The Mac has long been considered the computing domain of the creative. Writers, designers, movie makers. What are the Mac creative tools that writers choose?
From simple story telling to the complexities of novels, screen, and stage, Mac360 explores the Top Mac Apps For Writer’s Tools Week. It’s a day-by-day look at the tools writers choose to capture and bottle creativity, manage the creative process, and enjoy the journey of writing.
Monday – The Layered Approach To Creative Tools
How many ways can a writer write? From pen and paper to typewriter to computer, today’s writers have more tools than ever. Simple word processors get ideas to screen to paper with a minimum of fuss and bother.
Creative writing goes well beyond putting word into a keyboard.
Story lines can be complex. Characters must interact with each other and locations. Writing for a novel is completely different than writing for screen which isn’t the same for stage or television.
For Mac users with a creative writing requirement, whether pleasure or professional, what kinds of writing tools are available?
For Monday, we started with a look at The Mac Writing Tool That Doesn’t Have A Kitchen Sink.
Actually, it’s a wide ranging suite of writer’s tools, which start with a simple word processor, highly reminiscent of the legendary WriteNow of the 20th century, and include many apps with specific writing capabilities and functions.
Some apps help with script development. Others venture into the highly structured world of screenwriting. For example, the popular StoryMill app focuses Mac users on novel writing. Even poets have a tool to help shape the interaction of words to convey specific meanings.
Tuesday – Normal vs. Strange vs. Free
Is there such a thing as a standard, de facto word processor? If there is, it’s called Nisus Writer Pro and it makes up half of A Tale Of 2 Writing Tools: Strange vs. Normal.
We don’t know of a better general purpose word processor than NWP. Feature laden, affordable, and utterly normal and within all expectations.
Contrast that sturdy, dependable effort with Pagehand. It looks something like a typical Mac word processor but it’s, well, thinking different—from the toolbar all the way to the PDF documents it outputs. No Word, no RTF. Just PDF.
On the other hand, if you’re a budget minded writer and don’t need all the bells and whistles offered by Nisus Writer or Microsoft Word, you’ll quickly fall in love with The Fast, Fun, And Free Mac Word Processor App. Bean. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s drop dead easy but seems to have just the right blend of features and functions.
And, Bean is free. As the week moves on, the Mac writer’s tools grow in number.
Wednesday – Mac Add-On Tools
Your Mac comes with a built-in spell checker. What else do you need? Thesaurus? Bibliography management? How about the ever popular Klingon-English Phrasebook?
How about The Top 6 Best Mac Add-On Writing Tools?
Add-on tools range from bibliography management to online research tools to multiple language apps. There’s also apps to check for too frequently used phrases and words, check grammar, and do auto-save when your Mac app doesn’t.
My favorites are BibDesk (right name, right app) and Spell Catcher (wrong name, right app).
Thursday – Notecards And A Smackdown Shootout
Got notecards? Great writing and research often starts with ideas scribbled on note cards. Notecards take on a management role, holding research, ideas, timelines, characters, profiles, and all the pieces of information that make up a writer’s finished product.
What happens when you put the note card metaphor on performance enhancing drugs? How To Organize Writing, Research, And Ideas In SuperNotecards.
It’s a familiar, timeless way to organize writing essentials. Notecards on a Mac or PC. But wait. There’s more. How about a rumble, a shootout, a smack down, a head-to-head match of titans in Shootout: The Top Two Mac Novel Writing Tools.
Scrivener or Storyist? Choose your poison wisely, but either choice can take you from idea to novel to screenplay—if you can manage all the features.
Friday – The Most Powerful Word Processor?
Old school? Or, older school? Older is Ulysses, more of a document processor than a word processor. Forget WYSIWYG and ease-of-use.
Ulysses provides more than 7 Ways To Write Better, Write More, Publish, For Less. It’s a relatively inexpensive document creation tool that dispenses with modern amenities to give Mac users a taste of WordStar.
What’s the most powerful word processor for Mac writers?
Ask 10 Mac users and you’ll likely get 10 different and distinct answers (assuming you remove Pages and Word from the mix).
Me? I’m torn between multiple worlds. Scrivener and Nisus Writer Pro, but if a word processor app elicits enough passion then it’s easier to ask (and answer) Why Is This The Most Powerful Word Processor For Mac Writers?
No Mac app carries a personal comfort zone like a word processor. Whether you agree with my choices or not, chalk up the differences to taste, for which there is no accounting. If you have a favorite Mac writing tool, let me know what it is, why you like it, and how it’s the best tool you’ve used.