A good personal wiki with tags? OR, fiction writing software?
June 12, 2014 5:01 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to find some software to organize and tie together less-important details in my story. Probably I want a personal wiki--but which one? I'm open to wiki alternatives also.

I probably want a personal wiki with a solid tagging feature, so I can tag a node as [character] or [setting] or [faction:goldfish_fanciers] and later search over these tags. Anybody got something like this they love?

I've also seen specialized software for fiction writers, but so far, I'm skeptical. I don't want to be squeezed into someone else's idea of how to structure a story. That said, if there's a tool out there you have personal experience with and you think it's awesome, I'd like to hear about it.
posted by mattu to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Have you looked into Scrivener? Not a wiki, but definitely tagging features. And there's a very, very generous free trial so you can settle in to see how you like it.
posted by Andrhia at 5:25 PM on June 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Scrivener is great, and it definitely doesn't squeeze you into someone else's idea of how to structure a story -- it lets you create bulletin boards of related things, which might be scenes or chapters that you can assemble, but just as easily could be information related to a specific character or setting.
posted by Jeanne at 5:37 PM on June 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

(By the way, although Scrivener does have a good free trial I seem to remember the trial version has a lot of restrictions on exporting your text into other formats, so... be mindful to have backups elsewhere.)
posted by Jeanne at 5:38 PM on June 12, 2014

Scrivener does seem to fit the bill, and it's relatively cheap to buy. Before you do, though, check around for coupon codes—they have offered some generous discounts in the past.
posted by Flexagon at 5:51 PM on June 12, 2014

I have Scrivener. Worth a look. Stephen Berlin Johnson has used Devonthink in writing his books and has talked about it. Check out this link.
posted by PickeringPete at 9:25 PM on June 12, 2014

Another vote for Scrivener. It's always possible it won't work for your particular work style, but there's a good chance it will, because it's so uber-flexible.
posted by stormyteal at 10:49 PM on June 12, 2014

N'thing Scrivener. It's exceptionally good software and can be adapted to nearly any working style. It handles in-document linking well and allows you to colour-code, tag and do whatever you like with both your background notes and the text of your work itself. Plus it has the ability to integrate images, audio files etc. I write in it every day and I wouldn't go back to any other tool.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:10 AM on June 13, 2014

It took me a really long time to become a Scrivener fan...so a thought, in case it's useful:

The tutorials and manuals are comprehensive, but they can also be overwhelming. You may want to start by researching how to do the specific tasks that are important to you, and be aware that you're probably using a fraction of Scrivener's functionality. As your wishes/needs expand, you'll be more comfortable incorporating them into what you already know.
posted by gnomeloaf at 4:00 AM on June 13, 2014

Response by poster: Wow, didn't mean to ignite a firestorm of debate.

Thanks, all, I'll give Scrivener a look.
posted by mattu at 9:51 AM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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