Regarding Novel-Writing Software

You just fucking need to write. That’s how I replied to someone asking me my opinion on the subject of novel-writing computer apps.

Don’t worry. I wasn’t being an insensitive jerk. I was actually quoting him as he already suspected that maybe he shouldn’t be going down that particular rabbit hole. This isn’t the first time someone’s asked me about computer gee-gaws and doo-dads for writing. My standard response: “‘You mean besides a notebook and Microsoft Word?”

My response continued: I’ve never even looked at these apps–and they’ve been around in some form or fashion for a while. I did see a rundown of them in Macworld or something a month ago. They’re interesting I guess. I’d probably definitely use specialized software if I was writing a script, but fiction or memoir? I don’t think so. Though they might come in handy for genre writers with really standard plot structures. And I guess they might make handling drafts and moving chapters around a little easier, though cut and paste works just fine. (As it is, I think the software we have makes me too lazy during rewrites and revisions)

Also, knowing myself, I could blow two months experimenting with different ones and then another month mastering one. Time better spent actually writing. So, for me, for long works, first draft is handwritten in a notebook, then it’s typed into Word. (Which forces a layer of editing and the notebook captures brain-farts, mistakes and diversions that I might end up using later after all.)

This isn’t to say that Word is preferable to anything else. Use what you’re comfortable with and what you like. I happen to like Word 2003. I happen to hate Word 2010. BECAUSE THEY CHANGED THINGS.

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3 thoughts on “Regarding Novel-Writing Software

  1. Or you could just be like James Patterson and write a 30 page outline, then hand it off to another writer like Maxine Paetro or Michael Ledwidge and take credit for the fact it hits the bestseller list…

  2. You can use what you like .If you are comfortable with pen and paper then start writing.If you like any writing software then go for it.But a writing software provide you a ease and speed in writing.

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