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Monday, January 21, 2008

New Tools or New Excuses?

Most of us use good old Microsoft Word on our Macs or PCs. Or, of course, Final Draft. But if you are interested in writing prose with new and different software, there are a variety of new and interesting options.

For you Star Wars fans, there’s WriteRoom which the Wave-inatrix loyally tried out for you Wavers. It’s weird. You get a totally black screen with nothing but your cursor and green print. It is kind of fun. But I felt lost because I couldn’t find the menu to save the file. You can get a 30 day free download if you want to give it a try. Wavers should be warned to check to see if documents created in WriteRoom can easily be converted to Word or pdf files.

Scrivener looks like a terrific program particularly if you are working on a novel. It comes with a bulletin board, notes and all kinds of other nifty perks. It looks like a great program for novelists but may be problematic when it comes to translating or transferring your document into Final Draft. But then, I don’t know.

Or for those super hip, fast-of-thumb, there’s always your trusty cell phone. Yes indeed, these are crazy days; read it and weep.

But do writers need fancy gadgets to write pages? The Wave-inatrix is genetically predisposed, through generations of Irish/Scotch bootstrap upbringing to heartily say NO. However – that said, sometimes you have to find systems and solutions that work for you.

For example, the Wave-inatrix is a dyed-in-the-wool addict/user of post-its, teeny notes, crumpled papers and balled up candy wrappers. Greg Madore, my long-suffering tech consultant has been on the hunt for an organizational system that removes post-its from the equation and gets and keeps me organized. Any Wavers who want to send fruit baskets or sympathy cards to Greg, I’m sure he’d appreciate it. The point being that sometimes you have to find a system that works for you.

Is Scrivener the light at the end of the tunnel that will help you kick of 2008 in an organized way? Perhaps. Or perhaps the most challenging obstacle is simply making time to write and sticking to it.

ShowHype: hype it up!

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