Website Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • August 30, 2015, 11:50:12 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Software recommendations for writers  (Read 19246 times)

Dochappy

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Software recommendations for writers
« on: May 06, 2011, 01:19:22 PM »
I'm trying to focus more on my writing as of late and I find I get distracted  when I'm on  a pc that is capable of getting online. So I'm switching to a laptop for a while that has no way of accessing the internet. Any software(Preferably open source but I'm not opposed to paying for good software.) all the software must be able to run without an active internet connection though.

some software that could come in handy would be  an offline dictionary, and a rhyming dictionary if possible(I haven't had much luck finding an offline version.)

I currently have Storybook for planning stories and such. Mobysaurus Thesaurus(it works but on my main machine its  sluggish so I'm not sure if the laptop will be able to handle it)

and I have Abiword and Notepad++

Any more must have applications that I need to add ? any and all recommendations are welcome and appreciated.

Beth UK

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 01:45:49 PM »
I wonder if WriteMonkey might be of use to you - ability to use whole screen, keyboard shortcuts, very flexible... and free!

doctorfrog

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 02:27:21 PM »
Everything's a distraction. Q10 is awesome as heck for just getting stuff out.

http://www.baara.com/q10/

Although I did get distracted trying to come up with the perfect "80's amber terminal" theme for it.

edit: this appears very similar to WriteMonkey, which seems to have a few more features, like bold, italics, export features and such. Might have to check that one out.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 02:29:48 PM by doctorfrog »

Ath

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,532
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 07:18:47 AM »
I'm not a writer (yet) but had a short look at both writing tools mentioned, q10 and WriteMonkey.
Seems like q10 is kinda dead, in the development part.
WriteMonkey seems to be alive and kicking, and has somewhat better/more/cleaner features, so I'll have a longer look at it during this summer. Hope to report here later.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • gravatar avatar
  • Posts: 11,527
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 12:23:41 PM »
Yay! Another writer!

Regarding software suggestions:

There are tons of tools. Many specific to the type of writing you do and how you like to work.

So what kind of writing are you doing? Short or long form? Fiction, non-fiction, technical? Does it involve complex characters? Imaginary worlds or histories? Invented languages? Charts and tables? Illustrations? A lot of research and note taking?

Do you prefer to write in a fixed and private writing "space" or are you more a coffeshop scribbler?

Are you the organized type who outlines and prefers to works to a schedule or plan? Or are you the "stream of consciousness" writers who prefers to wing it and go where the writing takes you?

Give us some ideas of what you write, and how you like to work, and we can probably offer better suggestions.  
 :)

PhilB66

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,513
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2011, 12:51:36 PM »
I mostly use two programs:- Liquid Story Binder (shareware) and TreeDBNotes (free version probably sufficient). Both have multiple ways of organising/reorganising what you have written, both have the ability to store/give easy access to other info you will want to use while writing, both are in active development with good support, both have an option for a simple writing screen should that be what you want, both have a variety of import/export options. Liquid Story Binder is set up for writers, TreeDBNOtes sells itself as an outliner/PIM - but I mostly use it for writing.

There is also the Windows beta version of Scrivener, a very well regarded/popular writing program for the Mac. I have tried it, but saw no reason to move from the programs I already use.

paulobrabo

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • The Brazilian Bomber
    • View Profile
    • Brabo Illustration
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2011, 01:18:08 PM »
I have two published books, I wish that made me a writer. I'm currently using the beta version of Scrivener and absolutely love it. You should at least give it a try.

Another interesting program I use is Notebox Disorganizer (free), "a spreadsheet for text".

For smaller texts and a distraction-free setup, Writemonkey is the way to go. I used Q10 before, but [1] WM is being actively developed and [2] has typewriter scrolling. Can't beat that in my book.

Keep writing!
English will never be my first language, it doesn't meter how hard I try.

cthorpe

  • Discount Coordinator
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 723
  • c++thorpe
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2011, 03:21:58 PM »
Liquid Story Binder has a permanent discount available at BitsDuJour for 44% off making it $25.95 USD.  Here is the link for you: http://www.bitsdujou...liquid-story-binder/

The company's way of doing business is also commendable.  First off, they give you a 30 day shareware trial that only counts days that you actually use the program on.  Next, they offer a 30 day, unconditional money back guarantee after you purchase.  Finally, they do not charge for any upgrades or updates, and clearly state that the license you buy is a lifetime license.

I have experience using the money back guarantee, and they issued my refund in less than 12 hours after I emailed them on a weekend.  Now, I did not take advantage of the refund because it was a bad program by any means.  I just found it to be overkill for my limited needs, and I realized that another program I already owned could do the small amount of organization I wanted.  If I were embarking on a large writing project that would allow me to take advantage of the extra features of LSB, I would not hesitate to buy a license again in the future.


C

--
Disclaimer
I am not affiliated with the program(s) mentioned in my post, unless explicitly stated.  I will not receive any compensation for any sales generated by my post unless explicitly stated.  The opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect the opinions of this site or its staff unless explicitly stated.


