Friday, May 22, 2020

Not Entirely Writing Apps

Writing apps. I've pared down my list this year. Maybe it's quarantine. I don't know. But the whole financial insecurity thing has made me conscious of what I pay for these days. So a bunch of random subscription services got the axe. The one I am using, though, is 4thWords this is a website where you create a character and progress through a story line by 'defeating' monsters who require that you write a certain number of words in a certain time frame - all of them reasonable. There are special events and different rewards to chase if those things light you up. Or you can sit back and pursue a project as you see fit. You have complete control over how you approach the environment. I happen to like the structure and the defined time frames. It gives me permission to brain dump. Most of that is garbage, but every once in awhile, I glean a really great story piece out of it.

Then there's Calm. Sure it's a meditation app. I don't actually use it for that. It also has a huge selection of sleep music to select from as well as ambient soundscapes. When Dad decides he's going to watch some craptastic war movie at incredible volume, I'm gonna need something keeping my blood pressure near normal. Calm and a pair of headphones do a good job of that.

For book formatting (for ebooks) I use Jutoh. I can produce any format I want, including .mobi. It does an amazing job of sorting through your manuscript and telling you if something won't pass muster for Amazon. I guess they have this weird fetish about Em and En dashes. Don't get me started. Regardless, Jutoh builds the encoding seamlessly. I won't lie. It does have a learning curve, but it's not steep and there are great tutorial videos to step you through everything. It didn't take me but a day to figure out how to get a book formatted, built, and saved out to every single file type I needed. Because I'm a dedicated Windows gal, I can't use Vellum, which I hear is THE software to use if you can. Sadly, it's only available for Mac. And based on what it costs to get a Mac, that's never going to happen.

What else is there? I'm always open to the new and cool.
PS: I still have unreasonable love for OmmWriter. But you knew that already.