A Very Personal Post About Word Processing

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[Tuesday Edit:   A few years back, my very good friend Stephen Leigh posted about his new love affair with Scrivener.  I remember loving the post and thinking it was very clever — it compared his new use of Scrivener to a relationship.  Here is the post:  http://www.farrellworlds.com/loveaffair.html As you can see, the post is very similar to this one.  Or, I should say, mine is very similar to his.  I didn’t remember it that way, but I absolutely did read it at the time, and so it is quite possible that the idea insinuated itself into my head and manifested itself in this post.  I am deeply sorry for this, and I apologize, especially to Steve.  It was not something I did intentionally, but I did it nevertheless.  Quite frankly, I’m mortified.  I will be more careful in the future.]

So I have to ask you a personal question:  What word processing program do you use?  If you don’t want to tell me, that’s okay.  I understand.  But maybe if I tell you my story, you’ll be willing to share yours…

I don’t mean to brag, but I’m curious about word processors because I’ve used so many.  When I was writing my Ph.D. dissertation and my first couple of novels, I used Word Perfect.  And I loved it.  I mean really loved it.  Maybe because it was my first, you know?  Everything I knew about writing on a personal computer, I learned from her.  Looking back now, I don’t know if she was really the perfect match for me.  It seemed that way at the time, but perhaps I was just blinded by the excitement, the newness of the technology.  Up until then, all my writing had been so . . . so unsophisticated.  I mean, when I was in high school I had a Smith Corona Coronamatic, and I thought that I was so mature.  I held onto her when I went to college, for a while at least.  I probably should have started fresh when I left home, but I was afraid.  There was something so safe in using the electric typewriter.  But then in my Junior year I was introduced to the campus mainframe, and I was never the same.  Suddenly, I didn’t have to use erasable paper or white out or correcto-type.  I mean maybe I should have — that might have been safer.  But I was young; I felt invincible.  Safe didn’t matter anymore.  I’d entered my first adult relationship with a computer.

Or so I thought.  Because then, in graduate school, I met Leading Edge — my first PC.  She had that eighties look — dark screen, amber lettering, big dual floppy drives, and a hard drive, too.  She came with Word Perfect preloaded, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.    It was a whirlwind encounter — heady, almost dizzying in its intensity.  And then it was over.  Turns out she was more fragile than she let on at first, and soon we were through.  I couldn’t believe she gave out on me so soon.  After that, there was a series of computers — none of them lasted long.  They’re a blur now.  Computing for me had become casual, almost meaningless.  But through it all, there was word perfect.  3.1, 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, 7.1.  I was so caught up in other aspects of the technology that I barely noticed Word Perfect.  She was just always there for me, and I guess I sort of took her for granted.

And eventually she was gone.  By the time I realized that I truly loved her and wanted to use no other word processing program, it was too late.  I couldn’t find her anymore.  I tried to use old versions of her with a new Windows machine, but by now there were compatibility problems.  I guess nothing lasts forever.  Without intending to, I fell into Microsoft Word.  It wasn’t a choice really.  Word Perfect was gone, and after a while I couldn’t go on searching for ways to get her back.  And Word was charming in a way.  Worldly, sleek, popular.  She seemed to know what I needed before I did.  And for a while I liked that.  But only for a while.  Soon it began to get stifling.  Yes, there were times when I wanted my numerical lists formatted a certain way.  But I didn’t want it that way every time, and no matter what I did she didn’t seem to understand this.  After a while I began to realize that she wasn’t as smart as she had seemed at first.  Her thesaurus was too limited, her approach to grammatical corrections too unimaginative.  She remained popular, but I had to admit to myself that I needed more than she could offer.

Oddly, that break-up was the hardest of all.  Not because I loved Word.  I never did.  I can admit that now.  But because everyone else seemed to think that we should be together.  The pressure to make it work was unbelievable.

Now though, I’m with a new program.  And I think that this time it’s for keeps.  She’s unconventional — most people don’t know about her at all.  And she only works with Macs.  But for me, that’s part of the attraction.  Because she works with my iMac seamlessly.  No compatibility problems here.  I have to say that she reminds me a lot of Word Perfect — and she’s all right with that.  Her name is Nisus Writer Pro v. 1.4.1.  She isn’t as sleek and flashy as Word.  But what we have is really comfortable.  Her interface is intuitive, her menus are full without being overwhelming.  She accommodates my every need and yet I sense that there’s so much more to her than I’ve discovered in the time we’ve had together.  I like that a lot.  There’s this sense of lingering mystery, a feeling that so much more lies beneath the surface, even though I already feel that I know her so well.  Yes, she’s quirky in certain ways.  For instance, her default file format is .rtf.  But that just means that she gets along with everyone — .rtf is pretty universal.  And there are things she does that annoy me.  She still needs to learn that when you’re writing dialogue, a question mark or exclamation point at the end of the quote doesn’t necessarily mean that the sentence is over.  But I’m sure that’s a bug that will be fixed in new versions.  And hey, I’m no picnic either….

