Novel Writing Software

65 replies
Ive been looking into some both open source and paid novel writing software, can anyone give me a bit of insight? I have never used software like this so am really unsure on what benefits there are as well as what to look for in the way of pro's and cons or even if I need the software at all.
#software #writing
  • Profile picture of the author jjbalagosa
    I second using Freemind or any other mind mapping software. They're great for creating any type of content. Fiction or non-fiction.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8254175].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    What do you want the software to do? Give us a little more detail.

    In the meantime, here are a couple paid options:
    Literature and Latte - Scrivener Writing Software | Mac OS X | Windows
    Snowflake Pro Software | Advanced Fiction Writing
    Signature

    If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8254535].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Social App Zone
    Apart from the obvious grammar, spell check, spinning etc. what features would make the software novel specific ?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8254567].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
      Originally Posted by Social App Zone View Post

      Apart from the obvious grammar, spell check, spinning etc. what features would make the software novel specific ?
      Generally speaking, organization structure is what separates novel writing software from a word processor. Just off the top of my head, being able to structure your work by chapters and scenes and being able to quickly find and move whole scenes and chapters is key. Yes, you can do the same with a word processor, but it can be clunky and time consuming when you're dealing with 30,000 words.
      Signature

      If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8254586].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

        Gbeing able to quickly find and move whole scenes and chapters is key. Yes, you can do the same with a word processor, but it can be clunky and time consuming
        If your chapter or scene could happen somewhere else, chances are you should just cut it anyway.

        Think about it. Anything that doesn't belong in a specific part of your story is not really part of the story, so why the hell did you write it? Why should anyone read it? Shut up and get back to the story.

        Moving it around because you just can't stand to lose it is how good writers publish bad writing. It's not worth it. Cut it.
        Signature
        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8254617].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          If your chapter or scene could happen somewhere else, chances are you should just cut it anyway.

          Think about it. Anything that doesn't belong in a specific part of your story is not really part of the story, so why the hell did you write it? Why should anyone read it? Shut up and get back to the story.

          Moving it around because you just can't stand to lose it is how good writers publish bad writing. It's not worth it. Cut it.
          We'll disagree here. Stories evolve and change. Timelines or presentation of various elements can change.

          It's not always a simple matter of not wanting to cut your precious words. Personally, I very often wrangle with pacing issues.

          If we were talking specifically of short fiction, I could certainly see your point. We're talking about "novel writing software."
          Signature

          If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8254766].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

            We'll disagree here. Stories evolve and change. Timelines or presentation of various elements can change.
            But if you can pick up a scene and drop it somewhere else in your book, that means this scene is not materially connected to the scenes around it.

            Which means nothing relevant has happened in it anyway.

            If anything had, then it would affect the next scene... which you would have to rewrite, to account for the change.

            And then you'd probably have to rewrite the scene after that.

            And the one after that. And the one after that.

            There is a cascade effect.

            A story in which any relevant scene happens earlier or later is fundamentally not the same story.

            So if the scene you are moving does not cause this cascade effect, then it is irrelevant and not really part of your story. Cut it.

            And if it does, the process requires extensive rewriting anyway - so your ability to easily move the scene is worthless. Congratulations! You have saved thirty seconds in a process that will probably take days or weeks to complete.

            Unless, of course, your novel sucks. Bad writing is bad no matter what you do to it. You could probably shuffle the chapters of a Charles L. Grant book like a deck of cards, and the result would make about as much sense.
            Signature
            "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8254814].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Terry Ivers
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              But if you can pick up a scene and drop it somewhere else in your book, that means this scene is not materially connected to the scenes around it.

              Which means nothing relevant has happened in it anyway.

              If anything had, then it would affect the next scene... which you would have to rewrite, to account for the change.

              And then you'd probably have to rewrite the scene after that.

              And the one after that. And the one after that.

              There is a cascade effect.

              A story in which any relevant scene happens earlier or later is fundamentally not the same story.

              So if the scene you are moving does not cause this cascade effect, then it is irrelevant and not really part of your story. Cut it.

              And if it does, the process requires extensive rewriting anyway - so your ability to easily move the scene is worthless. Congratulations! You have saved thirty seconds in a process that will probably take days or weeks to complete.

              Unless, of course, your novel sucks. Bad writing is bad no matter what you do to it. You could probably shuffle the chapters of a Charles L. Grant book like a deck of cards, and the result would make about as much sense.
              Have you considered the possibility someone might write a draft idea for a chapter and want to move it about? I write placeholders all the time in my writing. Sure, you have to put in transitions and the story line changes if you move it somewhere else... but the beauty of novel writing software is that it is easier to do that than scrolling down to page 108 of 326 of a Word doc. Right?
              Signature

              !
              How I Went from Zero to Kindle in a Few Days!!! My Blueprint for Quick Ebook Content Creation.

              Voiceover and Transcription Services. PM Me for special Warrior prices. Sample Audio

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255022].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                Originally Posted by Terry Ivers View Post

                Have you considered the possibility someone might write a draft idea for a chapter and want to move it about?
                Yes. That does not go in your novel. That goes in something we call "notes." You do that in "note taking" software, not "novel writing" software, because taking notes is not writing a novel. Confusing the two is, again, an excellent way to write badly.

                There is this thing people do these days which is tremendously counterproductive, and that is to sit down and say "I am going to write a novel." And they open up a program, type "My Great American Novel, Chapter One" - and start writing chapter one.

                No. Wrong. This is not how it works. This is not how anyone anywhere has ever written a novel that didn't suck. You may as well just type "it was a dark and stormy night."

                People do that with all kinds of things. They say "I am going to write a WSO," or "I am going to draw a picture," or "I am going to develop a plugin," and they sit down and start working without a single damn clue what the hell they are going to do in the end. And for sufficiently short and simple pieces of work, sufficiently skilled and experienced people can do that.