Ath

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,532
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2011, 03:47:20 PM »
@cthorpe : That site is, though a bit full, very clear in it's intentions, a relief to read it, thanks for the pointer! Oh, and a useful writers tool indeed :)

Read another software tip in a magazine today: ImmersEd from www.tajuta.com, that seems to extend the uncluttered writing environment with a few nifty gadgets, that can be helpful when writing, gotta start testing though.

Like 40hz said, there are tons of tools...

Dochappy

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2011, 12:40:27 AM »
good suggestions so far . not sure which I'll choose between WriteMonkey or q10 or ImmersEd all three look good . will have to download them and test them out.

I like to write fiction: short stories, flash fiction, and poetry ( sometimes I write reviews)

I'm sort of bipolar when it comes to writing. I like to be organized but I tend to write  more when I  do "stream of consciousness"  when I try to organize I tend to get  too involved and spend more time organizing instead of writing. Also when I organize  it seems like when i do start writing, writers block soon sets in after a few paragraphs.

One piece of software I would love to find is  a meter and syllable counter for help me with keeping my poetry in check.

keep the suggestions coming. thanks guys!

Ath

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,532
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2011, 05:46:29 AM »
One piece of software I would love to find is  a meter and syllable counter for help me with keeping my poetry in check.
I haven't seen that feature with the suggested apps so far, but I could have overlooked, so it could probably be a nice improvement suggestion to both WriteMonkey and ImmersEd.

FWIW, I'd leave Q10 alone, WriteMonkey has the same and better features, and is actively developed.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • gravatar avatar
  • Posts: 11,527
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2011, 08:07:04 AM »
+1w/Ath

Based on the way you work, I think WriteMonkey would be all you'd want or need.

I use it - and it's my app of choice for a first draft or just getting things down on 'paper.' When I need to write, I fetch The Monkey.

Compared to Q10, Darkroom, and the full screen editor in liquid Story Binder (also a favorite app which I use regularly), I think WM strikes the ideal balance between simplicity and features. The small number of built in extras were extemely well-chosen. They bring very useful additional capabilities to the mix without getting in the way of WM's core function as a blank screen editor. A pretty impressive feat. Especially when it works as well as it does in WM.  

I'd add a basic notetaking app to your toolkit for collecting text snippets such as CintaNotes (another favorite of mine) or one of those "tree" note/outliners and you'll be set to roll. I use Softvoile's Flashnote for that. Flashnote looks like similar apps, but it also has a user configurable hotkey pop-up feature which works well when used in conjunction with WriteMonkey.

Luck with your writing.  :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 08:10:47 AM by 40hz »

Dochappy

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 01:12:56 PM »
Write Monkey is growing on me it really helps to keep me focused. and CintaNotes is amazing been looking for a note taking app like this for a while. Wish it had the ability to add styles to text like bold and italic. other than that it's great.  Thanks again

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • gravatar avatar
  • Posts: 11,527
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 01:50:13 PM »
Write Monkey is growing on me it really helps to keep me focused.

Nothing works better for a writer than some decent software, a little focus, a chair, and a great big honkin' can of Butt-Glue.  :)

CintaNotes is amazing been looking for a note taking app like this for a while. Wish it had the ability to add styles to text like bold and italic. other than that it's great.

Take a look at Evernote. CintaNotes was based on it. Think of Evernote as CintaNotes on steroids. May not be free depending on which features you want/need.

I personally think it's overkill for what I want. But Evernote is a very popular and well-respected app. Give it a try and see if you like it better.

Evernote's ability to sync over the web is a nice feature although you could always backup Cinta's notes files to a free Dropbox account and get some of that for free, albeit less elegantly and with more hassle.

Luck! :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 01:55:11 PM by 40hz »

Dochappy

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2011, 02:44:16 PM »
i thought evernote was just a web service ? I'll have to look into it. Backup isn't a problem for me I have a 465gb portable  hard drive for storing backups. Don't really trust cloud services but  I'll keep Dropbox in mind. thanks

rjbull

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • gravatar avatar
  • Posts: 2,853
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2011, 05:03:14 PM »
If I remember correctly, Evernote 2.2 was the last version that was a "proper app" which stored its data locally.  I believe the 3 series is a cloud app.

I'm not interested in cloud apps - why should I accumulate, or generate, content that's useful to me, hand it over gratis to some company, then hire it back again at whatever fee and whatever business model they feel like, both of which they can change at any time?

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2011, 05:20:52 PM »
If I remember correctly, Evernote 2.2 was the last version that was a "proper app" which stored its data locally.  I believe the 3 series is a cloud app.

No. You can synchronise any of your databases to the cloud if you want - but you can just keep them locally on your hard drive if you prefer. Personally, I have found the ability to access databases from anywhere on my phone very useful.

PS It's now on v4.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • gravatar avatar
  • Posts: 11,527
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2011, 06:38:05 PM »
If I remember correctly, Evernote 2.2 was the last version that was a "proper app" which stored its data locally.  I believe the 3 series is a cloud app.

