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Writing tools

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Posted by Randall Shinn
Apr 8, 2007 at 02:46 PM


I have to agree that Scrivener looks incredibly appealing for fiction writing. I would probably be using it if I used a Mac.

I own Writer’s Blocks 3, and I have tried using it in storyboard fashion to help structure fiction writing. I also wanted a program that allowed me to print out my outline so that I could study it without scrolling around a computer screen. Given the same amount of information, I personally found that the printouts from either NoteMap 2 or Mind Manager were more useful to me as a view of the whole.

The rub with all of these programs is where to do the writing itself. Writer’s Blocks 3 tries to address this with a writing pane, but I don’t remember being impressed by it (I should try it again). In this regard a two-pane outliner is very handy, providing the writing pane has the editing tools you need, and that the outline tree can be marked up in various ways. I find various means of marking up the outline in a two-pane outliner a handy way of keeping track of various aspects of the work process.The latter is a feature I find appealing in WhizFolders Pro 6. The soon-to-be-released MyInfo 4 will add spell-checking, group-selected keyword editing, tree text font editing, more and easier to use tree icons, and rtf export (according to the blog). These features might make it a useful writing tool as well.

I’ll no doubt try OneNote 2007 at some point, given its high praise from forum members, but I am in the middle of two projects that have deadlines, not a good time to experiment with new approaches. It’s interesting to notice what programs I rely on when deadlines create an absolute demand to produce new work. It’s during such times that you sometimes imagine features that you wish the software had, and, lately, various means of tracking progress have become increasingly important to me.

Randall Shinn