Once again, I was sucked into software hunting, all because I just don’t feel comfortable with Liquid Story Binder. I will say, I do love the fullscreen mode in LSB, and the functionality of it works great (not buggy like most software programs). But, I think there is a huge negative with LSB in that you can’t use the timeline feature with the main story, meaning, you have to retype everything, they are independent of each other. Not to mention, the appearance and feel of LTB just leaves me – unsettled.

So, off again, I spent the day searching for the PERFECT WRITING SOFTWARE. Yeah, right. But, just when I was about to throw my hands up in the air (dreading the thought of going back to plain old OpenOffice), I checked out Final Draft 9.

To make this a short post (I’ll save the detailed analysis for a Research Tools Review), I think this is a fantastic software program. I took it for a test drive, and, though it’s a little buggy when you delete all your scenes in spit view (so just don’t do that, then), it works rather flawlessly.

The aspects I really like: the split window feature, so you can have a scenes list on one side and a writing window on the other side. You can move scenes up and down and they instantly, seemlessly, move in the actual text. It also has a great appearance while you’re writing, as well as pretty customizable for look and feel.

It will export to RTF, so I can dump it back into Open Office and use its header system to quickly format correctly for kindle conversion, add the front and back matter, etc.

CONS: It doesn’t have a Word Count! Seriously! It does have a report on certain wordcount statistics on an entire document, but no running word count, and no selection word count. When I realized this, I just shook my head in disbelief. Maybe screen writers don’t care about how large their documents are, and don’t work with daily word count goals.

So, I went off again in search of a word count program. Very difficult. Most are crap. I settled on Text Tally, but really wanted ClipCount, but it cost way too much to just count words. Text Tally is free and works okay for what I need.

It’s not really intended for fiction writers, but focuses on screen writers, so there are some tweaks I had to do to make it work right for me. Instead of putting in a Scene Heading (which can’t be removed in export), I add *** for each scene. This works well as scene dividers, and can be changed to anything I want post export. I will also go through, after each novel is written and add in chapter divisions, using the header for this as well.

I was really excited about the color coding of the scenes in the scene view. Unfortunately, there’s not enough colors to choose from to assign POV for each seen by color, so I settled for assigning two colors: Main POV and Not Main POV.

Now, hopefully, tomorrow I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things, and hit my targets.

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About Isaac Hunter

Author of Supernatural Suspense Fiction, rabid fan of religious and scientific subjects, and currently working on a secluded, lakefront Eden in the Pacific Northwest. Avid hiker, kayaker and pizza lover.

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