                I can sit down and crank out a 5,000 word short story with absolutely no initial clue what it is going to be about or even what genre it is going to be, let alone who the characters are and what is going to happen to them. In fact, I can do it in just a couple hours without a single editing or revision pass. It won't be particularly good, but it won't be particularly bad either.

                Jason Fladlien and Robert Plank can do the same with WSOs. Van Gogh and Picasso could do that with portraits. Larry Wall and Eric Raymond can do that with software. If you're good, you can do what you're good at very quickly and skip a lot of the planning stages - because you have done the planning stages so many times in the past.

                But it doesn't scale. You can't write a novel the same way you do a short story. I see a lot of people say what amounts to "I can write a 2,000 word scene; if I write five of those it's a 10,000 word short story; if I write twelve of those it will be a 120,000 word novel."

                I see people who think, having written a series of short reports, they can write a book. Having done a podcast, they can do an audio coaching product. Having posted a YouTube video, they can do a DVD training series.

                But go to the greats. Everyone from David Mamet to Stephen King to Alan Moore has tried to express this. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. A large work is not just a collection of small works. Amateurs - specifically, bad amateurs - always think they can do it this way, and they are always wrong.

                As John Cleese said, "It's not simply a matter of the number of words. Getting them in the right order is just as important."

                Larger works are exponentially more difficult to get in the right order. The planning stage needs to be longer, and unlike shorter works, the plans are not sufficiently similar to be easily reused. A five-page short story using three-act structure does not exactly have a lot of room for things to move about. Each act is roughly one to two pages. Once you have written those pages a couple dozen times, you know pretty much all of the ways you can write them.

                (Not all of the ways anyone can write them. Your personal style is the filter - while another plan might work for someone else, it won't work for you. It wouldn't be your writing. Dashiell Hammett's two pages will look pretty similar every time, and Bentley Little's will too, but they won't look anything like one another.)

                In a longer work, you might be using Campbell's much larger seventeen-step process. And each of those steps is fifteen to twenty pages. And those steps go in order; they have to. And once you have produced something approximating the end result, it is too late to reconsider where in the project that part belongs. You can't just pick it up and move it somewhere else unless it doesn't really matter where it goes. And if it doesn't matter where it goes, chances are it doesn't go anywhere.

                There is a process that works, and which has been used for hundreds of years. That process is to start with a skeletal sketch of your intended project and gradually detail and refine it. The larger that project is, the more important this process becomes. The internet has not changed this. Software has not changed this.

                The existence of CAD software has made the process of planning and constructing a building faster and easier, but it still involves the same steps in the same order that it always has. Architecture and construction have not been revolutionised. They simply have a new and faster tool to do what they have always done.

                And while that tool allows them to pick up and move the entire second floor to a new location, this simply cannot be done in any reasonable fashion. Even though the software contains this function, you can't really use it. The change cascades throughout the entire structure and requires an extensive redesign.

                Failure to understand this is why your hard drive is probably full of shit you have started and never finished.

                I'm no exception. I have dozens of projects sitting on my hard drive that were started and not finished - books, videos, info products, software - because I started them without a sufficiently clear picture of what I was doing.

                Smart people learn from their mistakes. Smarter people learn from the mistakes of others.

                Stupid people keep doing the same thing over and over, and don't listen to anybody.
                Signature
                "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256024].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                  Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                  Smart people learn from their mistakes. Smarter people learn from the mistakes of others.

                  Stupid people keep doing the same thing over and over, and don't listen to anybody.
                  I suppose if you create a detailed outline and refuse to deviate from it as the story evolves as you flesh it out, you would have no need to move anything around. I would just hope that your initial outline is perfect.

                  To me, this would seem to put a boot to the neck of creativity. Evolution of the story be damned! I have an outline!
                  Signature

                  If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256143].message }}
                  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                    Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                    I suppose if you create a detailed outline and refuse to deviate from it as the story evolves as you flesh it out, you would have no need to move anything around.
                    The need to move something around is a failure in the planning stage.

                    Yes, I have those. But software which makes moving things around easy does not change the nature of the failure or the amount of work involved. It is still just as much of a failure and requires just as much work to fix. The mechanical relocation of this part to that place is trivial.

                    What your software needed to do was help you not have the failure in the first place.

                    Which means you must first understand why you had the failure and what would have helped prevent it. Until you understand that, you don't know what your software actually needs to do.

                    Which is kind of an important question when choosing software.
                    Signature
                    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256187].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                      The need to move something around is a failure in the planning stage.

                      Yes, I have those. But software which makes moving things around easy does not change the nature of the failure or the amount of work involved. It is still just as much of a failure and requires just as much work to fix. The mechanical relocation of this part to that place is trivial.

                      What your software needed to do was help you not have the failure in the first place.

                      Which means you must first understand why you had the failure and what would have helped prevent it. Until you understand that, you don't know what your software actually needs to do.

                      Which is kind of an important question when choosing software.
                      I disagree again. If I were attempting to write a final draft straight from the drawing board then you would have merit.

                      The outline serves as a launching point. As the outline is fleshed out, the story, as it is being written, may call for change. Just as you said in another post, it's not about chronology, but when information is presented to the reader. The fleshed out story may dictate that information be presented in a slightly different order than planned. I don't see this as failure. I see it as growth of the story.

                      It's an issue of nuance. The outline dictates the skeleton. The writing dictates the flesh. Occassionaly, you might need to move a mole from left hand to right. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

                      And just so we're clear. I'm not the OP of this thread. I offered some options and ALSO asked for more details as to what the OP was looking for. I know what I want my software to do.
                      Signature

                      If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256226].message }}
                      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                        Originally Posted by onlinesolutions1985 View Post

                        When you have novel writing software it should be unique and the article has a quality content but since I haven't any software like that I don't think that lots of topics is on it especially the name of the place, people, countries etc. and some topic is not in there as well so I think I may suggest to you that you have to find some article writer that knows how to write and also you can suggest the keywords that you want to use in driving more traffic to your site and putting the links on it as well.
                        With all due respect, HUH?:confused:

                        Did you just take a gibberish post on article writing and change the first appearance of "article" to "novel?"

