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WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY? : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
Kari437
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WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby Kari437 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:58 pm

Hi,

Totally new to this whole writing thing. My question might seem naive to some but for those who remember taking their very first step toward writing, I would really appreciate any bit of advice, knowledge, help, suggestions ANYTHING! Right now, however, I'm posting this topic/question to inquire on word processors or software to use. I have a MAC. Are software's really necessary? Any app recommendations??

Thanks in advance! Happy Writing!! :D

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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby pls » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:20 pm

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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby cynfranks » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:44 pm

If you have a Mac, you probably have Pages. I use Pages for my stuff and have done so for long time. Some Magazines require you submit specifically in Word, but not to worry, Pages will save in Word format.

With the new Mavericks you can work across multiple devices. I like do my work on the computer, but find my iPad great for editing.

Try not to spend any money on writing until you make some money.
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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby MookyMcD » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:10 pm

I love to read what writers have to say about writing, and I've read hundreds of interviews with authors over the years. In fact, I think the Paris Review's "The Art of Fiction" series should be required reading. It's better than any "how-to" book, because you get a lot of different (and often contradictory) explanations of how the great writers "did."

That said, every writer I've seen interviewed has used either (a) pen/pencil and paper; (b) typewriter; or (c) a standard word processing program. So if your question is about whether something other than basic word processing power is needed, I think the answer is a resounding "no."

Oh, yea, some of them used note cards, too. Nabokov was a freaking index card nut.

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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby robjvargas » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:09 am

As already stated by others, software is not needed. Mac and Windows computers come with software that can work just fine. For Windows, Wordpad is included, and has some basic word processing functions. Or Microsoft provides a limited-function online version of MS Word if you sign up for their OneDrive service. So there are lots of free options.

But, again, there's no need. I recommend it, but not for the writing. If you use pen/paper, or a typewriter, then you have to manually copy your work and "snail" mail your submissions. It's much less expensive to email it, and most agents and publishers are now accepting email.

That adds up rather quickly, IMO.
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mammamaia
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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby mammamaia » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:20 pm

all you need is ms word... if you don't have it on your mac, you can acquire the mac version... it's the lingua franca of the writing/publishing world, so if you're serious about being a professional writer, it's worth the cost...

in the meantime, while you're just in the learning/practicing phase, you can use 'open office' which is free...
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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby TerryRodgers » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:51 pm


James A. Ritchie
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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:55 pm

I believe every writer should have MS Office, even if you don't actually use it to compose. It's the software the huge, huge majority of agents and editors use, and if you both have it, you can do all sorts of nifty things, should the need arise. You can also send perfectly formatted prose using Outlook, and, if you like, run your entire operation using Outlook tools.

But for writing itself, anything you like is probably fine. I still write most of my fiction with pen and paper, and when I can find the right kind of ribbons, a manual typewriter. When I do compose on the computer, and I'm doing more of this as I get older, I almost always use Q10, a minimalist word processor that fills the desktop. With a black background and green type, it takes me back to the first word processor I used in 1979.

I know a couple of famous writers who still manage to use WordStar. I know a couple of Mac users who still swear by Word 5.1, and PC users who love Word 6.0.

Fiction is written with wetware, not software. This has been true since some would-be writer sharpened a stick and started scratching in the mud.

Regardless of the word processor you have on your Mac, it's the words you type that matter. Quills have written eternal masterpieces, and the latest, greatest, gee whiz, pop, bang writing software has been used to write mountains on crap.

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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:57 pm


Kari437
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Re: WRITING SOFTWARE NECESSARY?

Postby Kari437 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:43 pm

Aw, thank you everyone for your fast replies and for taking the time to help me! I really appreciate it!

James A. Ritchie and MookyMcD - LOVE your replies!! Point well made. What can I say, I'm a young adult caught in the mix of this technologically advanced generation :lol: :D AND still, not as computer savvy as expected to be! :( :D

Thanks again guys!

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