Apps for novel writing

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Ipadpaws, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Ipadpaws
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    Ipadpaws iPF Novice

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    Hi all,

    I'm not sure how popular the Ipad is for writing novels but I began to give it a go recently. I started using an app called My Writing Spot which was pretty cool, but soon crashed and I lost my three chapters grr. my fault too that i didnt sync and back up in time before deleting it.

    Anyway, have moved onto Pages at the moment, but I have no way of organising my documents. I've heard of Dropbox and Documents to Go, so my main question is what you guys might think is best. I have a googledocs account and so syncing my files with that might mean I can get to access my edited files on my laptop too :).

    Ideally, I'd like to use the Ipad for travel writing and the laptop for home, and will not be needing anything too complicated, I just find Pages a big limiting for the reasons I mentioned above.

    Any and all opinions are greatly appreciated by this complete newbie!!
  2. the_john
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    the_john iPad Fan

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    I was asking about this yesterday. From all of the options I've seen, I've decided to go with a remote desktop app so I can access Word and my documents directly from my home computer on the iPad.
  3. sch
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    sch iPad Fan

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    You might also consider Notebooks for iPad used in conjunction with Scrivener on the PC/Mac. Scrivener is unparalleled for writing, and Notebooks for iPad interfaces with it seamlessly.

    Ciao,
  4. Ipadpaws
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    Ipadpaws iPF Novice

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    Ohh I must look into these options, thank you very much guys :)
  5. Ipadpaws
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    Ipadpaws iPF Novice

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    I'm quite keen on using Dropbox now, but the kind of word processor I need must allow me to have some type of folder or file system. In PAGES I have to scroll randomly through the documents to find the one I want to edit.
    Anyway, thank you padpals. :)
  6. the_john
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    the_john iPad Fan

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    Is Padpals free or paid?
    I'm still planning on sticking with the remote desktop option when I can finally get my iPad, but if Padpals is free I just might give it a try.
  7. Ipadpaws
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    Ipadpaws iPF Novice

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    Oh well I'm not certain, might be a case of finding that info out yourself :D
  8. Hasty
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    Hasty iPad Ninja

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    Scrivener is one of the best writing programs out there and it can be made to work with the PlainText app via dropbox.
    There are also a number of ideas aggregators such as PinBoard and Poplets, not forgetting Evernote which syncs between all your machines and the cloud so your ideas never get lost.
  9. iVan
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    iVan iPad Ninja

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    If you are used to writing with Word then DocsToGo is your go-between. It allows automatic file syncing between iPad and pc.
  10. Major Eazy
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    Major Eazy iPF Novice

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    As a fellow writer, I would advise you not to write a novel on your iPad, you need a desktop computer (a laptop would be okay) and a proper sitting position to write a novel.

    Just use the iPad for making notes, character notes, draft outline, background research, anything to jot down that came into your mind, which you'll then need to format into a plot, then write it all on a proper computer.

    That is one of the reasons I bought the iPad, to create ideas, do background work, format characters, outlines and all that, in support of major work on the computer. Think of the iPad and any apps you find useful, as your all-in-one notebook.
  11. jkhonea
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    jkhonea iPad Fan

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm down to the last two chapters on my novel, writing completely in Pages. I bought Scrivener and Notebooks for iPad today and transferred the book to it. My God I wish I had gotten these earlier. They are FANTASTIC! Making it so easy to go back and edit plus check my organization. Hopefully there will be another book after this one to use this setup from the beginning. The sync function through Dropbox is magnificent!

    I can't recommend this setup enough. You can't go wrong!
  12. Ipadpaws
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    Ipadpaws iPF Novice

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    Wow, well done! I searched for Scrivener in the App store yesterday and whatever came up didn't look right to me, some Japanese app? I ended up taking a look at Notebooks and Docs2Go, finally deciding on the latter as I do all my writing in Word, ( though rather annoyingly only the premium version allowed the Dropbox function!) I also downloaded Dropbox for free. I found no easy way to transfer my chapters from Pages to Docs2Go. I tried syncing in Itunes but there was no document syncing option available. So a bit of kerfuffle with that, but nonetheless, progress is being made.

    What I have still found rather irritating is the lack of folder organisation in Docs2Go which seems to be great in Dropbox!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
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  13. Ipadpaws
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    Ipadpaws iPF Novice

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    PS:I just tried to edit the above as I can't seem to edit my posts in IPad screen at all. It won't allow me to scroll down the text anyone else have this problem?
  14. jkhonea
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    jkhonea iPad Fan

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    Scrivener is actually a Mac program, not for the iPad. There is a Windows Beta but I haven't tried that yet. The thing I'm most impressed with is the folders carrying back and forth for syncing between the iPad and the computer now. I've always worried about backing up and overwriting something I shouldn't but this will really help.

    As far as editing posts, look at the top of the text box and see if you see small up and down arrows. They should be there. That will allow scrolling.
  15. USBill
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    USBill iPad Enthusiast

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    Yep. We all kinda do. I use a ZaggMate keyboard which has arrow keys.
  16. iVan
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    iVan iPad Ninja

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    Instead of trying to scroll with one finger, put two fingers down instead. This is good too for any kind of text box or scroll down menu.
  17. Keyser520
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    Keyser520 iPF Noob

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    Based on this thread, I downloaded Scrivener for my Macbook and Notebooks for my ipad. I transferred my novel into Scrivener (made all the chapter folders and added the chapters written so far).

    I can't figure out how to sync the Scrivener project with Notebooks. Would one of you novel writing gurus be kind enough to tell me how you have been doing this? Thanks so much!
  18. JohnMetta
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    JohnMetta iPF Noob

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    That statement is patently absurd.

    Ray Bradbury, who sadly died today, and generations of writers prior to the advent of personal computers seemed to have managed quite well. Bradbury wrote a novel on paper using a fax machine to send pieces to his co-writer, laying then out on the floor to organize. There are also thousands of writers who still write without a computer. Is a proper sitting position "in a booth at a coffee shop?" If not, we might have had no Harry Potter.

    Saying that one explicitly needs a desktop system (with the parenthetical insinuation that a laptop is possibly substandard) is ridiculous.

    Plenty of people find the iPad an exceptional interface for writing. One with a fewer number of distractions than a full-fledged computer. In fact, with the Bluetooth keyboard, it very much reminds me of the word processors I used decades ago- a distraction-less environment that's actually very conducive to writing. Don't listen to someone telling you that an iPad is not a good writing interface, try it out and see if it works for you. It's a new technology and many, if not all, writers will incorporate it as they have all new technologies.
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  19. MoonlitSonata
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    MoonlitSonata Super Moderator Staff Member

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    +1,000,000,000 well said!
  20. jkhonea
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    jkhonea iPad Fan

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    Keyser, use Dropbox for the transition. Shoot me a pm with your email and I'll help you with it. I am so sorry I didn't see your response earlier. I so apologize.

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