Friday, November 09, 2007

Scrivener Gold: Free Writing Software for the Mac

Lately I have been struggling with a book that I have been writing. Unfortunately, I didn't have access to a decent writing tool to begin with. Sure, you can use a word processor to write a story, but can you outline it? Can you storyboard it? Not in Word, or even Open Office Write. So what tools can you use?

Well, I started with Excel. I would start each chapter as a column, and then fill in sections as I saw they fit. If I needed to add something to the story in the middle of the outline, I would simply add another cell. Of course, I have to have a clear idea of how the story is going to fall into place before I start outlining it through Excel. Then I also have to wrap the text, which makes it difficult to read while trying to write in another program (Word).

I also tried doing it the old fashioned way, by writing in a notebook. Of course, being the very compartmentalized person that I am, I have to have a separate notebook for each subject and project that I have. Soon, I start running out of room, and out of notebooks.

So what is a guy to do? Well, I was reading one of my favorite online comics, and the writer/artist mentioned that he had downloaded the latest version of Scrivener, an application used specifically for creative writing. It provides for outlining, creating sections, storyboarding, and with each move of a section, the text moves with it.

So, the tools are flexible, it looks nice, and it's $39.95. Looking further, there was an earlier version, called Scrivener Gold, that is available for free. It's not as polished, but still really nice. The only drawback? It's for Mac only. Other than that, it's a decent program, and It's already helped me with my story. Perhaps I can finally finish the project. ^_^

1 comment:

kmathews said...

Have you tried mind mapping? Freemind is an open source option I like:
http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page