When I first started writing, I wrote the old-fashioned way. No, not with a feather quill. And not with a pen. A portable typewriter that I still have. Somewhere. Do you know how many times I typed each page (with a carbon copy) of my first submission, a short story to Woman’s World? At least three or four times. And never got it perfect. Thank goodness for those little white correcting papers!
But at least I didn’t have to learn Word or any other program to write it. Then with my first sale–that short story–I bought an electric typewriter. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. And then after selling another short story, I bought a computer that ran DOS. It, too, was a simple process. Well, it was after I learned there was a proper process to turn the thing off. That’s when I learned the value of SAVE. I still have those 5 inch floppy discs somewhere.
And then I bought my first Windows PC and learned WordPerfect and then Word and for the next fourteen years, Word was what I wrote my stories in. It was adequate but clunky. I had a file for my WIP (Work in Progress), one for each character, the setting, research…you see how it can get cumbersome? But it was comfortable. As was my Windows PC. It was also frustrating to deal with the way Microsoft kept improving Word. Never have understood why anyone would fix something that wasn’t broke.
About four years ago I discovered Scrivener. For a year, it sat in my computer waiting for me. I mean, I did not want to learn a new program. But I kept hearing these wonderful things about it. So, I stuck my toe in the water and started my next WIP in it. Oh.My.Word. I loved it. I had everything I needed right at my fingertips, even my research websites that I constantly forget their location. Now, mind you, there is a learning curve, but there are so many wonderful coaches out there. Gwen Hernadez is one that I use. Her website has a lot of tips and you can sign up for trainings.
I’ve gotten quite proficient in Scrivener, but it was made for a Mac. Don’t get me wrong, Scrivener for PCs is great, but a week ago I bought a Mac (because I was so tired of getting viruses), and I love it. As good as Scrivener is in a Windows PC, it is even better in a Mac.
One other program I use is Scapple. It’s a mind-mapping program that is so easy to use, and I’ve worked out several kinks in my story using it. It’s also a great brainstorming tool.
There are other writing programs out there, but these are the ones I use. Leave a comment and tell me what program you write in. And which operating system you use.
And as a bonus, I’m blogging at the MBT Ponderers about adding words to your manuscript if you want to check it out. I’m also doing a giveaway and to one person from the two blogs…just leave a comment and you’ll be added to the drawing.
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Shadows of the Past – Revell February 2014
A Promise To Protect – Revell October 2014
Gone Without a Trace – Revell Coming July 1, 2015
Matthew’s Choice – Heartwarming September 2014
I asked God to teach me patience and He gave me a book to write