Back when I received this question a million years ago (I am so,
so, so sorry for taking so long to respond–I am a terrible person), I really
didn’t have much to say on the subject. But now I do!
like the Web version of Write or Die, and I use the application versions of Pro
Writing Aid and Scrivener. I sometimes use the Web version of Pro Writing Aid,
but like… I paid for it, so I might as well use the pretty one.
Write or Die is good for when you’re on a deadline and/or when
you need to get the creative juices flowing. It’s highly customizable to
whatever works best for you. It annoys the crap out of you if you stop typing
for more than a few seconds. I don’t recommend Kamikaze mode unless you really
Pro Writing Aid is great for editing. You can look for very
specific things in your writing and see how often they are issues. If you have a
lot of clichés in your writing, for example, it will underline them and point
them out. It has sooooo many great features, even if you just use the free
The non-free version lets you put in as many words as you want
(while the free one only goes up to 3,000 words), which means you can literally
copy and paste your entire novel into it. The more text you can enter, the
better, because it can see overall how often you make errors and take them in
context of everything.
If you use a lot of adverbs in a 3,000-word section but
not overall in your writing, the free one will be like “Hey, that’s a lot of
adverbs.” But if you use the paid version, it’ll look at how often you use
adverbs in your entire 50,000+ word novel. You’d be surprised at the difference
it makes. I went ahead and bought the version that’s permanent, because I use
it often enough for it to be worth it.
Scrivener is great for storyboarding. If you find Microsoft Word
to be distracting, crowded, or restrictive, you’ll love Scrivener. It allows
you to make little bulletin boards, keep writing separate from research, put
pieces of your stories in folders so you can edit them a little bit at a time,
and more! If you do a lot of shuffling when you’re planning a story out, you
need Scrivener. When you’re using Word, you have to scroll up and down a huge
document or start multiple documents so you can see things side-by-side.
Scrivener fixes that issue.
Those are my top 3, but honestly, when it comes down to it, I
use Microsoft Word the most. I’m incredibly familiar with it, and I keep the
majority of my work on it. In fact, because Tumblr gets a little laggy when I
type messages sometimes, I actually typed this message in Word. It is
definitely one of the most convenient options if you already have it. The
functions are easy to find, and the layout makes a lot of sense. You can customize
Scrivener is good when I’m doing research projects. I’m writing for a
mask company, so I keep all of my product descriptions and quotes in a
Scrivener file, rather than trying to scroll up and down a Word doc.
I primarily use Pro Writing Aid when I’ve hit a point where I’ve
done all the editing I can and am ready for a “second opinion.” It points out
when you overuse words (which most of us do), and that is absolutely one of my
favorite features, because I’m very good at using certain words over and over.
It helps you catch the stuff you wouldn’t otherwise catch on your own, even if
you’re a good editor like I am. I mean, I literally get paid to edit and write
stuff, and I still use Pro Writing Aid for editing my personal projects. If
that is not a testament to its awesomeness, I don’t know what is.