writing in windows?
December 29, 2008 12:16 PM   Subscribe

software for writing (i.e., organizing) a novel on a windows machine?

my question is basically this one, except for windows, not mac.

it seems that all the highly recommended options in that thread and this one are for mac only.

unfortunately i canot afford a mac at this time, although i seriously *wish* i could.

posted by gcat to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: oh yeah: its entirely conceivable that i could acquire a mac while working on this project, so something that would be fairly easy to transfer over would be ideal. dunno if that exists.
posted by gcat at 12:25 PM on December 29, 2008

I recently got a copy of Liquid Story Binder but I haven't had the time to try it out yet. It is designed to run on systems using Windows XP and Windows Vista.
posted by Sailormom at 12:25 PM on December 29, 2008

My experience with that type of software is limited to "hey this is fun to play with", but you might want to have a look at Anthemion's various products. Most of it is cross-platform.
posted by gnomeloaf at 1:03 PM on December 29, 2008

Best answer: I've just been trying the demo version of Liquid Story Binder. It seems quite promising; while it's got a ton of features and not necessarily the most intuitive method of learning them, the extensive customizability of it is such that you have access to exactly what you want, when you want. Thus far, the thing I like most about it is that the interface is minimalist and stays out of the way, unlike other software in this class I've looked at. It has a solid fullscreen mode a la Writeroom where I imagine I'd spend most of my time with it.

Some other interesting stuff I've come across: Page Four (which seems to have good features but is too ugly to contemplate using long term) and Celtx (which looks good but is more skewed toward film/multimedia production).

In any case, all of these products have free demos (and Celtx is entirely free), so no reason not to give them a shot. This all comes down to matters of personal taste.
posted by sinfony at 3:45 PM on December 29, 2008

Also, some things to note if you do switch over to a Mac mid-stream. I can't speak to the importing-on-Mac side of this, of course, but Liquid Story Binder stores its files in a variety of formats. It appears that things like chapters, notes, and outlines are stored in text or RTF files, while more complicated things like checklists, planners, and dossiers are saved as .dat files. What's inside those files is also generally just text, but that stuff wouldn't be as easy to bring over as the more straightforward stuff. Of course, chapters, notes, and outlines are probably the most important things to bring over, so it probably wouldn't be more than a minor pain to get everything up and running with Scrivener (which, I assume, is what you would be moving to; I gather that it's the de facto champion in this area).
posted by sinfony at 3:57 PM on December 29, 2008

I spent a lot of time looking for good writing software as well and seem to have settled on Page Four. It's not nearly as pretty as some of the other options, but it does some little things very well (it's easy to indent whole sections, there is some very minor formatting available, you can throw a picture into it if you absolutely have to, exports to rtf, have some revision control, etc) while not doing too much harm. I agree with sinfony that Page Four isn't the most beautiful piece of software, but I seem to be more productive than when I'm using Word or a text editor like Scite or Q10. I would try out the demo for a while and see if it fits your style.
posted by eisenkr at 5:48 PM on December 29, 2008

I should say that Page Four does seem like a very solid program; I just have something of an aversion to icons and I prefer the sleeker, darker look of LSB. Just goes to show that you'll need to give a bunch of these programs a thorough look.
posted by sinfony at 12:28 AM on December 30, 2008

Response by poster: thanks for the input, everyone!

i will definitely be checking out the demos for LSB and page four, probably even anthemion.

arrgghh....dammit, too bad i just spent so much money on xmas, i coulda really had a decent mac. haha, oh well....

thank again.
posted by gcat at 9:06 AM on December 30, 2008

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