Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
User avatar
Seamus
Posts: 67
Joined: January 5th, 2010, 12:56 pm
Location: Rockville, MD
Contact:

Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by Seamus » January 29th, 2010, 7:15 pm

I'm trying to organize my writing a little bit and have read some exciting things about Scrivener. Unfortunately, I'm stuck in PC land until I win the lottery and Scrivener doesn't work with Windows. Scrivener says they might be ready with a Windows version as early as this summer. Does anyone have experience with the Windows alternatives (especially PageFour and WriteWay)? Is Scrivener worth the wait, or will one of these do just fine?
J. Seamus Welsh
welsh.john.seamus@gmail.com
Blog (a playful place to experiment with character voices): http://oh-thereyouare.blogspot.com/
Website (shameless self-promotion): http://www.inwrittenform.com

User avatar
poptart
Posts: 127
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 2:25 pm
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by poptart » January 30th, 2010, 5:58 am

I've tried just about all of them at one time or another but finally got a Mac for Christmas and am now using Scrivener which is everything I hoped it would be.

Just before that I was using Liquid Story Binder http://www.blackobelisksoftware.com/which I found useful for storing research although it takes a bit of getting used to. Another one I'd just bought and got on well with was WriteItNow4, http://www.ravensheadservices.com/although to be honest I didn't use it very much. It has a nice user friendly layout but I did find it lost my imported images if that's an issue for you.
Annoying people since nineteen fifty-seven.

I blog here: http://flyingtart.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sandr_patterson

wetair
Posts: 69
Joined: December 17th, 2009, 9:01 pm
Location: Inside Your Head
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by wetair » February 6th, 2010, 9:06 pm

I like OneNote from Microsoft. It is not what you would call writing software, but it works fine for it. Each "notebook" can have sections and each section can have pages. I mean, within your WIP notebook, you can have section for characters, than a page for each character and put in whatever info you need - physical features, background, whatever. It is not like word which is very linear; this is more like real notebook where on each page you can have paragraphs next to each other and not worry about formatting. It is good for research too because when you copy and paste, it not only copies your info but where you got it as well like the url or the name and location of the file you are copying from. OneNote was made for tablet pcs, yeah, but it works fine with a keyboard.

jazzlovesnoodles
Posts: 23
Joined: December 6th, 2009, 8:40 am
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by jazzlovesnoodles » February 9th, 2010, 3:47 pm

Writer's Cafe seems to have some useful features.

JL Hartfield
Posts: 14
Joined: February 11th, 2010, 7:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by JL Hartfield » February 12th, 2010, 4:08 am

Have you checked out yWriter5? I've used it for a while and it's really useful. I like the chapter/scene features, as well as the character/item/location inputs to help you keep track of your stuff. It will also help you with your synopsis. I would definitely give it a shot.

User avatar
Seamus
Posts: 67
Joined: January 5th, 2010, 12:56 pm
Location: Rockville, MD
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by Seamus » February 12th, 2010, 4:10 pm

Thanks for these suggestions. Still looking. I've downloaded trial versions of a few, and now I have a few more. Trying to find the time for the test-drive is a little daunting. I guess I should rule out anything that takes too much time to learn.
J. Seamus Welsh
welsh.john.seamus@gmail.com
Blog (a playful place to experiment with character voices): http://oh-thereyouare.blogspot.com/
Website (shameless self-promotion): http://www.inwrittenform.com

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by Margo » April 5th, 2010, 2:58 pm

I have Liquid Story Binder but can't seem to get the hang of it. I got it after seeing Scrivener for MAC. The person using that made it look really fun and easy. Perhaps I just need more practice with LSB, but so far it doesn't seem very intuitive to user needs, if that makes sense.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Rik
Posts: 35
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 11:26 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by Rik » April 6th, 2010, 6:28 am

I've tried various writing software packages such as yWriter - I just can't get the hang of them: too many shiny things available (character descriptions! storyboards!) that I ended up spending all my time with the add-ons and no time with the novel. So for now I'm stuck with the 2-doc approach - one doc for the work-in-progress and the second for any metadata/notes/research/scribbles/etc that I think I need to keep track of. Inefficient, yes, but it works for me.
To Posterity - the latest chapbook of poems from Rik Roots ($free)

Sommer Leigh
Moderator
Posts: 1624
Joined: April 2nd, 2010, 11:07 pm
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by Sommer Leigh » April 6th, 2010, 10:18 am

Scrivener is awesome, but for a PC (which is what I use now) I use Liquid Story Binder. I love it. I've used it for a year now and if you can't have a Mac I think LSB is the next best thing.

