Thursday, April 24, 2008

MS Word? I prefer not to.

Just wanted to give a big thank you to my friend Sean Sakamoto, (aka flojin) , fellow writer and nerd, for turning me on to Scrivener - a writing program that beats the crap out of writing in Word, or any other word processor I've ever worked with. For me, its strongest point is the way it helps you organize the story. You can write an outline, and it will automatically link up with the chapters that the outline refers to (with a little formatting on your part). I really love the bulletin board view, too - what that does is let you view your outline as a series of index cards that you can label, and move around - again, just click on a card, and you can work on the chapter that its linked to.

It's really helped me alot with planning - I essentially have the whole book split up into chapters in the outline, and when I am ready to go, I can just jump in and start writing where I left off. Its great, because it keeps the chapters as discrete subdocuments, collected in a draft folder. I'm sure you can do it with Word too, but as with most things Microsoft, they sure dont make it easy or intuitive.

There's also a whole research section of the program that I havent really delved into, but its apparently an easy way to keep all of your research documents and reference photos in one place, kinda like a big clipboard.

So anyway, thanks again to Sean, and if you're a writer looking for some software that really does help your workflow, check Scrivener out - its a free 30 day trial, and after that its only $40.

Oh, I forgot to mention, it's Mac OSX only, so suck it, Windows peeps!

1 comment:

Sean said...

Great news! I'm glad I could be of use. I'm enjoying your blog. My writing is also a long march, and it's nice to see I'm not alone. Keep writing! I'm eager to enter the age of rust.