I started thinking about all this stuff the other day, because I was working on an old computer, and I ran into Word.  There was nothing I could do.  There was something that I had to write and it’s a Windows machine, so I couldn’t use Nisus — and she understands that.  She’s been totally cool about this.  It was over quickly enough.  But I was reminded once more of everything I had come to hate about Word.  How pushy she is, how rigid — it’s “my way or the highway” with her.  I think all that popularity has gone to her head.  It made me so glad to be with Nisus.  No, she’s not perfect.  But she works with me, not against me.   And what more can you want from a word processing software?

So, what about you?  Who are you with now?  And is the relationship working for you?

David B. Coe
http://DavidBCoe.livejournal.com
http://www.DavidBCoe.com
http://magicalwords.net
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36 comments to A Very Personal Post About Word Processing

  • I too did some early typing on electric typewriter. There is something quaint and earthy about doing that. I felt more intensity and involvement with what I typed on the typewriter. Perhaps that is because you had to type ver-r-y carefully. One typo or mistake and it could mean having to retype your entire page.

    I actually did my college work with WordPerfect 5.0 thru 7.1. I liked how it was strong but gave you the freedom to move and do things your way.

    Now I use Word. It is nice but as you say, can be pushy at times and tries too hard to guess my wants and desires. Then when I tell her that I want something done differently, it’s nothing but arguments. But hey, at my age, you have to take what you can get.

  • This is hysterical. I’m lucky I wasn’t drinking anything or it’d be coming out my nose. :)

    As for me, I too started out on an electric typewriter. College only had WordPerfect, but I never fell for her. She was just the one I was with at the time. Nowadays, I’ve got two in my life. At home, I’m with Word. I’d love to leave her for a better choice, but her Papa, Mr. Microsoft, makes it difficult. However, when I’m away, I use my laptop. This laptop used to have Windows but crashed to the point of being useless. So I installed Ubuntu (Linux) and it works perfectly for my limited “on the road” needs. As a general default, Linux systems use OpenOffice. Open, that’s my nickname for her, is wonderful. She’s easy to work with, keeps up to date without me having to remind her, and has helped me write several short stories and part of the novel I’ve just finished. She also plays well with others. I suspect, in the long run, I’ll add her to my Windows home computer and leave Word in the dust — it’s just hard letting go sometimes.

  • Pencil, pen, and paper were my implements as a kid in the ’70s. Occasionally my mother would take me to the law firm she worked for and allowed me to use their word processing machines(of course I can’t remember the names of those dedicated systems at this point) but they were all right.

    Later on I used all the iterations of Word Perfect and liked it enough, but found WordStar and fell in love with it. I hear some writers today still use WordStar (and maintain DOS machines and so forth to keep it propped up), such as Robert J. Sawyer and George R.R. Martin.

    I’ve used Word and OpenOffice both for PC and Mac, and find them to be a little too helpful at times when they make “corrections.”

    Now I use Scrivener(a Mac only program), and I adore it. The things it does for me automatically are welcome and almost always correct(it still makes mistakes once in a while). The versatility amazes me. Here is a link:

    http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html

    If you own a Mac you need to give this software a try!

    One of the best features in Scrivener is the formatting of the manuscript–it is designed to format the manuscript according to submission guidelines (and if the guidelines are a little different it allows you to tweak the settings).

    I’ve rambled enough on Scrivener. 😉

  • I use two tools: Scrivener (like Alistair, above) when I am at my laptop. I have recently written about my experience with this excellent tool. And incidentally, a Windows version is under development and scheduled for release in late October, I believe.

    When I am not on my laptop, I make extensive use of Google Docs, which I later pull back into Scrivener when I am back at my laptop.

  • I used Word for a long time and have come to be able to make her jump through every hoops I give her. It IS possible if you learn her quirks and the way around them 😉 (But it’s the work of a lifetime…)

    However, I recently started to use PageFour exclusively to write my novel, and I must say I prefer it for this specific task. I really like the files system and how it keeps my chapters and all my notes about the novel in the same place. I wish I could do even more with it (clipping images, web link, etc.), but it’s the best thing I found for Windows.

