A lot of people, myself included, get caught up in thinking of what apps they should use to write their book. With so many options, like Scrivener, Word, FocusWriter, WriteMonkey, Sigil, Pages, etc… you get the point, it is easy to get stuck trying to choose because you want to maximize your efficiency.
I was in the same situation. The only piece of writing software I had really used before was Microsoft Word, which is ok if not a little boring. Well, I have also used Evernote some for college note taking, and I’ll get back to it in a moment (Yes, it is one of the two I am using.)
The important thing I realized, and that I believe everyone should realize, is that these options are all just a means to an end. You can write a book using only a pencil and paper, or a typewriter. Typing definitely has it’s advantages, and you do want to be efficient. So what kind of writer are you? Find out what you need, and base your software on what will provide you with that.
Are you someone who just needs a blank sheet and that is it? Use anything. Word, pages, whatever. Most software will let you type endlessly.
Do you want to organize every single thing in one app? Keep separate sections for every detail so you don’t lose your place? Maybe Scrivener or Evernote is more up your alley.
The important thing is that you start writing, and keep writing.
With that in mind, I decided to use Pages and Evernote. Why Pages and not Word? I just don’t like Word to be honest. While it is very powerful, I just feel overwhelmed with all the options that are present in Word. Plus I use a Macbook Pro, and I like sticking to Apple software for my own fanboy reasons.
Pages can be nearly as complicated as Word, but it has a much more simple look to it. I feel like I am looking at a big blank space that lets me stay immersed in what I am writing and less on all the buttons I see. All in all, it is a small difference, but it makes me feel at home which is what matters most to me.
As far as organization of my thoughts, that is where Evernote comes in. I keep a folder for the Novel itself, then inside I have a separate note for each character and each setting. Then there is also a note just to keep track of all the notes. This note is a list of each character and setting, so I can quickly locate what I need. Evernote also lets you tag your notes, so I can easily search for something and grab the details I am looking for. Without it I would have a lot of difficulty remembering the intricate details that go in to each element.
What do you use in your own writing, and why do you use it? I’m sure I haven’t fully explored the options out there. Am I missing something epic?