, and I run on Linux.

I tried Scrivener and quite liked it at first, but rapidly ran into a couple of things that killed, but that was long enough ago that I can't remember what the problems were.

I also use a flaky, home-grown package for keeping track of story ideas and plot details which is a bit ad hoc anyway as I don't do much planning.
 

Vladd67

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I guess I am slightly old school, although I use Open Office to write with when it comes to writing notes and ideas I use A4 notebook v1.0 and even in an emergency its portable version, back of envelope/letter from kids school with a pen. I don't so much cut and paste as highlight and copy. I suppose I should bring myself into the 21st century sometime.
 

allmywires

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Scrivener across multiple devices ... it's heaven. Although, I do find that my lack of organisation sometimes makes my projects become quite cluttered and author unfriendly. I have always done my note taking/ plotting by hand though, I somehow find it impossible to plot using a computer.
 

Brian G Turner

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I use Word 2007, with all files saved to Google Drive.

I tried OpenOffice but really didn't like it. I've tried various apps for writing/editing on a tablet, but I've found I always write best - and with fewer errors - at the desktop.
 

zmunkz

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Scrivener + Scrivener for iOS + Dropbox. With this combo, my MS is with me at all times and I've noticed my output boosted ever since. The program is fantastic for writing, storing notes and pictures, setting word count goals, tracking changes, compiling (and DropBox sync is built in)... everything I could need.
 

Phyrebrat

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Scrivener + Scrivener for iOS + Dropbox. With this combo, my MS is with me at all times and I've noticed my output boosted ever since. The program is fantastic for writing, storing notes and pictures, setting word count goals, tracking changes, compiling (and DropBox sync is built in)... everything I could need.

^this x2

pH
 

Gonk the Insane

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Scrivener because it's awesome.:) I used Word for about a decade but haven't looked back once since I tried Scrivener: it's flexible, powerful, and really, really useful. It does take a while to get to grips with it at first but there are some helpful tutorial videos, a tutorial project, and a helpfile that are all, well, helpful. There's more info here for anyone interested: Literature and Latte - Scrivener Writing Software | macOS | Windows | iOS
I want scrivener, but my co-author doesn't...
If you haven't already tried this approach, you could suggest he tries the free 30-day trial. Could be worth a go...:unsure:
 

Nick B

author Nick Bailey, formerly Quellist.
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Can scrivener files be stored on dropbox for multiple users? If so, then I might try that @Gonk the Insane thanks
 

Nick B

author Nick Bailey, formerly Quellist.
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So, with scrivener, can you do individual chapters, as seperate files? This is how we write, so we can both work at the same time, then compile it all at the end.
 

Phyrebrat

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If you are writing on scrivener at the same time as your partner, nothing will happen until you sync. At that time his changes will be added as will yours.

However, there will be a conflict and some work will be moved into the 'conflicts' tree. All you would do is choose the correct version and then resave.

So if I write chapter C and you write chapter D on our project AB, and I save first to Dropbox, when you come to save D you'll be notified of a conflict (because of my newer-saved C). You just accept the conflict, and then copy-paste my stuff from the conflicts tree in the right place, then resync/resave. It's all dependant on who saved first.

There is another less prone-to-mistakes version; 3 projects. Yours, your partner's and the full one. You both write in your own scrivener project and then open the full version, paste your text in place then save Full and quit. When the other person comes to upload theirs they do the same.

Either way works but you just need to check with each other.

pH
 

Lumens

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Thanks for replies all.

Scrivener looks like the business! A bit overkill for my purposes maybe, but great for organizing scattered notes. I currently have those on little bits of paper. It would be nice to have it all in one place.

@Vaz I suppose when you talk about formatting you mean for release on digital formats?
 

TWErvin2

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I use MS Word. I am efficient with it, my publisher prefers it, and it does (allows) everything I need it to do.
 

Brian G Turner

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Scrivener

Actually, good point - I can't just use Word 2007 - that's simply the main platform I use.

I have a folder saved in Googledrive for each writing project, which can be filled with various other doc or txt files or even spreadsheets relating to:

- scene structure
- notes
- editing corrections
- any feedback received
- blurb
- synopsis
- anything relating to agents, if submitting
- cover notes for artist
- images that might help when referencing the story/characters/settings
- promotion/advertising notes
- anything files relating to different platforms
- final files for submission
- post-publishing copies
- calendar for continuity

I also save incrementally - every writing session is saved as a new file number, so I can go back and retrieve any information that was rewritten or edited out in later versions.

For Gathering I also had to create subfolder archives in the main folder, to file away stuff that had built up for years.

Some projects are far simpler to manage, though. :)

The one point I do need to make, though, is to back up everything. Back up, back up, back up. Never be lax with this because at some point you will learn the hard way to back up.
 

Phyrebrat

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Scrivener looks like the business! A bit overkill for my purposes maybe, but great for organizing scattered notes. I currently have those on little bits of paper. It would be nice to have it all in one place.

@Vaz I suppose when you talk about formatting you mean for release on digital formats?

I was the same when I got into Scrivener. I am very disorganised by nature but a bit of a control freak at the same time, which is... frustrating. I got Scrivener and watched maybe the first couple tutorials and thought I'd never use the rest. I probably use about 30% of its functionality but this increases as I need more; research the workings of Scriv: add to my skill set :) . Now, looking back on when I tried to use Word or Pages, I realise that I probably wouldn't still be writing if I hadn't come across Scrivener.

To answer your question about options for compiling manuscripts, here are a couple of screen grabs for the highly customisable compile process:

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 20.11.17.png
This one above is the the options for novel, etc.

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 20.10.47.png
Above is the type of publication format.

I love the ability to group characters (or POVs, or anything else, for that matter) in "Collections". this means that in a book that spans 5 time periods, with multiple POVs, with one click on the collections binders I can bring up all that character's/theme's/symbol's/POV's/Date appearance in my manuscript. For example:

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 20.03.58.png
The above is my normal working screen. On the left is the project tree. I have given Henry, Firmin, Gilbert, Osmund and Lady Selwyn's diary their own collections. The text that is selected is what appears in the main screen.


Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 20.07.16.png

But here, I clicked the blue bar (you set all these properties yourself i.e name and colour of the collection etc) and that brings up all of LadySelwyn's journal entries. In the novel they are scattered throughout thechapters of one time period. This was a great method for me to be able to keep track of what she'd been writing without going back and forth every time. For me, I think Collections will the be the biggest new feature I use. (I only started using it recently.)

On the right hand side, the smaller pane is where you can set metatags, or even simple tickbox things like whether or not it should be included in a compile, or if it is draft 1, proofed, etc. It will showthe colour of the POV you've assigned, too (provided you've given characters a different colour) so it's good for at-a-glance, too.

pH
 

Lumens

Hopeless Neuromantic
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Very interesting Phyrebrat, thanks a lot for taking the time to post that. :)

I also save incremental versions like you, @Brian. I back up to my computer, occationally to a USB stick and there is a copy on my tablet as well, apart from the working copy in Google docs.

Scrivener is relatively affordable as well. It's a pity that there's no Android app, but dropbox sync is useful on iOS... iTunes is the worst mainstream app I have ever seen. :cautious:
 

The Bluestocking

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Scrivener. Because I love how every project has a file tree where I can have everything to do with that WIP in one place (chapters that I can drag around if need be, character profiles, worldbuilding notes etc).
 

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