APPS & BOTS
There’s a common joke amongst writers that says “Writers spend half their time wanting to write and the other half not writing.” Honestly part of the reason it’s so hilarious, is because it’s kind of true. Ask any person who calls themselves a writer (no matter if their focus is fanfiction, novels, scripts, etc.) and they will laugh shyly and shrug. Part of it is because writers are an easily distracted bunch, for example while doing research you might start looking into how much a chef makes an hour and end up reading about the Spanish Inquisition until 3 a.m. on Wikipedia.
The bottom line is that writers can sometimes be a bit scatterbrained and write whenever and wherever inspiration strikes. Sometimes that means that for one story there’s a million stickies or text edit documents. But what if you could put all your random details in one document? Here at The News we’ll show you three effective tools for writers or aspiring authors.
1. Microsoft Word
Price: around $80 (but it’s something you normally buy when you buy a computer)
This might seem like a no-brainer, but we’ve got to include it. Pretty much everyone these days has Microsoft Word on their computers, but a lot of people don’t realize all the features it has. Between the countless number of formatting options, to being able to create your own template, it really is a good option for Windows users.
Which brings me to my next point: it’s great for Windows, not so great for Mac. The Microsoft Word for Mac is not bad, it’s just not that great (there’s a lot of crashing if you use it for extended periods of time).
2. Google Docs
Price: Free (unless, of course, you want more storage space in Google Drive)
Google Docs is an extremely simple program to use. And it has a plus that the other two on this list don’t really have: you truly can use it anywhere. Both the browser and the app version are good and easy to use. Docs really shines in the sharing department. Whether you’re showing it to someone else, co-writing with someone or just showing your editor, they can edit it right then and there. And there’s no problem of the program shutting down without work being saved, because everything is frequently and automatically saved.
Of course that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t back up your work. (No matter what program you’re using, ALWAYS back up your work.) Docs does have the downside that it’s easier to get distracted since it is on the internet, and as we established earlier writers can be easily distracted.
Price: $45.00 (There are always some promotions around it, especially during NaNoWrimo)
This program was designed for writers (fiction, poetry, script, etc.) so it’s easily the best, or at least in the top 3, programs out there for writers. The problem is that it’s slightly hard to get a hang of how to use it. There’s a manual and forums to help you learn the tips and tricks of the software but to be fair, it’s worth it.
Scrivener’s main point in it’s favor is that you can do anything in it, you can write your story, there’s a special place for character details, there’s one for scenery details, you can add visuals etc. It can help you with the plotting and it comes with a lot of helpful templates. Plus it’s easy to export data to other places, and you can set it to back up every time you quit so you never lose a thing.
So there you have it, three pieces of software that writers have at their disposal. There are more available, but we decided to narrow it down to these three choices. Now start writing!