There is a lot of good writing software out there for the Mac. Most of the programs linked to below are direct competition for Scrivener. I provide links because the writing process is different for everyone. Scrivener suits the way I write, and hopefully some others too, but if it doesn’t suit the way that you write, then you may want to check out some of the excellent software below to see if any of it fits the way you work.
Why have a separate section for “word processing software”? Why not just put it all under “writing software”? Word processing software is writing software by definition, of couse, and much of the software in the “writing software” section above might equally be categorised as word processors. The main difference drawn here is that a word processor is usually used for writing and printing the final document; it shows on screen exactly what you will see when you print. The applications in the “writing software” section are more about developing ideas and getting the words down.
Some users may use one of those applications right up to and including printing; many will use one of the dedicated writing applications in conjunction with a word processor, hammering out the first draft in one of the programs above and then exporting it to a word processor for final revisions and formatting. And many, too, will only ever work in a word processor, from first idea to final draft. So whereas the previous section was dedicated to software that is all about freeing up the writer to write, this section is dedicated to software that is great for the final formatting and getting a document ready for printing. Oh, and I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you all know about Word and Pages (the one thing that Word and Pages have that these other programs do not yet have, incidentally, is “track changes” if that’s not important to you, you should definitely try out these alternatives).
Although Scrivener allows you to put together first drafts of scripts, if you are serious about scriptwriting you will need to export to a dedicated scriptwriting package.
If you came here looking for an alternative to Scrivener because you thought it was Mac only, we are happy to announce that this is no longer the case. We have released a version of Scrivener for Windows, which you can view on the main product page. But, if the Scrivener way of working isn’t to your taste, here is a list of other programs for Windows which cater to writing.
I’m sure most of us want to get our tomes published professionally and then lap up the rave reviews that are bound to follow... However, for those who wish to self-publish, there are some good options out there. Even if you ultimately hope your work will be accepted by a publishing house, there are reasons you may wish to produce a bound copy of your work beforehand. For instance, Jason Snell, editor of Macworld magazine, decided that rather than hand the first readers of his novel a bundle of manscript pages, he wanted to hand them something that felt more like a book. You can read his write up on this process here.