                        Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                        I suppose if you create a detailed outline and refuse to deviate from it as the story evolves as you flesh it out, you would have no need to move anything around. I would just hope that your initial outline is perfect.

                        To me, this would seem to put a boot to the neck of creativity. Evolution of the story be damned! I have an outline!
                        I'd agree with you if the outline is painstakingly hand-engraved in marble. I'm still working out the first book in what I plan to be an ongoing series, and already the outline is evolving.

                        For example, in one scene my hero character spends time at his favorite bar, ogling one of the servers. Later, he finds out that the girl is his daughter. Now he has an internal conflict - the lust is habitual, but the incestuous nature takes the fun out of it. Once that revelation is made, several future scenes need to be changed to accomodate the new situation. At this point, I believe it will be much easier to do in the outline than in a full-blown draft.
                        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256298].message }}
                        • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                          With all due respect, HUH?:confused:

                          Did you just take a gibberish post on article writing and change the first appearance of "article" to "novel?"



                          I'd agree with you if the outline is painstakingly hand-engraved in marble. I'm still working out the first book in what I plan to be an ongoing series, and already the outline is evolving.

                          For example, in one scene my hero character spends time at his favorite bar, ogling one of the servers. Later, he finds out that the girl is his daughter. Now he has an internal conflict - the lust is habitual, but the incestuous nature takes the fun out of it. Once that revelation is made, several future scenes need to be changed to accomodate the new situation. At this point, I believe it will be much easier to do in the outline than in a full-blown draft.
                          Absolutely correct, John. However, I think we have an apples and oranges issue. It sounds as though you're still working on the outline itself as you're still in the planning stage. I'm referring to a point during the writing stage where things evolved differently than you thought during the outlining stage. You've already written previous scenes and the evolution requires some shifting.

                          For example, maybe a scene you wrote involving a discussion with your hero and his daughter no longer fits in the second chapter now that you've realized she's his daughter. Maybe it fits better in the first chapter. Or...maybe it doesn't fit at all.

                          Caliban was basically stating this was bad writing if things don't evolve according to your outline; that you've failed to plan. I just don't see it that way.

                          Maybe it's just me, but NOTHING I've ever written followed my initial outline to a T. Sometimes I get to know the character better as I go along and have to switch some things up. That's when a drag and drop feature comes in handy. Othertimes my new found understanding of the character dictates a rewrite or dumping scenes altogether. Guess what? My stories are always better that way and I couldn't have known how things would play out until I actually got the character into the scene.
                          Signature

                          If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

                          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256543].message }}
                          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                            Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                            Caliban was basically stating this was bad writing if things don't evolve according to your outline; that you've failed to plan. I just don't see it that way.
                            That's because you're pretty bad at seeing much of anything.

                            I have three major points.

                            First, you should probably cut any scene you can move around in your novel without having to rewrite it.

                            Second, you need to plan your novel before you write it, so you are almost certainly not going to be moving things around very much anyway.

                            Third, if while writing your novel you find yourself deviating from the plan, the plan is broken and you need to go fix it.

                            Failure to do any of these things is likely to result in bad writing.

                            Any other reason you might want to move a chapter or scene within your novel is weird, and probably specific to your creative process.

                            While it is all well and good to go right ahead with your thirty kumquats and twenty minutes meditating on a flagpole every morning, telling other writers that it's a "key" element for them to secure a supply of fresh kumquats and access to a flagpole is just absurd.
                            Signature
                            "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
                            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257253].message }}
                            • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
                              Does anyone actually write anything directly from their minds anymore? Are novels or other literary works all generated or aided by software? If so, that's so very sad....
                              Signature
                              Resources, Tools and Strategies for Your Online Presence
                              Website Design & Development - Document Management - Marketing Strategies - Personal Development
                              CBI Web Services
                              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257327].message }}
                              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                                Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

                                Does anyone actually write anything directly from their minds anymore? Are novels or other literary works all generated or aided by software? If so, that's so very sad....
                                Joel, I've been hanging out in a lot of writer forums lately, and while software and computers have taken the place of index cards, legal pads and sharp #2 pencils for many, imagination is still in robust health.
                                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257344].message }}
                              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                                Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

                                Does anyone actually write anything directly from their minds anymore?
                                This was mentioned earlier: "novel writing software" doesn't write the novel any more than a screwdriver drives the screws. It's just a tool.

                                Some of them have plot generators, but those are really not so different from reading a few books on Campbell's monomyth or getting a deck of those creativity-sparking flash cards they give you at corporate retreats.
                                Signature
                                "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
                                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257365].message }}
                              • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
                                Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

                                Does anyone actually write anything directly from their minds anymore? Are novels or other literary works all generated or aided by software? If so, that's so very sad....
                                Many of us do. I use just Scrivener. Software like Scrivener is merely a tool. It no more thinks or creates than pen and paper do... or than a word processing program like Word does...
                                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257599].message }}
                              • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
                                Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

                                Does anyone actually write anything directly from their minds anymore? Are novels or other literary works all generated or aided by software? If so, that's so very sad....
                                They are all just tools. A hammer or pneumatic air gun in an unskilled carpenter's hands can do just as much damage. Everything is an extension of your mind and abilities.

                                And thanks Tink, I just purchased Scrivener, been meaning to do so for sometime now after the trial I took a while ago.
                                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8261310].message }}
                            • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                              That's because you're pretty bad at seeing much of anything.

                              I have three major points.

                              First, you should probably cut any scene you can move around in your novel without having to rewrite it.

                              Second, you need to plan your novel before you write it, so you are almost certainly not going to be moving things around very much anyway.

                              Third, if while writing your novel you find yourself deviating from the plan, the plan is broken and you need to go fix it.

