Friday, December 7, 2012

Fess Up Friday: I'm Behind on Technology for Writers

Having completed the requirements for NaNoWriMo, I received an email this week from a NaNo coordinator about "winner prizes."  When I click on a link in the email, I go to a page where the sponsors offer some freebies and/or discounts for a handful of products.  Most of these products appear to be software packages or technological devices for writers.

NaNoWriMo winners this year can have access to the following:
-A complimentary 1 year BiblioCrunch membership
-5 free books from CreateSpace
-50% off Scrivener writing software
-...and discounts from Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Aeon Timeline, Tinderbox, and copyediting services from Outskirts Press

Going through the "winner prizes," I think---Free stuff, yeah!  Discounted stuff, yeah!

On the other hand, I also think--I'm really behind on the latest technology for writers. I haven't heard of most of these mentioned brands before. 

It's me, not them.

I actually don't use a whole lot of fancy technology or software for my writing, if you don't count the occasional Google search for researching a topic. Being the back to basics kinduva writer that I am, I still do my work on an old school version of Microsoft Word.

I've heard of writers using Scrivener, and so I'm curious about whether this software program would make a difference in productivity and efficiency. 

What program(s) do you write in?  Do any of you use Scrivener? If so, how do you like it? Are you familiar with any of the other brands I listed above? 


S.P. Bowers said...

I use scrivener and I really like it. I know I don't use all the bells and whistles but it's really quite a nice program. Since I'm a chunk writer and I don't write linearly Scrivener gives me a nice way of keeping track of all of my scenes. I bought it with a 50% off coupon the year I did NaNo which made it very affordable ($20 I think) and I've used it ever since.

I have friends that use Dragon. As far as I understand it's a program that types what you speak. This works really well for people who have weak wrists or hands and can't type or write much. The nice thing about Dragon is the more you use it the more it becomes accustomed to your voice, accent and vocabulary and the fewer mistakes it makes. It learns as you go.

Tara Tyler said...

i've heard of them and tried a couple, but i am traditional and like to organize my own way...i'm sure these have awesome features, but i dont have time to play with them...

congrats on nano! and the iwsg tips are perfect!

David P. King said...

I didn't know they offered prizes!

I'm the same way. The great never used software to tell a great story. It's all in the noggin, for me. :)

Julie Dao said...

I've heard of Scrivener, but I'm old-fashioned myself! Give me Microsoft Word any day :)

Lynn Proctor said...

never heard of this--let me know who it goes :)

Sherry Ellis said...

I've never used any of those, either.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Everyone I know who uses Scrivener loves and raves about it, but the features they describe leave me cold. I've heard of CreateSpace and Dragon, but not the others.

My main worry is: I don't want my writing time taken up with learning new and still newer technology, just to be able to do things I can already do now with perfectly serviceable technology.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have the Dragon Naturally Speaking program (which is just wonderful - it types what you talk) but I won't ever need to upgrade.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I love Scrivener, because it lets me organize my notes in the same document with my word processing, and it automatically saves as I go. I've heard good things about Dragon. Heard of CreateSpace. The rest of it? No.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

M.K. Louie said...

Awesome with the Winner prizes and thanks for reminding me to check it out. The one prize I'm most excited about is from CreateSpace. Their offer inspires me to edit my novel by June 30, 2013 so I can print out those 5 free copies from CreativeSpace. Then I'll use those copies to give to my friends for critical feedback. Saves me the time and energy to print it out for them. lol

I used Scrivener for NaNoWriMo and loved it. The ability to segment your chapters as notecards on a virtual cork board is my favorite feature. Since my book is written from multiple perspectives, I often change the order of chapters and see how they look along the cork board. Helped immensely.

And for $20, that's a steal. I bought it full-price years ago. And don't regret it.

Cynthia Heart Books said...

Sara: Thanks for the input on Scrivener and Dragon. There is something enticing about a gadget that does the typing for you.

Tara: Thanks! I'd be curious to know which products you'd tried.

David: I didn't know they offered prizes either until I got the email.

Julie: Microsoft Word and I go way back too.

Lynn: If I end up getting Scrivener, I'll post an update here.

Sherry: Me neither.

Jennifer: That's one thing that concerns me whenever I have the option to try a new tech product.

L.Diane: Glad Dragon has worked out for you!

Shannon: It must be nice to not have to remember to save or back up your files.

Mike: That's one use for the CreateSpace offer I hadn't thought of before. So glad to hear that Scrivener was useful for you during NaNo.

DL Hammons said...

I've played around with a lot of things, but I always seem to come back to WORD and a notebook. I guess I'm old school! :)

Nicole said...

Yeah, I've never used a lot of technology either. I used to write long-hand in a notebook. I don't do it as much anymore simply because of time, but it's still my favorite way to write. ;)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm a nope when it comes to techno stuff. I wanna be hip, but ... okay, your post has helped. Guess I'll check out the Scrivener thingy.

Jackie said...

I do what you do... old school micro word, but I've been curious about Scrivener, too.

Stephsco said...

I use Scrivener, which I first heard about from Nano a few years ago. I waited until their Windows version was released since it started for Mac. There's a real learning curve with Scrivener; the tutorial is worth going through--I've been through it twice, and sometimes I've had to search for help on their forums. There's a lot of great aspects to help organize and move chapters around, make notes, etc. It's pretty cool and I'm only using it to part of its capability. But with something more complex, it takes getting used to.

The software is inexpensive anyway, so if you get a 50% off discount, I think it's worth trying out.

Cynthia Heart Books said...

DL: Yay for old school!

Nicole: Must be nice to not have to worry about installing something.

Joylene: Let me know how you like it.

Jackie: I'm curious about Scrivener too but MS Word feels so comfy.

Stephsco: Thanks for sharing your experience with this.

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