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What's in your ToolBox?

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Or what tools do you use for the creation of your works?

 

For the stuff I've actually paid for:

-Storyist - Novel planning and execution. :D

-Scrivener - Novel execution (for stuff without a real plan) and class notes.

-MS Offce - Presentations, Formatting (documents and novels).

-MangaStudio Debut 3.0 - Haven't actually used this one a lot yet. Used it on 1 or 2 comics, but Photoshop has been able to provide what I need

-PhotoShop - Image editing and whatnot.

 

For the stuff I haven't paid for:

-Bean - For taking notes or quickly typing up a document (when I need a quick launching word processor without too many features).

-NeoOffice - Still faster than OpenOffice. Good for formatting (documents and novels) files that MS Office can't handle. Also a more familiar user interface (I grew up with MS Office on Windows).

-OpenOffice - Because sometimes it's good to see if OO can do anything NeoOffice can't.

-Smultron - For further HTML formatting and whatnot.

 

by the way, I've been looking at Nisus Writer Pro and it seems interesting. Is it any good? All the people I've asked say that I should either stick with NeoOffice, or switch asap (the responses have been about even).

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Or what tools do you use for the creation of your works?

 

Aside from Storyist, I use TiddlyWiki (free) to create a cross referenced database of details. It has a pretty flexible tagging facility that I use for this. I use it mostly for keeping track of details that I may need to reference in the future.

 

IF

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What tools do you use for the creation of your works?

 

Aside from Storyist I find that most of the tools I need for creation are available for free on the Web. In particular, I use bartleby.com and www.onelook.com and owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar. For inspirational images I find Google Images wholly adequate (although I do draw on paper a little). As for name creation, check out www.behindthename.com and surnames.behindthename.com. The government site www.ssa.gov/sitemap.htm has proved surprisingly useful as well.

 

As for non-Storyist software, I keep track of complex data on FileMaker Pro. I also use MS Word (may it rot in software hell) simply because many folks out there won't deal with anything but the corrupted soul of the Dark Processor. I've used Scrivner and Nisus (and others) and I have found that Storyist works best for me for novel writing. (As for Nisus, it's a good full-featured processor but it doesn't really do anything Word doesn't do. It does do it nicer, though.) For letters and such I use either Word (fancy) or AppleWorks (casual) or TextEdit (very casual).

 

Screenplays are another kettle of fish but Storyist is a good place to start. (Final Draft is a good place to finish as it's dedicated to the screenplay. But Storyist is slowly catching up.)

 

Hope this helped some.

-Thoth.

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Aside from Storyist I find that most of the tools I need for creation are available for free on the Web. In particular, I use bartleby.com and www.onelook.com and owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar. For inspirational images I find Google Images wholly adequate (although I do draw on paper a little). As for name creation, check out www.behindthename.com and surnames.behindthename.com. The government site www.ssa.gov/sitemap.htm has proved surprisingly useful as well.

 

As for non-Storyist software, I keep track of complex data on FileMaker Pro. I also use MS Word (may it rot in software hell) simply because many folks out there won't deal with anything but the corrupted soul of the Dark Processor. I've used Scrivner and Nisus (and others) and I have found that Storyist works best for me for novel writing. (As for Nisus, it's a good full-featured processor but it doesn't really do anything Word doesn't do. It does do it nicer, though.) For letters and such I use either Word (fancy) or AppleWorks (casual) or TextEdit (very casual).

 

Screenplays are another kettle of fish but Storyist is a good place to start. (Final Draft is a good place to finish as it's dedicated to the screenplay. But Storyist is slowly catching up.)

 

Hope this helped some.

-Thoth.

I've been using Storyist almost exclusively since I began a new project about three months ago. I keep everything in there: the manuscript and section, character, setting, and plot descriptions, of course, but also tons of stuff in the notes groups within the notebook: Wikipedia entries and images, notes to self about revisions, writing exercises, goal/motivation/conflict charts, synopses, you name it. I back up religiously every day just in case a file crashes and it all goes south. But with everything in one file, anything I need is a click away--or a search box, if necessary (my memory's not that good!).

 

Once in a while I create a long associated document in Darth Processor. Right now, for example, I'm translating pages and pages of description from Russian that I intend to use as background for the town my heroine comes from. I've used DP for so many years that it's easier just to type it in there and then copy it to a Storyist note later (easier when creepy Word isn't in crash mode as it was today). Otherwise I use it only to produce files for sharing with benighted friends/critique partners/agents, etc. (nice people except for their inability to use Storyist :)). I tried NeoOffice but its treatment of styles didn't work for me.

 

I have Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary on my Mac, although for novel-writing I mostly use the built-in dictionaries. And I use InDesign in my work, so I sometimes create PDFs or print from it instead of distributing DP documents. I'd use that for, say, drawing a family tree as well: not because it's the best program for that but because I'm reasonably familiar with it. Photoshop for cutting images down to size so I can stash them in my character and settings sheets. Safari and Firefox for Web-based research, and Google Apps to maintain my mostly comatose, currently wildly out-of-date website. That's it.

 

Books, now, that's a whole 'nuther subject. But you asked about tools. Books have their own thread. :)

Best,

Marguerite

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