Monday, April 16, 2007

Fellow Writers! Check This Out!

I've finally found writing software that thinks the way I do (uh-oh), offers outstanding free support via a moderated forum, and is bug-free in all the most important ways! Before you get too excited, let me mention that it's only available for the Mac. Yes. The MAC.

Anyone who's known me for more than three minutes knows I'm a diehard PC-user. Every time I hear how Macs are virus- and hacker-free I want to scream that it's only because they require a password for every single thing you do. All it's going to take is one person who can get into the keychain and you can kiss your computer security goodbye. But I digress...

The software is Scrivener and it would do Bartleby proud. I can see my work in Index Card or Outline Mode. I can enter text specific to a chapter on the Index Card and then see an overview of what's going on in my novel without creating separate files and subfiles full of tables and plot charts. I can have the status of the chapter show up as a watermark on the Index Card. I can even combine multiple chapters for editing without the hassle of those miserable Master Documents. In short, despite the fact that Apple has no concept of a true DELETE key -- don't get me started -- it's a joy to have my work organized in one place and readily accessible.

And did I mention that I can also bring in web pages, pdfs, you name it -- and render them searchable. Yes. Easily, readily, SEARCHABLE, with all the documents containing the search term neatly listed on the left of the screen. Mine for the opening and purusing. That feature alone is a great boon to the biography I'm researching and writing.

And no, I don't get a thing from Scrivener for telling you about them and/or sending you to their site. I'm just thrilled to be getting my work down without Master Documents, bugs in the various programs I've tried undoing everything when I move a chapter from one section to another, or hardcopies of information to lug around so it's where I am when I need it.


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