Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | September 4, 2010

Software

I suppose someone, somewhere still uses a typewriter to write fiction. Such a writer is in the minority.

Let’s look at the software we use to write. I’ve tried (and still have on my hard drive) a couple of creative writing programs. After trying to use them for awhile, I discovered that I was spending more time fiddling with the program, trying to learn its nuances, than I was writing. Maybe I was fooling myself into thinking I was really creating, when I was playing with new software. For some, these programs may be excellent, for me, no.

I am familiar with MS Word. I don’t have to be concerned about how to make changes, adjust fonts and go to italics. I know the keyboard shortcuts. I can devote my time behind the computer keyboard to creating.

There is, however, software that I find quite helpful. Actually, “software” isn’t the appropriate word. A website, autocrit.com provides a fee-based editing service. Run a few pages of your favorite text through the site’s hopper to check for repeated words, for example. Can be embarrassing (don’t tell anyone) and give you, the writer, a chance to correct your errors before anyone else gets to see them. A favorite trick: open your document; copy it and paste it into the autocrit box; copy the autocrit results, paste it on a new document and then go back and forth from the original to the autocrit, making changes as necessary. Works well for me.

Have a good weekend.

Thomas

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