                              Failure to do any of these things is likely to result in bad writing.

                              Any other reason you might want to move a chapter or scene within your novel is weird, and probably specific to your creative process.

                              While it is all well and good to go right ahead with your thirty kumquats and twenty minutes meditating on a flagpole every morning, telling other writers that it's a "key" element for them to secure a supply of fresh kumquats and access to a flagpole is just absurd.
                              First, I never said to move a scene and not rewrite it. You're putting words in my mouth. It think it goes without saying that a bit of reworking may be in order.

                              Second, I never said not to plan your work, nor did I say jumbling things around was a common occurrence. I mentioned that having the ability to quickly do so is a feature in novel writing software.

                              Third, quite possibly the plan evolved. That isn't failure or a broken plan. Of course, the plan could be broken. The initial plot structure may not work once fleshed out.

                              Your pre-writing process must be much more exhaustive than mine. Of course, I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. Sometimes my initial ideas end up too thin. Sometimes, I come up with better ideas along the way. To you, this would be failure or illustrate that something is broken. I see it as writing a better story.

                              Regarding my kumquats and flag pole meditation, I suggest you read post eight for comprehension. I didn't say it was a key element of the writing process, but a key element of a difference between a word processor and "novel writing software." Additionally, you picked one minor point of the elements I listed.
                              Signature

                              If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

                              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257400].message }}
                              • Profile picture of the author Terry Ivers
                                Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post


                                Your pre-writing process must be much more exhaustive than mine. Of course, I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. Sometimes my initial ideas end up too thin. Sometimes, I come up with better ideas along the way. To you, this would be failure or illustrate that something is broken. I see it as writing a better story.
                                Agreed. Having a super detailed outline is well and good, especially when you're talking about non-fiction works. However, I can totally see winging it as you go for parts of the novel writing experience. Sure, it may not be as efficient as writing from an outline... but then again, sometimes you come up with something far more creative than that detailed outline would have included. When you are on a brainwave, I often find it is far more helpful for me at least to just write the things down and worry about placement, transitioning, and editing later. Again, maybe not the most efficient way of working, but for me, a way of harnessing creativity. If that means spouting out several scenes and having to work them into the novel, or just outline so be it.

                                A detailed outline is a tool. Software for moving things around, keeping notes, keeping your google maps and your pdf research articles for the novel, etc. is a tool. Ultimately, writing is an art. And, as with any form of art, there are often different techniques to getting to the final result, be it a painting, a song, or even a novel!
                                Signature

                                !
                                How I Went from Zero to Kindle in a Few Days!!! My Blueprint for Quick Ebook Content Creation.

                                Voiceover and Transcription Services. PM Me for special Warrior prices. Sample Audio

                                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257459].message }}
                              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                                Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                                First, I never said...
                                I am not talking about what you said. I am talking about what I said.

                                And you know what? I don't care. Most ignorance is willful.
                                Signature
                                "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
                                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257520].message }}
                                • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                                  Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post


                                  And you know what? I don't care. Most ignorance is willful.
                                  Agreed. You must have the will of ten men.
                                  Signature

                                  If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

                                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257617].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              But if you can pick up a scene and drop it somewhere else in your book, that means this scene is not materially connected to the scenes around it.

              Which means nothing relevant has happened in it anyway.

              If anything had, then it would affect the next scene... which you would have to rewrite, to account for the change.

              And then you'd probably have to rewrite the scene after that.

              And the one after that. And the one after that.

              There is a cascade effect.

              A story in which any relevant scene happens earlier or later is fundamentally not the same story.

              So if the scene you are moving does not cause this cascade effect, then it is irrelevant and not really part of your story. Cut it.

              And if it does, the process requires extensive rewriting anyway - so your ability to easily move the scene is worthless. Congratulations! You have saved thirty seconds in a process that will probably take days or weeks to complete.

              Unless, of course, your novel sucks. Bad writing is bad no matter what you do to it. You could probably shuffle the chapters of a Charles L. Grant book like a deck of cards, and the result would make about as much sense.
              None of what you say is fact, even though you present it as such.

              There can certainly be relevance in a scene that ends up out of place from where it was originally written, especially during the editing phase. For example, maybe a scene in which a clue was given would work better later in the story. Poof. Scene moved. Yes, you might have to clean up some transistions.

              I think you're being obstinate for the sake of being obstinate. I mentioned moving scenes as one key element in novel writing software. Quickly locating a scene is also key. Having your notes presently available is also helpful. And there are other features that can be helpful, as well, depending on how you write.

              I am, however, happy for you that your writing never requires major revamps, restructuring or scene adjustment. You must be very prolific.
              Signature

              If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255826].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
                Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                I mentioned moving scenes as one key element in novel writing software. Quickly locating a scene is also key. Having your notes presently available is also helpful. And there are other features that can be helpful, as well, depending on how you write.
                Exactly. And Scrivener does it all easily and efficiently, for us lesser mortals ;-)
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255832].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          If your chapter or scene could happen somewhere else, chances are you should just cut it anyway.

          Think about it. Anything that doesn't belong in a specific part of your story is not really part of the story, so why the hell did you write it? Why should anyone read it? Shut up and get back to the story.
          I have to respectfully disagree here. I tend to think linearly, but that's not necessarily the best way to write fiction. ;-)

          Often the information IS needed and because I have tweaked things for better impact, that info needs to be moved to a more appropriate place.

          Moving it around because you just can't stand to lose it is how good writers publish bad writing. It's not worth it. Cut it.
          LOL that is never part of my personal equation... after two design degrees in theatre -- which personifies COMMERCIAL, I have no illusions about *ART*. I used to dream about 4x8 sheets of plywood.

          I DO move things around for better impact or more effective presentation.


