Best Writing Program?

BT Jones

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Does anyone have any recommendations for a more comprehensive writing program than MS Word? I would love a program that enables me to be able to tag / record speech, with better referencing and better liner notes. I get very frustrated with all the bits and pieces word documents I have to use as a guide to help me while I am writing.

What does everyone else use.
 

mosaix

Shropshire, U.K.
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Scrivener.

There are a few threads about it here on Chrons.


Some of us bought it via a special deal that @The Bluestocking recommended.
 

.matthew.

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Scrivener is the standard but it's also not cheap (though worth the money over the long term).

That said, I use Quoll writer on my laptop. It has a lot of organisation features that don't get in the way and for free software it's surprisingly good. One aspect I particularly like is the problem finder. It can be set up with loads of rules but the default helps a lot in finding sentences that don't work in some way. It's not always right but it points out overly complex ones, duplication of words, overuse of words, passive voice and all that malarkey. I'd suggest you give it a go before shelling out for Scrivener. It also has a very nice 'world building' setup that automagically creates links between character profiles and anything else so you can hop between your background stuff like you're on a wiki.

The one thing it lacks is a good compiler (it's very basic but still usable), although the developer is testing a brand new version at the moment so fingers crossed that'll have more options.
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
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I use Word-97... yes, 1997--the same year I ate the last Mastodon.
I also use Photodeluxe 1.1 (photoshop) from the same era... that one I ate the last Dodo after, and he was delicious!

In any case, contrary to many programs the Scrivener one for a one time price of $45 is relatively cheap. Microsoft Office 365 is $70/year... yes, 70-bucks this year and every one thereafter until they decide to jump the price up again. Kinda' explains the '365' in the name, huh? Most other lesser types will likely be the same. Annual subscriptions is how all software is becoming, and naturally they're all designed to self-destruct upon command from the mothership upon update.

Heck, I saw no point in Scrivener and have never used it, but I may have just talked myself into it!

K2
 

M. Robert Gibson

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
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I use a couple of free ones Plume Creator
which is the repository of my Linux Mint distributions

and Manuskript

but one which is constantly mentioned in 'best of' lists is yWriter, which is Windows only so I haven't had a play with it
 

.matthew.

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@M. Robert Gibson

I've tried Manuskript but found it too clunky for me. I hear good things about Plume though.

Since you mentioned Linux have you not tried running yWriter in Wine? That's what I do for Quoll and it's perfect (until you need to locate the files but that's what shortcuts are for).
 

tinkerdan

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I use word and it works for everything I need. Must be my needs are not as complex as some.
However, I can format everything in a word .docx file and use that to go directly to KDP without any tweaking or reformatting to any other formats and I can make both the paper edition and the e-book to look exactly as I expect it to.
Personally I'm not interested in messing that whole process up to get more gadgets and such.
However, I do come from having used a Smith Corona and white out and reams of paper.
S-C-images.jpg

something a lot like this.
 

M. Robert Gibson

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
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I've tried Manuskript but found it too clunky for me. I hear good things about Plume though.
The problem with both of these is that they are still only beta versions. Manuskript recommend manually backing up your work frequently, and I've seen some comments somewhere that Plume managed to lose a load of work. Still, you get what you pay for ;)

I knew about Wine and yWriter from the website. I should probably give it a go :unsure: However, being lazy, I was just looking something I could use 'out of the box' as it were.

And I'll have to give Quoll a trial. I've seen it mentioned a few times on here and elsewhere. Cheers
 

.matthew.

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@M. Robert Gibson Yea, I'd definitely recommend Quoll (it does automatic backups all the time too, though I've never needed to use them).

You can give PlayonLinux a go with yWriter. I didn't use it on Quoll (didn't know about it at the time) but have used it on other windows apps since then and it's worked flawlessly (pretty much just point it at the file and click).

The new version of Quoll is being written for Linux as well, so get in early :)
 

msstice

200 words a day = 1 novel/year
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I go for text in Markdown format, written with a normal code editor (VS Code) + pandoc (for producing a PDF) + git (for versioning).
These are all open source, high quality, freely available tools and a simple, human readable format.

Why don’t I use Word? Or Google docs? Or Scribus or some other handily packaged tool with lots of widgets for writing? First, I’ve been burned enough by Word crapping out when the document gets big enough that I just don’t trust it. Second, I will never trust my precious writing to a complicated, proprietary binary format. I know that .docx is some kind of XML which is nominally an open sourced specification, but honestly XML?! I don’t think this is better. Plaintext files with minimal, non-intrusive markup is what I find best, and Markdown fits the bill perfectly. git allows me to revision my work and many online git hosts have beautiful tools to check diffs. VS Code gives a word count and spell check and has a thesaurus plugin.
 
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Ashley R

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Look at Scrivener, see the link above; well worth the learning curve required to master it.
 
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