    Of course, now that Scrivener for Windows has been announced, I’m planning a little adventure with the famous Mac software just to see how it clicks between us 😉

    I’d loooove a software that’s more supple and that can conform to the mess that is my mind… In fact, what I’m really longing for is Iron Man’s computer.

  • I was also in love with Word Perfect once upon a time, mostly because it was easy to learn and I could set the screen to dark blue with yellow letters, which was less taxing on my eyes.

    Nowadays I’m devoted to OpenOffice. It’s simple, free, does everything I need, and has the ability to save a document into any form I need. So if I’m sending to someone who uses Word 97, I save the document as a Word 97 file. If my recipient uses WordPerfect, I can save as that.

  • Hepseba ALHH

    There has been long-standing discussion in my family that someone needs to write an application to torture the paperclip. Hit a control sequence and the paperclip gets set on fire, or has an anvil dropped on it, or a piano, or gets infected with a rusting disease and disintegrates into nothing. Until then, all I can do is turn AutoCorrect firmly OFF. And I cannot abandon Word. Popularity means compatibility, which is extremely important to me who has a Linux box at work, a Mac laptop at home, and a PC that my husband uses and is default to get us online. And I LOATHE OpenOffice. The things she does badly make her EVIL.

    What I most yearn for is Emacs and a good LaTeX compiler everywhere I go, though I’m not yet to the stage of using LaTeX for story, but being able to write equations without using the mouse is blissful, and Emacs lets you search without using the mouse, so that’s my primary form of navigation, and anything else feels like work. (Mice are secretly out to get me.) Unfortunately, TeXshop on Macs still seems to be pretty GUI oriented so :( . For now I just dream that the perfect text processor is out there. Somewhere.

  • I love the feel of a fine keyboard beneath my finger tips, the kinds of keys that yield to pressure with just a trembling, breathless hint of resistance before capitulating utterly…

  • Oh, I started with pen and paper, which for a lefty can be quite a messy relationship, let me tell you. The lines began to blur over what was acceptable and I didn’t even know what I was saying half the time. I used a manual typewriter a few times, but couldn’t afford the seductive ways of an electric typewriter. Then, my cousin found the Commodore 128D and I had to have one. For Christmas, I finally got my wish. The first actual writing program I started with was GeoWrite 2.0. I honestly can’t remember much about it other than that you could use a number of fonts (as evinced by the old dot matrix printouts of my old works I’ve still got hidden away in a folder) and do everything you could do with an electric typewriter plus a number of things you couldn’t. I didn’t have to use any correction ink or anything else. It was clean. I still have the old program. It’s on some 5 1/4 inch floppies in the closet…along with old reliable, the Commodore 128D…that still works. Good times…good times…

    Then, I got sick in the 90s and had to move in with my Dad and step mother and my bro and sis on that side. It was then that I was introduced to Microsoft Works. I dallied there, my brother being gracious enough to share. That was a strange relationship, let me say, but eventually I got better and got a computer of my own and started a relationship with Works. I even took a class to help me understand the relationship.

    Then someone introduced me to Word. Oh, the relationship hasn’t been perfect, but I’ve learned that if I have out all my likes and dislikes at the beginning of the relationship (that keeps being “upgraded” for some reason) that I can solve some of the irritations. The biggest is that I have to tell her to suggest, not just change things behind my back. And now that the office assistant, that irritating hanger-on that pops up whenever you’re trying to work out a problem with Word, isn’t supported things are a little better. And now I think I’m just getting old and set in my ways. Just don’t wanna walk away. Still…

    There’s been this other program. It comes around every once in a while when I’m writing screenplays. Final Draft, she’s called. She does very well with screenplays. I’m happy with that relationship. She keeps whispering in my ear that she can do novels as well. Still, I’m not sure I want to try something new. I’d have to learn things all over again and I’m sort of set in my ways now. I guess we’ll see.

  • David this was brillant. Like Stuart, I laughed, but *I* had tea in my mouth and nearly did a spit-take on my ancient keyboard. And… Oh, dear. I am so staid and conventional.

    I have not rearranged my bedroom furniture for 20 years.
    My writing room has 20 year old carpet in it.
    I have been married to the same man for 25 years; started dating him at age 21. There has been no other for me.

