Saturday, July 28, 2012

Adventures in Word Procesing

I am working on figuring out how to use Scrivener today.  With another round of NaNoWriMo beginning August 1st, I figured it would be a great time to see how this program works, and if it would be beneficial to me.  I have learned one thing already...I am technologically inept.  *sigh*

I remember the good old days when Microsoft would give you a copy of Office with every computer.  And no, I don't mean those stinking trial versions that go away after a month of use.  Being that I have yet to sell one of my manuscripts, to say that money is a little snug...well that would be like me trying to squeeze these German thighs into a size 2.

I can't swing for the full program just yet.  So I am trying out the alternatives.

I have been using Open Office for some time now.  Open Office is a free download that can be used in many ways like Microsoft Office.  My main complaint...NOBODY ELSE USES IT!  In order for anyone to read what I have been plugging away at, I have to convert to a .doc file.  When this happens I end up with formatting issues, funky files that don't want to open without a lot of effort, and me being irritated when it decides to crash.  Oh and crash it does.  I worked for an hour doing a simple spell-check.  Change  Change word...CRASH...curse.  Repeat.

That's when I started looking for alternatives.  I have heard a bit of buzz for the Scrivener program, and it looks interesting, so I will give you a bit of a review when I get further into it.  Right now, I have my title page...even though it says "Untitled" at the moment...and a few character profiles with the opening lines and outline for chapter 1.

What do I like so far?

The quick reference to character information.  I have been taking notes on a small notepad to keep my character info straight.  This program allows me to see on a virtual pin board exactly what I need to know about the people in my story, and as more details reveal themselves (or change) I can alter it easily.  I can also save inspiration pictures which means I have access to a visual model as well.  This is going to be perhaps the most helpful part, and I am excited to see how it changes my writing process.

Does anybody else use this?  Or have any other favorite programs that are budget friendly?  I'd love to hear what is on everyone's laptop.


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