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Writing And Outliners

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Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Jun 28, 2008 at 07:49 PM

 

Here’s the reason I would like to use a good outliner for writing: I’m a very organic writer. That is, I write pieces as they come to me, add section heads as they occur to me. Yes, I think about my topic ahead of time, gather research and jot notes, but I rarely have my whole work mapped out before I write.

So, the advantage of a good outliner is that I can both structure and write as the work takes shape in my head. The best software I ever used for that was GrandView. Is was a powerful outliner and wordprocessor all in one. So I could both build my structure as the work progressed, but also just write away under any one topic. And because it was (is, I should say since a few folks on this forum still use it) a single-pane outliner, I could view my work as a whole all in one window, which is much more conducive to effective writing, I think.

However, since I don’t like trying to work in DOS anymore, and no other outliner matches GV, I rarely use an outliner for writing anymore. Usually, I write in a simple text editor.

That all being said, I’m now using a MacBook for my personal writing projects, and I’ve begun to use Scrivener. I’m still getting the feel for this program. I certainly would not classify it as an outliner, though it has some outlining fuctions. It has some nice features for collecting an organizing research and building drafts.

Anyway, I’ve probably wandered off topic.

Steve Z.