I am looking at a tool called Scrivener which is a writer software suite that not only formats but allows for plot and scene development. There is another one called Celtx. I have also given Dragon voice recording to text software a very brief survey.

Does anyone use a writing specific suite of software to help tame these beasts we call or writing?  Any recommendations or cautionary tales?

To be clear, I am in no way associated with any of the above products other than mulling them over to assist my writing development.

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I really love Omniwriter! I use the free version, which is not the newest but still pretty good. I don't know how the newest one is, because it costs some money. I don't think much tho: Here you go

I keep meaning to check out Scrivener.

In the past I used ywriter. (http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html), which seems to be similar to Scrivener. One of the small features I still find incredibly useful is the counting of how many times every word appears in your novel.

Now, I've switched to a personal info manager called Epim (http://www.essentialpim.com/)

I write the draft using the note system which has a tree structure and gives the options to move everything around very easily, and allows me to have all the meta data alongside the draft in a single file, which makes it so convenient on so many levels.

Basically, I create a leaf for the synopsis on top, along with one for me to keep track of random ideas. Then, I proceed with a note per chapter or scene if need be. When I need to have some research data readily available, I simply create a sub leaf and paste it in there.

I love how flexible it is and how easily it lets you manage the organic growth of your draft. You can also pick different icons for your notes. It helps me distinguish the various levels of completeness and urgency. You can also use the calendar to plan your work.

When you're done, you can export into various file types. It takes a bit of time to format the draft properly in Word then, but it's triffles compared to the time spent on writing.

Stagger..i am just looking at this post. Scrivener looks GREAT and i wish i had it. I dont see the big benefit in Celtx..just seems to be yet one more thing to have to log into..

One question...did Dragon work for you dictating? I have a large number of things hand written and if it worked well, I would love to use it to digitize those thoughts.

I really didn't get all that far before deciding it wasn't for me. My problem isn't typing it all out, it is design work where I need the boost (And time of course. I've none of it in which to write.). Dragon doesn't do much in that department.

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