I'm not interested in cloud apps - why should I accumulate, or generate, content that's useful to me, hand it over gratis to some company, then hire it back again at whatever fee and whatever business model they feel like, both of which they can change at any time?

I understand what you're saying. But you're not handing anything over to them gratis since they're not using your content. They're only storing it.

As far as changing their business plan, that's the risk you take using free services. I'm not enamored of cloud technologies in general. But what cloud services I do use, I make it a point to pay for - for exactly that reason.

Your mileage may vary.  ;D
 

« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 06:39:36 PM by 40hz »

rjbull

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • gravatar avatar
  • Posts: 2,853
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2011, 04:01:01 PM »
I understand what you're saying. But you're not handing anything over to them gratis since they're not using your content. They're only storing it.

I should have put it better: handing over control of my data.  I would feel very vulnerable if it was only stored on their servers.

Quote
As far as changing their business plan, that's the risk you take using free services.

I doubt it would remain free very long, but, I thought the storage was part of what you paid for when you paid for Evernote > 2.2.  I don't want to go on paying for evermore...

@Dormouse: thanks, I thought > 2.2 was cloud only.  They emphasized the cloud aspect much more when they changed.  I don't have a smarphone, don't want one, and can't afford the likely price of UK contracts...

kyrathaba

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 3,087
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2011, 04:47:01 PM »
Quote
Read another software tip in a magazine today: ImmersEd from www.tajuta.com, that seems to extend the uncluttered writing environment with a few nifty gadgets, that can be helpful when writing, gotta start testing though.

Nice find, Ath!  Tried ImmersEd and LOVE it!  Will use this for the roughing-out of my book-for-Kindle.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • gravatar avatar
  • Posts: 11,527
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2011, 06:10:17 PM »
Quote
Read another software tip in a magazine today: ImmersEd from www.tajuta.com, that seems to extend the uncluttered writing environment with a few nifty gadgets, that can be helpful when writing, gotta start testing though.

Nice find, Ath!  Tried ImmersEd and LOVE it!  Will use this for the roughing-out of my book-for-Kindle.

Wow Ath! That is an interesting find. The 'folding' feature for notes is unique. WM has a "repository" feature, but it doesn't seem to be implemented the same way. It's more a 'corkboard' either/or toggle type thing in WM.



Quote
Embedded Notes – text can be tagged as a note, with a label for easy reference. Notes are folded in the document and can be popped open for editing or reading. A sidebar widget allows you to view all your notes, sort by label or position and to jump to any of them.

Gonna have to take a look at that when I get a minute. Won't be enough to get me off the Monkey's back, (couldn't live without WM's 'jump' feature) but it might make for an interesting suggestion for a future version. WriteMonkey's author has dropped by DoCo a few times under the name iztoks. (Note: There's a bit more discussion (both pro and con) of WriteMonkey to be found under the same thread starting on page 10 AND a whole thread devoted to text editors for writers here if anybody's interested.)

« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 06:12:53 PM by 40hz »

sazzen

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 83
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2011, 07:28:43 PM »
yWriter. Free and simple to use. Here: http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.html
WordWeb. I used the free version for many years. I purchased the pro version when it was on deal at Bits.  Soooo glad I did.  Here:  http://www.wordwebsoftware.com/
Rhymesaurus. Now it's only $12.95. Here: http://www.purpleroom.com/
Mobysaurus. You can find that right here. For free!
Simple Word Generator. Also right here, for free.

You don't have to be online - ever.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2011, 01:20:06 AM »
As far as changing their business plan, that's the risk you take using free services.

I don't think Evernote 2.2 was free, at least my version wasn't.

Business plans changed when Evernote was taken over by someone with a clear idea of where they wanted to take it. And had the program completely rewritten.

I should have put it better: handing over control of my data.  I would feel very vulnerable if it was only stored on their servers.
Agreed - except that the cloudy versions always have a copy on the HDD too. I don't think there's a way of making it cloud only (I suspect using sync minimises their transfer costs).

I doubt it would remain free very long, but, I thought the storage was part of what you paid for when you paid for Evernote > 2.2.  I don't want to go on paying for evermore...

All versions of Evernote are free (well, since they were taken over they have been). The free version allows datebases ("notebooks") to be synced to the cloud or just kept locally. What you get if you pay is a much bigger upload limit (1GB a month rather than 60MB) and the ability to sync any file type instead of just PDF, images & audio. I'm willing to pay if I need it, but have never wanted to sync other file types or upload more than I do.

Apart from the sync with the cloud, the big issue a lot of 2.2 users had was the inability to organise/reorganise by switching around in a note hierarchy. I've come around on that eventually since I do use the cloud availability. They do have tags - better now than they were - but it is still not the old functionality. But then, if I need that I just use Ultra Recall instead  :)  I always did only use Evernote for snippets.

cmpm

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • gravatar avatar
  • Posts: 2,025
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Software recommendations for writers
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2011, 08:47:41 AM »
This is not for quick writing in my opinion but more for when you are ready to put some things together.
Lots of links to other help as well.

http://sites.google....t/chapter-by-chapter