Monthly Archive: March 2016

Decision time on writing software

My drafts for Corporate Realist chapters are in MS Word but I need a process and software for organizing books. There are two extreme types of book writers, Pantsers and Planners (you can guess the pathologies from the names). Although I can be Pantsy, I have realized that I need a certain amount of structure to avoid myself meandering and falling off the reservation. Structure also helps with setting targets, which I am bad at doing because of my copies of the proctrasination gene.

So I have been looking into and trying out software packages. I am not worried about having the software on all platforms. I intend to write mostly on my new White Cat laptop. I have SimpleNote for cloud-based idea and sketch capture.

I looked at YWriter. This has the advantage of being free. However, it is totally text-based and has an older feel to the UI. It also lacks the ability to easily  customize certain core items like characters.

I looked at Dramatica. This has a lot of functionality, but appears to be aimed more at people writing for future screenplays and other Hollywood-ish endeavors. It is also highly theoretical, and I realized after reading some overviews that I would need to study up for weeks to understand how best to use it. I do need to learn more about the process of assembling books, but since I am primarily operating in the non-fiction arena, the subtleties of plot and character development for fiction and fantasy are less important in the short term.

So, I am currently leaning towards using Scrivener. It has the advantage of being partly visually based, so I can lay some of the concepts of books out visually. It is not free, but it is reasonably priced at $40 and has a lot of templates available for free from the writing community for both non-fiction and fiction. (Non-fiction is my priority).