          But if you can pick up a scene and drop it somewhere else in your book, that means this scene is not materially connected to the scenes around it.
          Not necessarily. This is more likely to be the case if you are a linear writer... think non-fiction. In my case, there are time when I have to fight the elements which make me good a non-fiction, in order to improve my fiction., this is an excellent example. ;-)

          I am struggling with this very in issue in one of my current books. It is a Romantic Suspense. and I am fighting it's urge to be just Suspense. In Suspense it would make sense for the story to unfold in the totally linear manner you espouse.

          But... in Romantic Suspense, the bones of the story are exactly the same, but the Romance is the primary thrust, so the book needs to start a year later, when Hero meet Heroine. I still need to drip feed what happened in the past, but in a non-linear manner.



          Which means nothing relevant has happened in it anyway.
          Actually, not necessarily true...



          If anything had, then it would affect the next scene... which you would have to rewrite, to account for the change.

          And then you'd probably have to rewrite the scene after that.

          And the one after that. And the one after that.

          There is a cascade effect.
          Yes, but what I am finding is that often it takes far less work that I expect. What first looks like it will need another chapter, often needs just a few teaks in a couple of sentences, and an additional paragraph or two.

          It is part of that I am finding fascinating about the process of fiction.


          So if the scene you are moving does not cause this cascade effect, then it is irrelevant and not really part of your story. Cut it.

          And if it does, the process requires extensive rewriting anyway - so your ability to easily move the scene is worthless. Congratulations! You have saved thirty seconds in a process that will probably take days or weeks to complete.

          Unless, of course, your novel sucks. Bad writing is bad no matter what you do to it. You could probably shuffle the chapters of a Charles L. Grant book like a deck of cards, and the result would make about as much sense.
          LOLOL Bless your heart!

          Anyway, back to the OP... Scrivener is ORGANIZATIONAL software and A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!!

          I need to get back to my fiction writing. Butt In Chair is my priority these days.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255451].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

            I have to respectfully disagree here. I tend to think linearly, but that's not necessarily the best way to write fiction. ;-)
            Even when the information is presented nonlinearly, it's acquired linearly. (Well, unless you're writing "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, but even then each path is linear.)

            Imagine that you have five chapters, and each of them presents a single relevant piece of information.

            You decide to move chapter three to follow chapter four. We'll say this is not dramatically problematic, because chapter three is written from a different POV than chapters two and four; indeed, it is in the same POV as chapter five, so the flow is better because in both cases you get two consecutive chapters from the same point of view and it's less confusing.

            So while you started with A-B-C-D-E, you now have A-B-D-C-E.

            Except now the reader does not know what's in C when he reads D, and does know what's in D when he reads C.

            This is not the same story.

            All of your literary devices have to change. You can't effectively foreshadow D in C anymore because we already know what's in D. And maybe there should be some foreshadowing of C in D now. Your pacing is different.

            Even if you scrutinise the whole thing and conclude that you don't have anything that needs to be changed, the due diligence still needed to be done.

            It's not the changing that takes time. It's the checking. It's a matter of ten or fifteen seconds to say "oh, we don't know that yet" and change a sentence. But finding that sentence can take hours or days.

            I still need to drip feed what happened in the past, but in a non-linear manner.
            Again: it's linear to the reader. You have to drip-feed in the right order for the story to work. Memento was nonlinear, but the story wouldn't work in any other order. And yes, it's a fascinating exercise when your viewers know things your characters don't (but will) and vice-versa.

            The fact remains that when a scene can be moved, that scene generally isn't necessary. A lot of people try to create "erotic horror" by grabbing a horror story and throwing some explicit sex into it, but it's not really erotic horror unless neither element works without the other. They have to be blended, not just interlaced.

            Just like your romantic suspense. The romance has to ebb and flow, because that is the nature of romance as a genre. But the suspense is a crescendo, because again that is its nature. Each successive piece of the suspense that the reader encounters must be more suspenseful than the last. Once a piece is placed between two others, it can't be moved without significant rewriting to maintain the necessary flow.

            The chronological order of the events is irrelevant. The order in which the reader encounters them is what matters.
            Signature
            "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256170].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              Even when the information is presented nonlinearly, it's acquired linearly. (Well, unless you're writing "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, but even then each path is linear.)

              Imagine that you have five chapters, and each of them presents a single relevant piece of information.

              You decide to move chapter three to follow chapter four. We'll say this is not dramatically problematic, because chapter three is written from a different POV than chapters two and four; indeed, it is in the same POV as chapter five, so the flow is better because in both cases you get two consecutive chapters from the same point of view and it's less confusing.

              So while you started with A-B-C-D-E, you now have A-B-D-C-E.

              Except now the reader does not know what's in C when he reads D, and does know what's in D when he reads C.

              This is not the same story.

              All of your literary devices have to change. You can't effectively foreshadow D in C anymore because we already know what's in D. And maybe there should be some foreshadowing of C in D now. Your pacing is different.
              True... and that's why Draft 2 happens


              Even if you scrutinise the whole thing and conclude that you don't have anything that needs to be changed, the due diligence still needed to be done.

              It's not the changing that takes time. It's the checking. It's a matter of ten or fifteen seconds to say "oh, we don't know that yet" and change a sentence. But finding that sentence can take hours or days.
              <shrugs> Your mileage may vary... As I make changes in Draft 1, I make notes in the appropriate scenes that need to be changed. Often something as simple as today where I wrote ADD IN LOUISA, highlighted in Yellow... that makes it easy to find and Scrivener makes it an easy add. I'll make those changes in Draft 2


              Again: it's linear to the reader. You have to drip-feed in the right order for the story to work. Memento was nonlinear, but the story wouldn't work in any other order. And yes, it's a fascinating exercise when your viewers know things your characters don't (but will) and vice-versa.

              The fact remains that when a scene can be moved, that scene generally isn't necessary. A lot of people try to create "erotic horror" by grabbing a horror story and throwing some explicit sex into it, but it's not really erotic horror unless neither element works without the other. They have to be blended, not just interlaced.

