Novel writing software has been around for years now. But, it’s new to me.
There are a lot of different formats out there and choosing between them all can be confusing.
So I took a brief survey of a number of writers on Kboards.com and I thought I would share my findings.
These people are in the trenches so they ought to know.
And The Polls Say…
I was happy when the results of my poll yielded only three responses. This eliminates confusion.
I have compiled a list of talking points for each product as well as cost and a link to the site for further information.
Scrivener was by far the most used novel writing software and had downright glowing comments. Words like “love” and phrases like “prying Scrivener from my cold dead hands” were common.
- Available for Mac and PC with a beta in Linux
- Great for organization, brainstorming and keeping tabs on your progress
- Wonderful for compiling your manuscript into mobi, epub, word, pdf, and other documents
- Interface is fairly intuitive
- Fantastic for organizing notes and background
- Don’t have to save everything in hundreds of individual Word files
- Outlines, organizes and compiles the entire book. Individual chapters are exported as .txt files and polished in private post in WordPress
- Scrivener’s site has a list of their competitor’s software to facilitate such comparisons
- Has the ability to move scenes around in different orders
- Formats with a push of a button
- Very intuitive, didn’t require any special tutorials
- Feature bloat, a lot of stuff in it that most of us will never use
- A bit of a learning curve for the advanced applications
Liquid Story Binder
Liquid Story Binder didn’t have as nearly many responses as Scrivener. However, the users that did used equally glowing terminology to describe the format.
- It can do pretty much anything you need it to
- It’s more than just a word processor, it’s a binder
- It can be whatever you want it to be
- Easy to move scenes around
- You can build scene fragments or scenes into a chapter as the book comes together
- Almost everything can be color-coded
- You can configure it to work the way you want to work, rather than the software telling you how to work
- “I’ve used Liquid Story Binder as well”, commented one Scrivner user, “and it’s a pretty good program. A little too complicated for my tastes, though.”
- Has a bit of a learning curve
Write It Now
Last but not least was Write It Now. This format had the fewest respondents but the ones who did said that it compared favorably with Scrivener but had no learning curve.
- Allows you to move scenes around on a story board at will
- Save notes and ideas
- Keep each scene separate and manageable
- Features are easy to learn with no learning curve
While this survey is certainly not a comprehensive list of all the novel writing software out there it’s a pretty good place to start your research.