How Not to Write a Book, Part 2: Switching Tools

How Not to Write a Book, Part 2: Switching Tools

As I mentioned in Part 1, if there’s a mistake to be made in the book writing process, I’ve made it.

If you’re interested in writing software, there are more than a few options. In fact, almost any software will do, but some have more helpful features than others. It doesn’t matter what software you use to write your book; just pick one and stick with it. Don’t be like me.

I began with Scrivener, naturally, as it’s the favorite of many writers, both fiction and nonfiction. Scrivener is full featured almost to a fault. It allows you to organize content as virtual index cards, to move them around and reorganize as needed. The trouble was for me, it’s geared in many ways for fiction writing, with emphasis on plot and scenes. I fought and fought with the software until I finally gave up and copy/pasted everything into …

Pages. Apple’s word processing/layout program. I’ve used Pages quite a bit and it’s great for small writing projects. I’m not sure why I didn’t like it for the book, but it didn’t work so well, so I gave up and copy/pasted everything into …

Good old Microsoft Word. Yeah, it’s bloated and crashy, but my favorite thing about Word is that it keeps the word count at the bottom where you can always see it. I like to keep up with my word count, and sometimes set word goals for a day’s writing.

I spent more time bouncing from app to app than was necessary. I’d have been better off to start with Word or Google Docs and just keep at it.

Writing is the one thing you can do that doesn’t require special software. Don’t let the app get in the way. If you continually have to stop and consult a tutorial or do too much Googling, your app is probably slowing you down as Scrivener did for me.

I’d also recommend that you avoid using a layout program to write. You should be concentrating on the words and only the words. Layout time will come later.

If you’re thinking of writing a book, start with software you’re familiar and comfortable with and don’t try to learn something new. Save yourself some frustration; decide on which tools you’ll use and stick with them.

Miss Part 1? Read it here.

2018-04-10T21:03:26+00:00 February 7, 2018|Categories: Blog, Writing|Tags: , , |

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