              Just like your romantic suspense. The romance has to ebb and flow, because that is the nature of romance as a genre. But the suspense is a crescendo, because again that is its nature. Each successive piece of the suspense that the reader encounters must be more suspenseful than the last. Once a piece is placed between two others, it can't be moved without significant rewriting to maintain the necessary flow.

              The chronological order of the events is irrelevant. The order in which the reader encounters them is what matters.
              Well, I have to respectfully disagree with your assumption that a scene may not be necessary. Sometime that's true and sometimes it isn't...

              In any event, I find trying to make the world -- and fiction writing -- fit into a series of absolute edicts is rarely effective. But, that's me ;-)

              Each of us needs to find what works for us and matches our own creative methods...
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256205].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8254874].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255014].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ccanyon
    Scrivener is known to support shuffling pages around. With OSx using Voiceover I find it trivial to create convoluted and simple documents for any activity. Scrivener is what I would use for outlining and brainstorming.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255108].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      "The Marshall Plan Software" is certainly the one I've seen most highly recommended by people I trust and respect, who are good writers, but I haven't seen the software, myself. It's said to be based on his book "Novel Writing", which I have read, and if so it will doubtless be highly formulaic (if that's the kind of approach you want): The Marshall Plan Novel Writing Software

      "Plotcraft" is an idea-tracking database with a built-in text editor (I'm not quite sure whether you'd call it "novel-writing software", though): Bits and Bytes - PlotCraft

      The one I've tried to use was called "NewNovelist" and I don't like it, myself, but here's Roland White's review of it from the Sunday Times (and you can find plenty of other reviews online, provided both by incentivized parties and independently): Sunday Times Review of Newnovelist

      (I've seen "Scrivener" as well - I don't really regard it as "novel-writing software" in any meaning of the words at all, though strangely enough I think that is how it's promoted/sold.)

      The "Absolute Write" forum might be a very good place to read a wide range of opinions on this subject, and/or to chat to experienced users of such software.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255210].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        "The Marshall Plan Software" is certainly the one I've seen most highly recommended by people I trust and respect, who are good writers, but I haven't seen the software, myself. It's said to be based on his book "Novel Writing", which I have read, and if so it will doubtless be highly formulaic (if that's the kind of approach you want): The Marshall Plan Novel Writing Software

        "Plotcraft" is an idea-tracking database with a built-in text editor (I'm not quite sure whether you'd call it "novel-writing software", though): Bits and Bytes - PlotCraft

        The one I've tried to use was called "NewNovelist" and I don't like it, myself, but here's Roland White's review of it from the Sunday Times (and you can find plenty of other reviews online, provided both by incentivized parties and independently): Sunday Times Review of Newnovelist

        (I've seen "Scrivener" as well - I don't really regard it as "novel-writing software" in any meaning of the words at all, though strangely enough I think that is how it's promoted/sold.)

        The "Absolute Write" forum might be a very good place to read a wide range of opinions on this subject, and/or to chat to experienced users of such software.
        Alexa is right... Scrivener is NOT Creation software, it is Organizational software.

        The term Novel Writing Software get used to describe two widely differing kinds of software.

        CREATIVE software would be those like Alexa listed, along with Dramatica Pro and a few others. CREATIVE software will take your input and lay out s novel for you... which is far less easy than it sounds LOLOL

        Some CREATIVE software programs have a minor organizational component, which contributes to the confusion.

        ORGANIZATION software doesn't C-R-E-A-T-E at all. You have to input everything. What it does is to allow you to organize so you can write efficiently...

        Scrivener is ORGANIZATION software... and its AMAZING

        For instance, we all know that in Fiction Writing, one of the keys can be writing a Series of books targeting the same readers.

        I created a Series Template in Scrivener which keep all of the information and research in ONE Scrivener project, along with the 9 novels that currently make up the series... Some of the books are almost complete, some of the books are just outlines and some of the books are just notes about which characters are the main character.

        I have a Misc Character file with notes about the people of the small town. I can open that up beside my current chapter and Walla! I have the name of the third guy who hangs around the gas station... or the bar owner or... well, you get the idea.

        Within my Series Template I also have 4 novella and novel templates, laid out according to length and using the common structure that most of the CREATIVE novel writing software utilizes... the position of the three plot points is predictable, for example.

        With this last book, I have gotten comfortable that I could outline the whole book using my color coded 30 scene/chapter outline in Scrivener's index card mode...

        I've given away my Series and novel templates to members of the Good Fiction Fast and Kindling Facebook groups. If you are a member in either one, PM me which group and I'll shoot you a copy.

        As an example of the organizational aspects of Scrivener, I have my draft versions color coded. I finish the second draft and send it to readers. I get back their comments, copy the second draft, change the color code to third draft and make the changes they suggest. I can easily find whatever draft of any of the books...

        Scrivener can also be used to compile in the different ebook formats, but I haven't used it for that yet.

        Scrivener is AMAZING and cheap esp if you use the 20% off coupon - WORDSWITHJAM

        I did use Marshall Software to help create the outline for my first novel, and then pasted the details into Scrivener.

        Now that I am working in series, I find the CREATIVE software far less helpful, so everything after that first book I've created on my own...

        Scrivener is an AMAZING organization tool and time saver... and can also be used for non-fiction.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255400].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Terry Ivers
          Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

          Alexa is right... Scrivener is NOT Creation software, it is Organizational software.

          The term Novel Writing Software get used to describe two widely differing kinds of software.

          CREATIVE software would be those like Alexa listed, along with Dramatica Pro and a few others. CREATIVE software will take your input and lay out s novel for you... which is far less easy than it sounds LOLOL

          Some CREATIVE software programs have a minor organizational component, which contributes to the confusion.

          ORGANIZATION software doesn't C-R-E-A-T-E at all. You have to input everything. What it does is to allow you to organize so you can write efficiently...

