Writer’s Blog

All about writing software

I’ve been on an adventure. I’ve been researching all of the different writing software, trying to find my ideal way of writing.

I think that I am still on this journey, but I’ve settled on an option that I’m happy to stick with for now. That is subject to change later because what I’m currently using still isn’t perfect. It’s not bad for being free, though.

I have been trying to find the ideal writing software for maybe a year.

I can’t quite find anything that fits my needs, looks good enough and is flexible enough for me. I’m picky when it comes to paying for software so if it doesn’t tick all of the boxes I’m not buying it.

That being said, I have tried a few free trials, and I can give you feedback on what is and isn’t working for me.

Google Docs

Google Docs is my temporary winner.

This is the option that I’ve settled on. Largely because my writing partner has begun suggesting edits and comments using this, so it makes sense for me to just continue the writing and editing process where the edits are happening.

It does make it easier.

With a little bit of page setup and putting some effort into aesthetics, my book looks like a real book.

Here is my setup.

Image for post
Image for post
Screenshot of my manuscript in Google Docs

It really doesn’t look bad. It’s functional, readable and I have a good guess at how many pages my book will be thanks to choosing a smaller page size. The navigation is easy, and I can clean up the edits or work on finishing the first draft as and when I like.

It’s good for flexibility. I didn’t like it so much for outlining, but that is another books problem.

The only issue I have with this is that working on edits is way too easy. I still haven’t finished my first draft, so I find myself doing the easier task, that is fixing commas and faffing with word tenses.

That’s a me problem though not a Google Docs problem.

Word

I had similar issues with Word as I did with Google Docs initially. It didn’t look like a book to me. Again if I had put some effort into setting it up, I probably would’ve been perfectly happy with Word.

Unfortunately, I just wasn’t willing to put in the work to set this up correctly.

I started using Word for my initial outline phase. It was so messy. I hated it.

There was no flexibility or freedom when it came to placement, and I’d rather not spend hours cutting and pasting things around.

This software is the chosen one for my writing partner. He likes the functionality, and he’s managed to personalise his story well.

I will say that Word does have one up on Google Docs with word count visibility. I hate that I can’t see my words contently.

Scrivener

I used Scrivener’s free trial. I like the program. I might still buy it. I’m taking some time to think about it.

What I didn’t like about Scrivener is how ugly it is.

It’s clunky. It takes a while to set up, and the learning curve is huge. Thirty days in and I’m still pretty sure that I’m using it wrong.

I think that often a writer just wants to get going with a new project and Scrivener isn’t the best for that.

Though it is one of the favoured writing tools by writers in general.

I definitely enjoyed my experience with it. I hated the formatting, but I loved the scene options, the fullscreen mode and some other features.

Dabble

Dabble is something I only saw a few days ago. It is by far the most expensive writing software I’ve seen around but if I’m honest… if I had the cash to blow I would probably buy it.

It looks sleek, the 14-day free trial looked beautiful, the plotting tool seemed very solid, and the customer support was lovely.

It had a lot of the same features as Scrivener but a big cost hike.

Shaxpir

Shaxpir was one of the first Softwares that I tried, and I loved it.

It was gorgeous to use, it had interesting features, and to be honest, it was right up my alley.

I just had a problem with saving the manuscript. It wasn’t easy to back up your work, and I need something slightly more user friendly.

When this baby gets a save button, I might find myself right back with it.

Calmly Writer Online

Calmly writer online is a beautiful little focus writer. You can save it to your computer or your Google Drive.

It’s charming,l has a focus mode, optional dyslexic type font and optional typewriter noises.

I often use this for journaling. I haven’t tried it with a novel. I don’t think it would be that good because you start fresh every day. Maybe if you wrote scene by scene, this would be a good option.

I wanted to throw this suggestion out there for my poetry writers.

It’s an excellent free tool that feels nice to write it!

If you’re looking for writing software, I recommend at least trying these! You’ll notice that I haven’t put in any of the apple standard software, I’ve never tried it I don’t have an Apple so I can’t vouch for it.

Finding the right software for you is a big thing for a writer. You want to make sure that it works well for you. Functionality is critical. You don’t want anything to get in your way when you are writing.

As always, I cannot wait to see you on the bookshelf!

Author, writer and general young unprofessional!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store