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Something better than Word. It must also be free.

#14#14 Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm from the Netherlands and I've been trying to write some short stories and such. I want to start working on a novel. However, I don't like writing in Word or textpad...Word acts weird and slow and text is too basic for me. Is there anything better available? Some sort of program all the writers use or something?

Thanks in advance.

#14 on

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    TavTav Irish Minister for DefenceRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I use Open Office for writing up school stuff.

    Tav on
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    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Can you be a little bit more specific as to what you want? You've got basically three options:

    1. Plain text editors of which there are several zillion
    2. Augmented plain text, e.g., LaTeX, HTML, or XML + a stylesheet
    3. Shameless open-source Word clones like OpenOffice Writer or AbiWord

    LaTeX has powerful options for layout and typesetting if you learn how to use it. But the input files are still plain text and so you'd need a good plain text editor to use it.

    In the commercial world you've got Word, WordPerfect (which is cheap as free these days, although I can't stand it because it's UI is flaky and it crashes all the time), and perhaps Adobe FrameMaker, which is quite capable but Adobe has really crapped on it for the last three or four versions and it still operates like a program from the early 1990s user-interface wise (even though it's far easier to do complex document layout in Frame than in Word).

    DrFrylock on
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    SilvoculousSilvoculous Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    3. Shameless open-source Word clones like OpenOffice Writer or AbiWord

    There you go. OpenOffice uses a Java interface so it'll seem slow when it's loading up; if this bothers you then you can adjust how much memory it uses, etc. I, like many, cannot be fucked with this most of the time, so I roll with Abiword by default. You'll probably like it. After years of the nightmare that was WordPerfect, Abiword felt heaven-sent.

    Silvoculous on
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    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You could also give Google Documents a look. It emulates most word processors but runs entirely in your browser, so there's nothing to install. It also stores all of your work online, which means you can access it from anywhere ad don't have to fiddle with a USB stick or anything to carry it around with you. Once you're done, you can share it with anyone else for review or critique.

    http://docs.google.com

    Willeth on
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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    There's some really neat story/novel writing software out there (that lets you pin up pictures of your characters, attach timelines, jot down notes in the margins, and other fun things that something like MS word won't let you do), but if you're not willing to spend money I don't think you'll be able to get any of those.

    My wife uses one of them now, and I think she picked it up for 50 bucks. She raves about it, it's really a fantastic program that goes one step beyond a simple Word Processor if your task is specifically oriented toward Novel/Short Story writing as you are. I'll get the name of it when I get home from work and post it here.

    But if you don't want to spend even 50 bucks, your next best bet is probably OpenOffice as stated above. But I'll get that name... if you can shell out a quick 50 (or just use the demo for a while and see if you like it), it may be worth it for you.

    VThornheart on
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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Storyist.

    http://www.storyist.com/

    If you're using a Mac, this thing's incredible. My wife loves it.

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
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