Software For Writers

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Software For Writers

Postby Yogi » 23 Aug 2014, 09:49

I found this list in a Tumblr blog and thought it would be worth passing on to our aspiring journalists and authors. I've only heard of a few and used even less. Any comments from personal experience would be appreciated. ... ompilation
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Re: Software For Writers

Postby Kellemora » 23 Aug 2014, 13:58

Hi Yogi

I've used several of these over the years. Currently one or two from almost each category, but have narrowed down those I actually use on a daily basis.

Since I discovered FreeMind mind mapping software and found out just how powerful it is, this is where 90% of my preliminary work is done. Maybe not directly in FreeMind, I may use Gedit for notes and research, and individual character rough drafts, sketches and the like. But then move them to FreeMind.

So, if you think of FreeMind as my Organizer, on a daily basis I use the following tools.

Gedit for all sketches and rough draft work.
Either Open or Libre Office Writer for rewriting and formatting.
Gimp for image handling, glyphs, and book covers.
I now do my own Timelining right in FreeMind.

Forget Scrivener or yWriter. These are more for procrastinators than real writers. I know a lot of people eventually learn how to use them productively, but I also know writers who lose a lot of info from them too.
The learning curve is too large, and wastes too much time. Features that may be beneficial can be done faster and easier in a program like FreeMind, which allows you to name bubbles what you want, such as Bulletin Board, etc. and you can LINK anything to anything and have more than one link.

Besides the many free editing help programs out there, I am a lifetime member of AutoCrit. They were small when I first started using them, but did not have all the problems I encountered with Grammarly.
Grammarly is still a step ahead in features, but causes way to many problems and excess work from their own errors. AutoCrit is still young, but growing, new features being added all the time. I know the owner and she listens to my suggestions and complaints. Their new roll out, due soon, is supposed to address every complaint we ever talked about. But I doubt if what she is hoping for, will come about, at least not yet. Like doing your editing while in AutoCrit. There are way too many hurdles to overcome to make that possible for those of us who work with formatted text. So I don't plan on using that feature, even after it becomes available. It will be great for those who don't format until the end. But no matter what, I have found AutoCrit to be far superior to Grammarly in all the areas I use it for. It also does not pester me with the same things that even Open Office Writer does when run on a Windows machine. Features not available on the Linux version, or perhaps I turned it off and don't remember I did.

Nest on the list is InDesign and Calibri. I find Calibri better than InDesign, but not for uploads to distributors. Let the distributors own meatgrinders make the files they distribute. In most cases, you can tell them NOT to distribute to Amazon, and go use Amazon's own meatgrinder for Kindle format. It works out better.

I'm not familiar with many of the programs on their list. Some of the names I recognize, but since I don't run Windows, I would never have a call to try them out. Most of those that do run on Linux I have taken for a test drive. Like FreeMind, I set it aside as not what I was looking for, only to later find, it is now my most powerful tool. She did not list Kabikaboo, and I thought that was the very best treed notepad I had ever used. Loved it, until they had an upgrade that caused new problems and lost data. So I gave FreeMind a trial again, and set it up like Kabikaboo. That's when I learned I could put anything in it, not just text files. And by anything I mean anything. Website Links, Images, Photos, Documents, links to documents on your hard drive you don't want to actually load into FreeMind itself. So changes made to the document appear if you open it from the FreeMind Links. And I said earlier, you can Link anything together, and more than one way too.

You have a character in a story. You can link to his Bio (character sketch), a picture of his house, all the location sketches he appears in, such as home, work, church, restaurant, etc., and you can link to different dates on a timeline. Of course, you create all of these files yourself in FreeMind. Scrivener gives you a bunch of files you can use already set up with links. If you remember to hit the right buttons in the right order to make them work.

The only reason to write in a plain text editor, with spellcheck turned off, is so you are not distracted and pound out the first rough draft, errors and all. You can always go back and edit later during a read-through.
Copying and Pasting from a text editor to a word processor usually causes more problems than it's worth.

That being said, you CAN copy the file to your word processor, but plan an rewriting anyhow, above the copied text, so things like Smart Quotes come out right. Most often you are usually rewording what you said in the rough draft anyhow. So technically it is not extra work to rewrite. Just use your rough draft as a guide.

Thanks for finding that list. I bookmarked it to check out those programs as I have time.

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