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Q&A

What is useful about writing software?

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Okay, so every 5 minutes I see a question uploaded to this site about writing software. What is writing software? Why don't you just plan on paper? I find it much easier to write out all of my muddled ideas in a big mind map than some ultimate sophisticated state-of-the-art godmode character organiser.

Everything can be done on paper. And I think its easier on paper too. Characters can be mapped out nicely, and you can draw big pictures of them to accompany the description. Also, why use computer world-map software when you could stick together 9 sheets of A3? :)

So, whats the obsession with 'writing software'? How is it useful over paper?

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/24877. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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I am in my last year majoring in software engineering in the university and the recommended courses in the following may be useful for writing software: program design language, data structure, discrete mathematics, operating system, compile technology, introduction of software engineering, unified modeling language, software system structure, software requirement, software project management, algorithm analysis, oriented object program design, database principle and implementation technology, the principle of compile, computer security.

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/24970. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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WriteMonkey for the absolute minimalist, you can change it to a black screen and pretend to be GRRM. Otherwise word is fine, Im still trying to figure out the appropriate font. For screenwriting I like Trelby, although many dont seem to be using it for unknown reason.

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/24920. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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This is the definition of "your mileage may vary."

Some people work better on paper; you are clearly one of them.

I was blocked for years until I found Scrivener, which for whatever reason helped get all my creative juices flowing again. Scrivener clicked with me.

Some people work better with absolutely bare environments. Some want all the bells and whistles. Some want LaTeX markup. Some people find mind-map software really useful and others find it overwhelming.

Writing software is only useful if you find it so. Different writers have different needs, so they will use different tools. Asking other people doing the same thing as you what they find useful is perfectly reasonable.


ETA To address @what's comment: Writing software can come with a lot of features which writers may find more useful and flexible than writing on paper. To wit:

  • Let's just start with typing. I can type a helluva lot faster and more neatly than I can hand-write anything.
  • Extensive search/replace capabilities
  • Tagging
  • Easy rearranging of large chunks of text
  • Easy copy-paste of large chunks of text
  • The ability to copy and save infinite variations of a page, scene, chapter etc. if you need to noodle on something
  • The ability to gather various media (web links, video, sound, images) in one project file rather than have them scattered in several programs
  • The ability to keep extensive research materials in one project file rather than have them scattered across files and programs
  • Mind-map features let you link and combine different elements in different ways to see how characters and plot bits interconnect
  • The ability to plot in a large flexible grid and move items and threads around easily instead of physically erasing and rewriting
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