    And my writing?
    Like Alistair, I started off my writing *career* with pen and paper, but quickly went to a word processor so basic that it had no spell check. I was newly married and in love with the world, with my hubby, and with my word processor.

    And then I discovered Word. Like the first word of creation, it resonated with me. I bought a windows program and have never looked back. Not ahead either, it seems.

    I am dull dull duuuullllll. But I am comfortable with what I have. I will be with this old PC until death do us part. And then… Oh my. I blush to think what this bored cougar will try. So many possibilities…. (fans self)

  • Thanks for the comments, all. Storms here kept the satellite internet connection from working for a while, so I’m a little behind…

    Mark, yes, as we reach a certain age, our options do start to narrow. Although, I’d love to become successful enough that I could afford a trophy word processor — something fast and cute and racy — really cutting edge, you know? Fantasies. Good thing I’m writing this in Firefox. I wouldn’t want Nisus to know.

    Stuart, thanks. Glad you liked it. Never heard of OpenOffice. Given later comments, she seems a little controversial. I like that….

    Alistair and Jamie, I use Scrivener, too, and love it for organizing my research and character sketches. I don’t like it as a word processor, though, because, as I understand it, you can’t really format or see how a page will look until you’re ready to export. I like to see how my manuscripts look as I write them. Personal preference. But yes, in all other ways Scrivener rocks.

    Maryse, I don’t know much about PageFour, but if Scrivener for Windows is as good as the Mac version, you’ll like it. Still haven’t seen the Ironman movies, but you’ve piqued my curiosity.

    Misty, yes! I loved that screen color. Sigh. I do think of her now and again.

    Hep, I would buy that app in an instant. But I can totally understand the importance of compatibility, particularly in your situation.

    A.J., keyboards are another discussion, and obsessions with them, like yours, border on the fetishistic. You need help.

    Daniel, yes, it’s a sad story. Trapped in that old relationship, pining from afar for someone new, more attractive, wondering about the possibilities. Be careful…

    Faith, thank you. Sorry about the tea. That last line in your comment about the cougar, and the fanning, that cracked me up. It’s nice that you’re so . . . staid. How cute you are. But I think there’s a computing Beast lurking within you, too….

  • I use Word on my work computer and OpenOffice on my writing laptop. Both have their pros and cons. I hate when Word insists that it knows what I want better than I do, but it has a better spellchecker and grammar-checker than OpenOffice. OpenOffice is a lot simpler, but besides having a limited “checker”, it also doesn’t track changes (red-line), a feature that I really like when I’m doing reviews for people.

    That said, with the comments about Scrivener coming out for Windows soon, I think I’ll be looking into that option. Maybe I’ll finally find a word processor that will keep me happy.

  • Megan, I think you’ll like Scrivener, but it’s much, much more than a word processing program, and actually, in my view, isn’t as good for word processing as it is for other stuff. Just so you’re forewarned.

  • David, I can understand wanting to see what the manuscript looks like as you go. As you say it is a preference. You may be interested to know that Scrivener 2.0 (out in late October) will have the ability to see/edit your formatted manuscript in real-time, if you so choose.

  • I believe that when I was a lass, I had a brief fling with Word Perfect, but then really found stability with Word.

    I’ve been using macs for a decade now, a throwback to my childhood before I succumbed to an affair with some PCs. They were so unreliable! So apt to get into trouble! So likely to pick up ETDs (electronically transmitted dieseases) and spread them to my stuff. So, no, I broke up with the whole PC thing.

    Now, I’m seeing Word. The new Word–he remade himself–is solid. I, too, hate the rigidity. But I dallied for a bit with Scrivner, and found that since I’d done so much writing in Word, it was impossible to leave him behind.

    The program for Mac that David mentions.. she sounds great. I’m guessing she has a brother that I might be able to download? But will he get along well with Word? I mean, I’ll still see Word at work, still have to complete project with him. Can this program cope with that? Help? Because, I’m interested. Word has been the only guy on the block for me, and frankly, he could use a bit of competition!

  • Jamie, that’s great to know and might well make a difference in my work flow. Thanks.

    Emily, thanks for laugh — ETDs! I love that! Nisus works fairly well but not seamlessly with Word. With Nisus you’re saving everything in .rtf format, which Word can handle. But as Edmund and I have learned recently, there are pagination issues, and I’ve also noticed that editing comments don’t always translate perfectly. It can be done — your content will survive the transition from platform to platform — but there may be some small frustrations along the way.

