Author Topic: Computer writing programs  (Read 3767 times)

Offline millerj81

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Computer writing programs
« on: August 17, 2006, 10:20:09 PM »
I saw an advertisement today for a computer program that helps writers put together a novel, by helping them select character profiles, outlines the story, and other features. Are these programs worth investing in, to help put together a novel? Or are the novels produced crap, and the program a selling gimmick? Just curious.
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Offline matsamu

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 03:55:44 PM »
I've heard about em...but doesn't it kinda make your writing less original. Hundreds of other people could be writing about the exact same people as you, in different places in times. Or the exact same time and place...or all of the same information. Possible. I prefer my mind to comp programs that do some of the work for me. I like to do all of my own work. No offense.
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Offline millerj81

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2006, 04:11:51 PM »
That's okay. No offense taken. I like using my mind as well. It's just sometimes I have issues focusing. Plus, I was just curious about the value of the program. Thank you for your opinion.
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Offline custard

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 06:15:52 PM »
I don't know if novels are developed in the same way as scripts, I.E. you have to put certain events and characters in by certain times, for it to be accepted by the 'script-reader', but i've used such programs when i was learning the basics of script writing and found it useful. However, i never paid for said programs, they can be downloaded for free as trails.

If there is a set way of putting a novel together, or if publishers expect you to meet standards, then it might be worth a look. I am always very careful about paying for things though.
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Offline millerj81

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 07:58:16 PM »
okay. I will look into free trials and such. I know that i can buy programs such as these at any computer retail store. Thanks.
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Offline Jillanne Nehls

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 09:35:25 PM »
Hi Y'all,

I've tried out a few writers software programs and studied reviews of others.

yWriter is a no frills program that was lacked luster and was confusing to use but free.
 
New Novelist is $55.00. I've heard many opinions that it's not worth the money. However, their site has listed published authors who got there by using this software.

PowerWriter is $75.00. They don't have a troubleshooting process at all. Unable to save work as a Word document, as PW doesn't recognize Windows applications. Could be a problem. You must save your work on the hard drive, close down PW, find your saved file, and d/l it to a CD or external drive.

Writers Dreamkit - from the mfg. "The Writer's DreamKit is a proven software program designed by writers for writers--a complete step-by-step fiction writing system designed for the aspiring writer. The Writer's DreamKit StoryGuide handholds you from initial idea all the way through to completed narrative treatment, inspiring you and supporting you along the way."  From people who've used it: "If you can write novel-length fiction on pure inspiration, you will probably hate this. If you have good ideas, but find yourself lost in the woods and hoping for a rescue party after about fifty pages, this can be a lifesaver. You get out of it as much as you put into it. "  $34.99

Microsoft Creative Writer - $50.00 - "Amazing!"

Dramatica Pro - "Aspiring and seasoned writers take note: gone are the days of handwritten note cards, extensive plot revisions, and hand cramps. Dramatica Pro promises to be your writing coach, your secretary, your guide, and even your therapist as you develop sharp, focused storylines together." And..."Dramatica Pro is basically an expensive pile of 3X5 cards with a little tutoring thrown in to explain who is the antagonist, the coantagonist, the impact character, the theme, the goal the throughline, etc. Its like baking a cake while someone explains the chemical components of the butter, the sugar, the milk, etc. Nice to know, but it doesn't make the cake any better."  $179.00

I guess there is no alternative to sitting at your word processor, thinking, trying, thinking, trying....

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Offline millerj81

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2006, 11:00:03 PM »
thanks for the info. I know I have done the sitting in front of the computer, tapping away trying to come up with something. Can I ask you a question? As a writer, do you prefer using the program, or do you find it better to hash it out? I am curious.
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Offline Jillanne Nehls

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2006, 11:05:26 PM »
Hi Millerj81,

I've looked far and wide for a writing program that would do everything i need it to do. No luck. So yes, I sit and hash it out. I'm almost convinced that there isn't an easier way to write a book. We must still sit and stare at the screen until the inspiration comes.

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Offline millerj81

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2006, 11:34:34 PM »
okay. It is nice to know that i am not the only one that has to sit and struggle to put something productive on the page.
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Offline Jillanne Nehls

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2006, 11:47:58 PM »
If you should need help with your story in any way, please let me know. See the announcement about Streamline International Literary Management in The Writers Circle and Writers Wanted. We are here to help you achieve your dreams, and have the means to do so.

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Offline millerj81

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2006, 01:08:14 AM »
Thank you. I just posted my first attempt at a children's story in the Review my work section. I want to try this smaller project before I attempt my first novel. Any feedback that you can give me on that story, I would appreciate.
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Offline Scorpion

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2006, 10:23:42 PM »
Although it's not technically a writing programme, I use "Rough Draft" before I use a processor. 
The reason is that it has two windows on the screen, the writing window (your processor, if you will) and a "pad" on the right.  This is to jot things down or keep a tab on plots or things like that...
It's awesome... I went looking for the website, but I see it's gone... a quick search did find this... (and it's donationware)
http://www.ibizwriters.com/resource02FEB01.htm

Once I have the draft done, I suck it into Word and then look at grammar and spelling.  I use headers (with the TOC) so I can monitor how I am progressing through the novel. 

Again the software is only to enter information, it doesn't give you any help.... i.e. you write and think for yourself.
One thing that I did notice (with last years NANOWRIMO) was that it's word count is closer to the real thing, compared to Word.  At 50,000 words it wasn't too much, but still it was out...

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2006, 02:22:13 AM »
I've got to agree with Jillanne, absolutely nothing beats "sitting at your word processor, thinking, trying, thinking, trying...."  and burning a lot of candles in order not to wake your next of kin as your muse beats you mercilessly to write.

I do however have a couple of programs that I like to play with when shuffling ideas around.  One actually is the New Novelist.  I don't find it complicated or boring at all.  Quite the opposite really.  I like the way it works as a bit of a spreadsheet and I'm able to insert different notes in different areas.  I also don't believe the line that it makes any less original at all.  It's still my work.  It's just a bit bwetter organized, that's all.  Nobody else is writing it and nobody else is benefitting from anything I may eventually get published.

One of my daughters is keen on writing also so we got her the Microsoft Creative Writer.  It's a child centered program and has made a vast difference in the way she works on her compositions.  I don't know if it was supposed to teach her stuff or not but she's definitely learning from it.  It was well worth the investment as far as we're concerned.

Bottom line though?  I think you have to go with the method or program that may work best for you.  Don't worry so much about what others may say or do.  Do what works for you.  And remember, at the end of the day it's only yourself you have to face in the mirror when it comes to justifying any outlay for programs.   :)

Have a truly wonderful and Blessed day!  :)

Chris

Offline millerj81

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2006, 10:10:52 AM »
Thank you for your advice. I don't know yet what works best for me since I am still new at this writing process. But, all of your points of view has definitely helped.
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Offline elizabethdaizy

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Re: Computer writing programs
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2006, 03:28:38 AM »
Perhaps Word 2003 if you choosen you want to have spelling, grammer checking. I know a lot before but these years I working on website design, doidn't use normal program or a long time.
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