          Scrivener is ORGANIZATION software... and its AMAZING

          For instance, we all know that in Fiction Writing, one of the keys can be writing a Series of books targeting the same readers.

          I created a Series Template in Scrivener which keep all of the information and research in ONE Scrivener project, along with the 9 novels that currently make up the series... Some of the books are almost complete, some of the books are just outlines and some of the books are just notes about which characters are the main character.

          I have a Misc Character file with notes about the people of the small town. I can open that up beside my current chapter and Walla! I have the name of the third guy who hangs around the gas station... or the bar owner or... well, you get the idea.

          Within my Series Template I also have 4 novella and novel templates, laid out according to length and using the common structure that most of the CREATIVE novel writing software utilizes... the position of the three plot points is predictable, for example.

          With this last book, I have gotten comfortable that I could outline the whole book using my color coded 30 scene/chapter outline in Scrivener's index card mode...

          I've given away my Series and novel templates to members of the Good Fiction Fast and Kindling Facebook groups. If you are a member in either one, PM me which group and I'll shoot you a copy.

          As an example of the organizational aspects of Scrivener, I have my draft versions color coded. I finish the second draft and send it to readers. I get back their comments, copy the second draft, change the color code to third draft and make the changes they suggest. I can easily find whatever draft of any of the books...

          Scrivener can also be used to compile in the different ebook formats, but I haven't used it for that yet.

          Scrivener is AMAZING and cheap esp if you use the 20% off coupon - WORDSWITHJAM

          I did use Marshall Software to help create the outline for my first novel, and then pasted the details into Scrivener.

          Now that I am working in series, I find the CREATIVE software far less helpful, so everything after that first book I've created on my own...

          Scrivener is an AMAZING organization tool and time saver... and can also be used for non-fiction.
          Thanks for the info, Tink! I had wondered about the Marshall Plan.
          Signature

          !
          How I Went from Zero to Kindle in a Few Days!!! My Blueprint for Quick Ebook Content Creation.

          Voiceover and Transcription Services. PM Me for special Warrior prices. Sample Audio

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255630].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
            Originally Posted by Terry Ivers View Post

            Thanks for the info, Tink! I had wondered about the Marshall Plan.
            Terry - My advice is to buy the $10 ebook he offers as a bonus with the purchase of the software. I discovered that it had all of the important info in it... I use a number of his ideas.

            His Plot Points are in the standard places so that's going to be consistent across most fiction writing systems. He also adds the concept of a confidant for the MC - Main Character, which I use. In my Romances, I often make it a pet.

            Looking at Larry Brooks' Story Engineering, I took the idea of Pinch Points. Be aware, he is a lousy technical writer so his stuff is hard to understand, bless his heart, which is a shame because the concept of Pinch Point is very powerful.

            From Save the Cat screen writing techniques, I added the idea of saving the cat, but more importantly I use the Opening Mirror scene and the Closing Mirror scene. In my current series, they are from the Hero's point of view.

            I also ruthlessly slide the position of the Plot Points, and eliminate the Pinch Points if they aren't helping the story along...

            Best of luck!
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255653].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author GeoDoc
              Another vote for Scrivener, But I will check out everything else mentioned. Thanks to all.
              Signature

              The pen is mightier than the sword, but only at a significant distance

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255682].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author batchos
              Hi TinkBD

              Is this still your advice? (Re July 2013).

              Thanks

              Darrel

              Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

              Terry - My advice is to buy the $10 ebook he offers as a bonus with the purchase of the software. I discovered that it had all of the important info in it... I use a number of his ideas.



              Best of luck!
              Signature
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10411065].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author DeePower
                Some bestselling authors develop a general outline and work from there. Others plan it down to the most minuscule detail including comprehensive backstories for each character. And some bestselling authors wing it with a 'What if" idea and go from there, no plan, no outline.

                One author who consistently makes the top 10 New York Times list said s/he has no idea what's going to happen in his/her books until the characters tell him/her.

                I know this because in one of our previous books we interviewed a number of bestselling authors and asked how they write among many other questions.

                Dee
                Who isn't a New York Times Bestselling Author ... Yet
                Signature
                FREE Pump Up Your Profits With PLR
                Are You a Writer? Then you need this FREE guide Convert Your Words to Ca$H Make Money Writing Online
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10411163].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
                Originally Posted by batchos View Post

                Hi TinkBD

                Is this still your advice? (Re July 2013).

                Thanks

                Darrel
                Yes, it is still my advice. There is good info in the book...

                The *Elephant in the Room* issue with software and books about structure is one I address in one of my webinars and indirectly in my Guide to Writing Popular Fiction....

                There is no *One Size Fits All* ;-)

                The person who is teaching about any given structure know it works because he/she uses it... in their chosen genre. The problem comes when he/she assumes that because it works in the way that he/she is using it, it will therefore work for anything.

                But if you look carefully, structure can and does differ from genre to genre, and some of the really successful authors have actually created their own unique structures -- Jeffrey Deaver did this for his Lincoln Rhymes series...

                I am currently writing a novella series for which I developed my own structure... and it is very different from a short novel structure I use in a diff genre ;-)
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10412036].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255843].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Mama
      Also the crime writer David Hewson has a free template that you can adjust for Scrivener. David Hewson
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255859].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
      The Scrivener trial is a very generous one... It is for 30 days of use, IIRC. So, if you use it one day and then don't use it again until a week later, that would count only as two days on the trial...

      It has many features, but my recommendation is to just start with the features as you need them...

      Here is a 20% off coupon that has been working for a while

      WORDSWITHJAM

      Here's a better coupon which gives 25% off -- YADDO

      but I don't know if it still works.

      Even at its modest full price, Scrivener is well worth the investment.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255868].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

      Generally speaking, organization structure is what separates novel writing software from a word processor. Just off the top of my head, being able to structure your work by chapters and scenes and being able to quickly find and move whole scenes and chapters is key. Yes, you can do the same with a word processor, but it can be clunky and time consuming when you're dealing with 30,000 words.
      I just started experimenting with yWriter, and it looks like it will do what you want.