  • Shawna

    This post was a hoot! 😀

    My very first program was an awful little word processor with a tiny screen that my mother bought because computers were too expensive. It had limited font options, saved in a file format no computer could comprehend, and I wrote the most fabulously awful Dragonlance ripoff Sue-fic on it that the world has never seen. Oh, memories.

    Once we finally got on the PC bandwagon, I graduated to that most lovely of Windows programs, WordPad. Only slightly less basic than NotePad, it had no spell check, no features to speak of, and saved in a file format so ancient that a few years and a computer later, I could no longer find a way to open the files as anything but a garbled mess.

    Eventually I graduated to RoughDraft, a free program designed for writers. It was with RoughDraft that I discovered the joys of find and replace, and that most lovely of universal file types; .rtf.

    The current love of my life is without question, Google Docs. I can access my writing from any computer with an internet connection! I can write on my iPod and not worry about having to transcribe it later! My precious work is safe from software hiccups and harddrive explosions! I love it so much I feel compelled to end every sentence with an exclamation point! 😉

    I don’t see my affair with Gdocs ending any time soon. I think this is the one. 😀

  • Thanks, Shawna. I’ve heard others rave about Google Docs. Am I correct in assuming that you actually store your manuscripts online? I’m not sure I could do that. I’m not trusting enough. But I’m glad it works for you.

  • Shawna

    Yep, everything is stored online. Although, it’s really a quick and easy process to save your work to your computer if you don’t trust the internet to keep it safe. I just really, really love the freedom to be able to work from anywhere.

  • Oh, I absolutely understand the attraction. I’m just a Luddite at heart, and I still don’t entirely trust the “Intranets.” It’s just a series of tubes, you know….

  • Sarah

    Oh Word, what can I say? I’ve grown accustomed to his face. Although I don’t think of Word as my partner, but more as a combination step-child and half-witted servant. Sort of Caliban crossed with Sancho Panza, but with Sancho’s wit removed. At least Clippy is gone.

  • Philip

    I prefer OpenOffice. She will move anywhere with me no matter if its PC, Mac, or Linux. In a lot of ways she reminds me of all of the best parts of Word Perfect and Word (before she became so demanding). Since I tend to work on my documents on different computers I use to Dropbox to sync my documents across all of my computers and back them up to the internet at the same time. The three of us make up a nice, convenient, little family.

  • Love the description of Word, Sarah. And yes: Death to Clippy.

  • Philip, thanks for the comment. I need to learn more about OpenOffice, because views on the program are so mixed. Some people love it, others hate it. Nothing it between, it seems. But it sounds like you have a nice little threesome going there — you lucky dog….

  • Beatriz

    David, I think you read my mind as just this past weekend I was pondering a new computer and a new word processing program. I loved reading about your affairs!

    AJ– It’s a really good thing I was planning on buying a new computer anyway as I am not sure the CokeZero all over my laptop is healthy. Thanks. :-)

    Faith– You make Word sound like a pair of slippers and there’s nothing wrong with that!

  • Tdancer2

    I am definitely also a big fan of google docs. I can write from my blackberry on the train, from my computer at the office, from my laptop at the airport. There is always the risk of keeping your ideas online, but no riskier than emailing the story to a beta reader or as an agent submission. And, speaking as someone whose external hard drive crashed and burned this past weekend – I didn’t lose a single word!

  • B, I’m glad you found this helpful. Best of luck finding the right machine.

    TD2, yeah, I can definitely see the attraction of Google Docs. Sorry to hear about the hard drive.

  • moniza

    I’ve had the worst luck with microsoft word. I had the evil microsoft 7 version thingy. And one day, the damn thing just crashed on me in the most horrific way imaginable while I was typing out an essay for school. I had to finish the essay in notepad. It was tragic. I use the 2003 version now and I never want to stop. It’s so lovely and safe.

  • Ryl

    A Mac and Scrivener junkie, here. I started out writing everything in longhand, then worked with typewriters, then MS Word, then I discovered Scrivener: http://rylmandus.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/story-arcs/

  • Sometimes I still go through the attic looking for the Hermes manual portable that my parents got me in seventh grade and which I used for everything through college and half of graduate school. Then it was the wonderful KayPro which still is in the attic and seven gazillion different word processors on a series of always on the verge of collapsing PCs. I remember the thrill of my first WYSIWIG word-processor, Ami Pro for Windows, but then retreated for a while into EMACS.

    For twenty years I descended into geekdom, usually serving as official and unofficial tech support for my colleague, and my office became The Place Where Old Computers Go to Die.

