LOVE / HATE RELATIONSHIPS with WRITING PROGRAMS

by: Ginger Solomon

There’s a love-hate relationship between writing programs and me. I’ve tried several different avenues to get my thoughts organized. At present, I am using Scrivener (for Windows). While it is better than my other way (hold on…I’ll get to it in a second), it still has it’s deficiencies.

Most times a picture won’t copy from a website. I have to save it to my hard drive and then copy and paste to my file. The spelling program is REALLY bad. And the program has a pretty steep learning curve. I’m sure it does a number of things that I have yet to discover. It also is limited on how much formatting you can do. A lot of format styles apply to the whole document and cannot be changed for one scene or chapter.

There are also some really GREAT things about it. The ability to rearrange scenes from one place to the next (or previous) without having to copy and paste, but simply click and drag is amazing. I also like the ease with which I can save certain sections as a document, a pdf, or various other files, including e-pub and mobi without having to create a new document to save.

Prior to trying, and subsequently purchasing, Scrivener I was using Word and OneNote. This way also had its downsides. I had to have two different programs running simultaneously. Switching between them became a bit of a hassle. I tried writing in OneNote, but it didn’t quite work as well as I would have liked.

It’s great for notes. 😉 I actually use OneNote weekly for sermon notes. It also works well to save pictures and various websites with a simple click and drag. And, up until recently, I could only access it from one machine, so if I was writing on my desktop (which I no longer have), I couldn’t access those files from my laptop. Of course, this could have been a long-time feature that I didn’t know about. 🙂

As for Word, well, most of us have used it at one time or another, I imagine. It is versatile and easy to understand. However, the spelling and grammar program does have flaws, and it is impossible to move scenes without copying and pasting, and that doesn’t always work like we’d want. And then there are the black lines that appear and disappear at random. It’s probably just a bug (I use Word 2010), but it can be disconcerting when a sentence of my document disappears behind a large black line only to reappear a moment later.

One thing I LOVE about Word is the Track Changes feature. It allows for great editing. I don’t use it for my personal documents, but to proofread and critique others’ works. I do use the comments section to make notes to myself, reminding myself to go back and research a certain thing or to change a name or something like that.

Overall, I love Scrivener for writing, Word for editing, and OneNote for taking notes, writing reviews, or anything that is short and doesn’t need much space.

If you’re a writer (fiction or non-fiction), what writing program do you use and why do you like it more than another one?

 

Ginger 12 - brightened

Ginger Solomon

Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest four, doing laundry or fixing dinner, she writes or reads romance of any genre. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for two blogs.

Author Links:
Website
Inspy Romance Blog
Facebook Author Page
Twitter @GingerS219
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Broken Valentine cover

Being stood up on Valentine’s Day is not how Sarah Sawyer wanted the evening to go. It only gets worse when she discovers her boyfriend’s betrayal. Accepting a ride home from her attractive waiter goes against everything she’s been taught, but her choices are limited. 

Michael Richmond can’t let his beautiful, yet heart-broken customer walk home, no matter how tired he is after working fourteen hour days all week. 

It might be either the best decision of his life or the worst. Only time will tell if their broken hearts can become one, or if they will tear each other apart. 

Broken Valentine
is the second book in the Broken Holidays Series, but can be read as a stand-alone. 
Amazon 

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Becoming a writer doesn’t happen overnight.

Recently, an old friend reminded me how as a teen, I always said I’d be a writer someday. He was happy to see I’d realized my dream. I’ll admit, I changed my career goals several times back then, but I never lost the desire to write.

Along the way, I learned many great lessons too numerous to list. Here are those I deem MOST important. 

PERSEVERANCE: Writing is a long, hard journey, but perseverance and dedication can get you where you want to be. I often thought of throwing the towel in, but that would have been too easy. Instead, I pressed on.

WRITE: Logical, right? Some find other things to do. Cleaning house/raising kids is time consuming, yes. Whether you work outside the home (like me), or you’re a stay-at-home Mom, set and stick to a writing schedule. I can’t stress this enough. Hey… if you write just one page a day, that’s a 365-page novel at the end of the year. Two pages? You’ll get one in 6 months.

LOCATION: I realize not everyone has a spare room where they can seclude themselves, but hopefully there’s an area in your home where you can write without interruptions. I rarely ever use my office. I do most of my writing from either my recliner or my bed. Yes, I sit with a back pillow, and my laptop on a four-legged breakfast tray. As long as the door is shut, everybody knows that room is off limit. Coffee shops are great too. 

EDITOR: This one should be number ONE in the list of priorities. When I wrote Stella’s Plea as part of the NaNoWriMo challenge, I knew it wasn’t fit to publish but I loved that story and wanted to do something with it, so I hired an editor to work with me. I couldn’t put it out there until a professional had looked at it. Don’t skip this step.

PROOFREADERS: They’re vital people in your journey though you may not realize it until you’ve completed your book. By the time you type The End, you now know the story inside and out. So does your editor. When you read a sentence, paragraph, or page, you no longer see the typos because your brain knows what it’s supposed to say. Yes, editors can miss things. They’re humans too. I asked four people to read my story. Yes FOUR. The MOST particular of them found several mistakes the other three had missed. THAT’s how vital they are.

CONFERENCES: They are a MUST for every writer. Why? It’s where:

  • you’ll learn the tools of the trade by amazing authors who’ve been there/done that;
  • you’ll walk away with awesome new knowledge;
  • you’ll develop wonderful friendships with other writers
  • you may even exchange business cards with agents/editors who may be interested in your story.

    Give these a try and let me know what happened.

    Blessings always, and good luck in your writing endeavours.