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Resources for Writers
- LibreOffice – A free and opensource alternative to MS Word that has the features most anyone would need if they are looking for a standard word processor. It can read and save to docx and doc format, but doesn’t load them as well as it’s own native format.
- Liquid Story Binder – A word processor geared towards writers, that has the ability to break stories down into chunks. It’s designed with a much more customizable user interface than any of the other options I’ve researched, but, despite this, I was never particularly enamored with it. It’s a solid bit of software, but just not one that ever appealed to me. Like Scrivener it comes with a price-tag, but unlike the application it is exclusive to Windows devices. Unfortunately, development appears to be dead as it hasn’t been updated since 2011.
- Manuskript – An open-source application for writers with a similar feature set to Scrivener. It’s still in the early development stages, and as such is a bit rough a round the edges but shows a lot of potential.
- Novlr – A subscription-based writing software that also allows a writer to break his or her story into smaller chunks and arrange them as desired. I was initially drawn in by it’s promise of compatibility across devices, but was put off by the monthly subscription costs and it’s lack of features. It is a very simple and straight-forward web app that may appeal to those intimidated by the likes of Scrivener or Liquid Story Binder or those who feel other choices are too bloated.
- Scapple – Developed by the same company as Scrivener, Scapple is a helpful and easy-to-use tool that allows you to quickly type ideas up and connecting them in a matter similar to a mind-mapping tool.
- Scrivener – The software I use throughout most of the writing process. It has a bit of a learning curve for some folks, but the things it allows you to do are well worth the effort. I was initially attracted to it for it’s ability to break a story into various-sized chunks and effortlessly rearrange it as I saw fit, but there are so many things it can do that it has actually replaced many of the tools I used in the past. Unfortunately, there is one big downside to writers on a budget, it’ll cost you $19.99, $40 or $45 (USD) depending on whether you use the iOS, Windows or Mac OS version. The Mac version is the most feature rich as it has been in development the longest, but the Windows version will eventually reach parity. The iOS version is a much simpler version intended for mobile devices and, to my knowledge, will never have all the features of the Mac or Windows variants.
- Ulysses – Writing software with some similarities to Scrivener, but one with a slightly different focus. I know very little about this one, but its users seem quite loyal. It is exclusive to Mac OS and iOS and has recently switched to a subscription-based pay model.
- yWriter – Free software, developed by author Simon Haynes, that offers similar functionality to Scrivener, in that it allows you to break up your story into smaller chunks, but is not as feature rich as it’s counterpart.
- Behind the Name – An extensive database of given names and their meanings. It lists monikers from all over the world.
- Behind the Name: Surnames – As one might infer from the name, this site is a sub-site of Behind the Name with a focus on Surnames rather than given names.
- Encyclopedia Mythica – A comprehensive encyclopedia of mythology and folklore, just as the name would suggest.
- English to Old Norse dictionary – One of the resources I used for the Ragnarok Rising stories when developing the various languages and terms.
- Medieval Names Archive – Recommended to me by Ellie Dauber, this site is dedicated exclusively to medieval names. It does not have the advanced search functions of Behind the Name, but has the most extensive list of Medieval names I’ve ever seen.
- Theoi – A site that explores Greek mythology and a great reference for anyone looking to write about or are just curious about it.
- Writing Diversity – A great guide on how to best include LGBTQIA+ characters in your writing.