    But now I’m a Mac guy, who wished he were a Linux guy, and as an academic I’ve been trapped in MS Word, though I often use OpenOffice or NeoOffice and Google Docs. Frankly, it’s a mess, but I have a compulsion to fiddle with “software solutions” instead of actually writing. I don’t know if there’s any hope for me, though so far I have resisted hand-held devices with Internet connectivity. My wife would kill me if signed that $30/month contract for a data plan …

  • Moniza, that sounds like a nightmare. Glad you’ve found happiness with 2003 version.

    Ryl, I have yet to meet anyone who tried Scrivener and didn’t love it for at least part of what it does. As I’ve said, I’m not crazy about how it handles word processing, but I love the program.

    Bill, that’s quite a history you have. Yes, I would think that it’s best if you stay far, far away from hand-helds…. 😉

  • David, that was awesome. Had I been half asleep, I’d have thought this was all about dating. Wait, I am half-asleep or am I under-caffeinated. Whatever.

    I too had a first love, and she was a coil notebook. Oh, that spiral binding! Her lines weren’t curvy, which was good for writing. She and I enjoyed many late nights on the floor as I filled her with–prose. Prose, you dirty-minded people.

    But she wasn’t able to keep giving me the space I needed, so I had to move on to another, then another. By the time I finally realized I was wasting away in an endless cycle, I’d given up writing for a business degree.

    When I was finally back on the prowl, I found Word and didn’t like her either. She’s fussy and obnoxious, particularly over fragments and nearly all my dialog. Worst of all, she’s vulnerable and constantly updating her things.

    Now, I’m with yWriter. She’s Australian born and I tell you, I just can’t get enough. She doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that some of the others do, but she’s great for planning and drafting. She tells me how many words I’ve written each day and keeps track of how many scenes per character or words per character. If I ask nicely, she’ll even arrange my things into a handy little synopsis. I’ve been with her for a few years now, and can’t see myself with any other.

    Cheers,
    NGD

  • David, darlin, what a classy way to deal with this (re: the edit on the top of the post.) I’m sure we’ve all done this before, and I’ll tuck the follow-David’s-lead into my bag-o-plans for my own future unconscious errors.
    Hugs.

  • David,

    Great analogy, and very witty too. I tried to use the same when I started to reply to explain my loyalty to Word … but that didn’t quite work, and it got worse and worse as I went along. So I’m going to just liken it to a magical skill.

    My dad got us our first computer when I was ten. It came with Word 2.0. I’ve been using some version of Word since. Right now, 2007 is loaded on all of my computers (home, work, and laptop).

    Over the years, I’ve studied Word in depth. Especially when I was younger, I spent a lot of time learning the intricacies of this spellcraft to get what I want. Since the recent (2007) upgrade, I’ve had to re-learn some things, but the essence of Word remains. Things are even better than they were before, even if some of the buttons are in different places. This isn’t a new magical skill to learn, it’s the same power with an upgrade. I know this program intuitively. But maybe growing up with Word and Word alone has given me the chance to devote time to such studies.

    Yet all around me, people (especially writers and published authors) sing the praises of Macs and their writing programs. They tell me to abandon Word. I feel like I should be switching. Other friends of mine have recommended Linux.

    In the end, I had a stern talking with myself. I have to be realistic. I use Word heavily at work. Until I become published and successful (I hope), I only have so much money and brainpower to spare. And until reality dictates otherwise, I will use Word.

  • Young_Writer

    Have you ever tried stand-up? This was great :D. I’ve been using Word throgu hyears- starting through school projects. That’s how I started; I became bored tpying in what teachers told me to. (This was fifth grade). I tried to write a novel ,and I think I got to chapter three before giving up. Then, in the middle of the year, I tried again. New characters, new plot, and bright, shiny new ideas. And then my first novel was born.

  • Alex Pendergrass

    Looks like I’m the first one to mention the program WriteItNow. I use it for writing anything for my main series I’m working on. Love the way it can separate books into chapters, chapters into events (scenes), separate notes on locations, characters, etc. and how easy it is to jump back and forth between the sections. Rather than scrolling, if I have an idea or recognize a continuity error I need to fix chapters before, I just click on the menu to the left and I’m there. Not the best looking program but it works well for me: http://www.ravensheadservices.com/

    Admittedly, I use Word to write a prequel novella because there’s a lot less I have to keep track of simultaneously. Time to check out Scrivener to see what it has to offer.