Here's the thing about Liquid Story Binder though: It has A LOT of features. Way more than you will ever need. And that's the point: it caters to every type of writing, not just novel writing, so you won't need half the features. That's ok, it's designed to be usable by anyone for any project. You need to figure out which features YOU need. And that can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be.

In my opinion there are only two features you have to know right away, Listings and Chapters. Chapters are word processing documents. you can write your entire manuscript in one document or you can break it up into chapters. I break mine up because there is a nice feature that will create a full manuscript from all of your chapters and you can set the formatting to fix your whole document when you export. It's nice. A listing is sort of like a Windows Explorer screen where you keep all your chapters, notes, character bios, research, etc. I keep the Listing window open to the right side of the screen and a chapter window up on the left so I can easily jump to any chapter I need to open quickly.

There are lots of other features though, including planners, outliners, timelines, storyboards, even playlists. There are specific features for making comic books, screenplays, novels, whatever you're doing. I'm particularly in love with the editing tools though. The tools for editing repetitious word uses is particularly useful.

I've tried others, but this is my favorite (outside Scrivener). You can download a demo to use for 30 days for free. With it you'll get a dummy book that will show you how each feature COULD be used.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

User avatar
Scribble
Posts: 33
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 7:19 pm
Location: North-East UK
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by Scribble » April 7th, 2010, 8:29 pm

Man, I feel like such a noob using MS Word!

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by Margo » April 8th, 2010, 11:16 am

Scribble wrote:Man, I feel like such a noob using MS Word!
Well, yah. Next thing you'll say is that your writing is available only in the latin alphabet platform and you don't bundle your writing with visual, audio, and online material for a total entertainment experience!

Sheehs. Noobs.

:)
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

User avatar
ganstream1
Posts: 31
Joined: March 15th, 2010, 8:20 am
Location: Malaysia
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by ganstream1 » April 8th, 2010, 2:18 pm

Scribble wrote:Man, I feel like such a noob using MS Word!
You are not alone (T _ T)
Read my blog novel at: Aku-Stories

User avatar
Colonel Travis
Posts: 62
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 12:54 am
Location: The Alamo
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by Colonel Travis » April 8th, 2010, 4:48 pm

wetair wrote:I like OneNote from Microsoft.
Ditto. I've tried all the software already mentioned here and nothing comes close to what you can do with OneNote. For actual writing I use Word.

OneNote is incredible for organizing. If I'm out somewhere and happen to see something inspirational and I've got my camera phone with me, I take a photo, put it on the computer, save it in OneNote. You can also include audio and video. One of the best parts about it is that you can link anything to anything else. Once your notebook starts to fill up it's easy to forget where specific things are. For example, I've got a section with nothing but characters. I can link entire characters to other characters, or I can link them to a note in another section. I've got sections for scene fragments/ideas, themes, settings, real-life influences, etc. You can link one word to a whole section, or vice versa. There are an infinite number of ways to link stuff.

Been using the 2010 Office Beta for a while, much better than 2007. 2003 stinks.

wetair
Posts: 69
Joined: December 17th, 2009, 9:01 pm
Location: Inside Your Head
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by wetair » April 14th, 2010, 9:09 pm

Colonel Travis wrote:
wetair wrote:I like OneNote from Microsoft.
Ditto. I've tried all the software already mentioned here and nothing comes close to what you can do with OneNote. For actual writing I use Word.

OneNote is incredible for organizing. If I'm out somewhere and happen to see something inspirational and I've got my camera phone with me, I take a photo, put it on the computer, save it in OneNote. You can also include audio and video. One of the best parts about it is that you can link anything to anything else. Once your notebook starts to fill up it's easy to forget where specific things are. For example, I've got a section with nothing but characters. I can link entire characters to other characters, or I can link them to a note in another section. I've got sections for scene fragments/ideas, themes, settings, real-life influences, etc. You can link one word to a whole section, or vice versa. There are an infinite number of ways to link stuff.

Been using the 2010 Office Beta for a while, much better than 2007. 2003 stinks.
lol another one note lover!!! yeah i write in word too and all the background stuff i keep in onenote.

bronwyn1
Posts: 82
Joined: March 7th, 2010, 6:38 pm
Contact:

Re: Scrivener and Windows Alternatives

Post by bronwyn1 » April 15th, 2010, 9:11 am

Scribble wrote:Man, I feel like such a noob using MS Word!
Me too! Though I would love to try out all of these fancy novel-writing software programs

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests