The first of my posts on tools is about choosing software to help with writing. Currently I have been working in Microsoft Word which is a solid, general-purpose tools but doesn’t support any of the creative process. I have been researched, narrowed down to a choice of two tools and also worked out a way to pick one of them.
If you want to know more, please keep reading…
I read around a few review sites, came up with a list of three or four and then looked for reviews of these and found blogs of other writers who had used some of these products. The number of tools is low (from a quick survey) and the choice of technology and budget is important. I run on a PC and don’t want to spend a lot of money at this point in time.
Key features (for me) are:
- good documentation
- free demo available
- regular releases
- flexible in how you use them
- tools for spotting common mistakes (eg adverb overuse!)
- usable for fiction, articles and possibly blogging
- compatibility with MS Office.
No tool meets all of these – the tools for common mistakes seem rare. My reading also suggests that it is common to export from the tool to (eg) RTF then take to Word to finalise for printing / submission.
I intend to create a short story outline in each tool using it for no more than a couple of hours and making sure I:
- Create at least three characters
- Have at least six scenes
- Have at least two locations
- Add a fourth character after I add sample content to each scene
- Reorder two scenes
I’m sure more will occur to me but this is enough to allow me to get a feel for each. I will let you know how it turns out!