      I never looked at Scrivener before because it was Mac-only. Now that it's ported to Windows, I'll have to take another look. From the quick glance I gave it from Tink's recommendation, it looks awesome.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255889].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post


        I never looked at Scrivener before because it was Mac-only. Now that it's ported to Windows, I'll have to take another look. From the quick glance I gave it from Tink's recommendation, it looks awesome.
        The Windows version is still lagging slightly behind Mac, but what it is missing are refinements that will be nice but aren't necessary... I use the Split Screen most of the time. I just figured it out a couple of months ago and it dramatically increased my efficiency.

        Here is what I am working on today. I don't know how to insert a pic so I'll give a link...

        http://tinkboorddill.com/WritingImag...82013-550w.jpg
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255928].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I just started experimenting with yWriter, and it looks like it will do what you want.

        I never looked at Scrivener before because it was Mac-only. Now that it's ported to Windows, I'll have to take another look. From the quick glance I gave it from Tink's recommendation, it looks awesome.
        I use Scrivener. I was offering the OP some suggestions before we got threadjacked by comments that I must be a horrible writer because I occassionally do what nearly all other writers do at times.
        Signature

        If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255946].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author janicej
        Banned
        Personally, i've had some experience with a couple of writing tools in the past and they just ended up complicating things instead of simplifying them.

        Now, i haven't written any novels before, and i realize they can get really complicated, but i have written texts of more than 10,000 - 20,000 words, and for me it was much easier to just get 1-2 simple mobile apps for keeping track of notes and todo lists for the structuring of the content.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8255966].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
          Originally Posted by janicej View Post

          Personally, i've had some experience with a couple of writing tools in the past and they just ended up complicating things instead of simplifying them.

          Now, i haven't written any novels before, and i realize they can get really complicated, but i have written texts of more than 10,000 - 20,000 words, and for me it was much easier to just get 1-2 simple mobile apps for keeping track of notes and todo lists for the structuring of the content.
          Hi Janice - Absolutely, do what works best for you.

          In my case... a 77,000 word novel with over 70 chapters and being the fifth book in a series with continuing characters and locations called for the use of Scrivener, if I was going to finish it and stay (relatively) sane.

          But really, with any strategy or tool, the key is to utilize what works for you...

          I just use Word for my non-fiction reports, but they're much simpler on many levels, and usually under 20k
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256033].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
    Hi Portlandrocks. -- I agree with what you say about Marshall and CREATIVE novel writing software in general.

    Another problem with software like that is that it doesn't take into account the strategies needed to write books in a series...

    I use a combination of initial notes/ideas, sometimes on pen and paper and sometimes directly in Scrivener, I use Scrivener index cards for my outlines, then Scrivener for everything else.

    Again, do what works for you and allows you to produce and publish.

    My focus is on writing efficiently, quickly, and effectively, and I find that Scrivener works well for that... for me ;-)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256110].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    Definitely check out Scrivener if you are on a Mac. Not sure if they have a Windows program or not.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8256555].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Just use 'The Best Spinner.' Take an out of print edition, spin, rinse and repeat yadda yadda yadda
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257409].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      Just use 'The Best Spinner.' Take an out of print edition, spin, rinse and repeat yadda yadda yadda
      Sarcasm, right?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257450].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Sarcasm, right?
        But known as "ass cram", after spinning at "letter level", of course ...
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8257455].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Attie25
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      Just use 'The Best Spinner.' Take an out of print edition, spin, rinse and repeat yadda yadda yadda
      I also often use this software . It's very good. How often do you use the software to create articles?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10413538].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Anyone reading this thread who is interested in Scrivener might want to check the site today - Black Friday weekend deal is $25 which is a good discount for this software.
        Signature
        Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

        Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10413693].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          Anyone reading this thread who is interested in Scrivener might want to check the site today - Black Friday weekend deal is $25 which is a good discount for this software.
          And if you miss this sale, the coupon WORDSWITHJAM has worked for quite a while. ;-)
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10413776].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            Before I moved north I had a wall of whiteboards in my home office. I could organize anything and sometimes that wall was a "right mess" during a project.

            Scrivener (and Scapple) let me use my computer for the whiteboard....I plan to use both extensively in the next year as I edge back into working a bit after a full year of laziness. If being lazy paid, I'd be rich because turns out I'm very good at it....
            Signature
            Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

            Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10414915].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Thaiphoon
    Tink - I'll have to ping you on Facebook to get the novel/series template for scrivener. I'm a member of the Kindling page.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8346946].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author d3communications
    Marshall Plan (see link up top from previous poster)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8347310].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
    Scrivener is, hands down, the best writing software out there, be it a novel or a website and blog posts. Once you use it, you'll wonder how you ever stayed organized and got things done with other programs (Word, Pages, etc.), and why it took so long for someone to come up with a program like this.

    If you are a writer, or write extensively (or even just a nominal amount) Scrivener is for you ...
    Signature
    One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothing can beat teamwork.

    - Seldom Seen Smith
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10413740].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
      Originally Posted by Christopher Fox View Post

      Scrivener is, hands down, the best writing software out there, be it a novel or a website and blog posts. Once you use it, you'll wonder how you ever stayed organized and got things done with other programs (Word, Pages, etc.), and why it took so long for someone to come up with a program like this.

      If you are a writer, or write extensively (or even just a nominal amount) Scrivener is for you ...
      Absolutely... Scrivener is excellent productivity software. It is quite different from Marshall, for example, which is what I call Creativity software with a minor productivity component ;-)

      I use Scrivener -- each series gets its own project and all of the books are in that project. along with my research and notes.

      For each genre, I create an appropriate structure template so I can copy and paste for a quick start ;-)
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10413775].message }}

Trending Topics