I have been writing a book for a couple of months now. Maybe ‘been’ is a slight exaggeration, and I should say attempting to write a book.
It won’t be the first, but it will be the first fiction thing to be published. I’ve had many articles and opinion pieces published in magazines and newspapers, but never actually published a novel.
So, I did what all procrastinators do – and went looking for an app to help. And as with learning a language (if you are like me) the more you buy the more you learn / better you are – or that’s the theory at any rate – the truth isnt quite the same lol.
So I have a bunch to talk about.
Background: I work on apple; I have an iphone, an ipad mini, an ipad Pro and a Mac – and I live in the UK, which frustratingly appears to make a difference in some cases, you find one you really want and then it isn’t available here.
Possibly the most interesting thing was, the ones I saw online quoted in US$ translated into exactly the same in Sterling pounds (fyi the exchange rate today is £1.00 = $1.38).
So, what I was looking for was something to catalogue the characters, create a story line, and write out draft chapters. A scene definer would be nice. (I’m quite visual rather than textual). So here are the ones I didn’t delete within seconds of downloading.
The 6 Best Apps for Writers
Trello: It’s ok, but for me not very versatile. Effectively its cards and you just add them, but I couldnt move them round, it was very linear. Maybe on the Mac it would be better.
Story Planner: (£3.99) is great. Quite basic but has a great character creation section, scene creation section as well as the other ideas mentioned above. Not sure I would trust it with my novel, but its a great little resource, reminder, note pad.
yWriter: I couldnt really get on with it, it seems good. You can add new chapters, characters and scenes, but I tried it in my phone and it just seemed a bit unweildy, which could be very unfair. Again it’s more a note book that an editor (which is fair enough). (£4.99)
Lists for Writers **** for this one: this is crazy nuts. It has lists of anything you can think of; mens names, cities, plot types, personalityy types, grammar lists and so on. It’s such good value for the money. It was a couple of quid. (£2.99)
Mind Node (£14.00) and Simple Mind (£6.99): Both have free versions. Both are mind mapping apps. From initial look there seems little difference between them except the price. They are what they say they are mind mapping tools. Start with a word in the centre and then build outwards. Thought it would be a bit tricky inside an iphone but it’s easy as. Actually with the Simple Mind I got a little carried away once I started – great for brain storming.
Scrivener. Phew. Now I’m pretty savvy when it comes to computers and software and apps normally, but this beast has had me foxed for a good part of the day. It was like teaching an old man how to use a computer when he had never seen one before – it was driving me nuts. And then it clicked. There are about five pages of insturctions, too many, but it didnt start off very intuitive so the creator probablyy felt it was necessary. Anyways, I have finally figured it and now I really like it. Not cheap at £19.99, but definately worth it now, I really like it, it has everything I wanted plus plus plus. Questioning whether to pay the much higher price to put it on the big beast, but for the time being this will do.
So, excuse me, I have some writing to do 😉