Behind the Scenes: Choosing A Writing Program

macbook air

Photo by Markus Spiske on

I got a new laptop yesterday. I’m so enthralled with the idea that I can now work on my novel and other projects anywhere. After years of primarily using an iMac–which served me well for more than half a decade–it’s nice not to be chained to a desk.

New computers always put me on the hunt for new software, so I’m currently reevaluating my writing software. I use Scrivener at present, but they want another $45 to download the latest version. I really hate that they want me to rebuy the software I already own just so I can keep getting updates. Despite everything great about the program, I’m not sure I want to spend it just on principle.

Plan & Write A Novel

Then there’s Storyist. I’ve heard wonderful things about this software but it’s $60. I’m not sure I want to spend that simply because I think it’s a little more than novel-writing software is worth to me (especially as I can use a word processor for free). But it is nice.

Plan A Novel

Story Planner is only $10, but you don’t write the novel in the program. After losing my data once in Scrivener (before I was backing up to DropBox), this is a somewhat attractive idea. It provides a place to organize all of your story’s data and allows you to, well, plan your story. It also allows you to set deadlines so you can track your productivity. This one is definitely a contender on my list.

Subplot, which comes in at $15, does pretty much the same thing. I’m not really sure what the difference between the two is, actually, except that this program has an ideas board. They don’t share a screenshot of it, but I imagine it’s something like Scrivener’s cork board. I could be wrong, though.

Edit & Revise A Novel

Continuity, which costs $14 is another piece of software on my radar, though I suspect this program will be more useful when editing a novel. It seems like a great way to check for plot holes and inconsistencies with characters without killing several trees worth of post-its.

Other Apps & Software

There are several other apps in the App Store, and then there are plenty out there on the internet–but these three are programs I definitely have my eye on. Of course, there is always the good ole word processor.

By the way, if you’re on a PC, there’s an open source program called yWriter that I used to love. The design is not that flashy, but it has some great features. They don’t make it for Mac though.

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