RTW: I’m so old school…

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway‘s contributors post a weekly writing – or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic. To participate, just answer the prompt on your blog and leave a link over at YA Highway.This week’s question: What word processing program do you use to write you manuscript, and can you share one handy trick you’ve learned in that program that has helped you while you write?


Guys, I’m so old school. I use Microsoft Office Word 2007. I’m envious of all you Scrivner people, but alas, I use a PC and I’m technologically stunted and resistant to change. So, Word it is. Are you judging me?

As far as simplicity and ease, Microsoft Word is where it’s at. I type my stories in an open document and jump around as needed. Not so great for organization and pre-planning, but it’s the way I’ve always done things, and it’ll be my way until it stops working. My favorite writing-related functions are the highlighter (I’m an obsessive color-coder) and FIND, which is great for editing, searching out specific words, and making document-wide corrections.

While I appreciate the straightforwardness of Word, perhaps someday I’ll own a Mac and give Scrivner a go. 🙂

What word processing program do you use? (And don’t forget to visit YA Highway to see how others answered today’s question!)


18 thoughts on “RTW: I’m so old school…

  1. kford2007 says:

    I’m a Word nut, too, when I write. There are a few programs out there that help to organize, but I didn’t like them. It felt foreign to me. I’m much more comfortable with pages upon pages of printed notes. Something I can move around. Something tangible I can see. I mean, how did the greats ever get by without Scrivener? It didn’t make things easier for me, so I guess I’m old school, too. We’ll sit in the back of the class together, ok, Katy? 🙂 Enjoy your day.

  2. katharineowens says:

    I am also old-school with the Word. I am not opposed to the idea of Scrivener, but I am able to set up an outline on Word without problem and keep things organized in a way that works for me. I also don’t feel I can justify any purchases “for writing” — I devote so much of my time to it, and that’s all I can afford for now. Hooray for Word!!

  3. Alison Miller says:

    I’m right there with you. Imagine that. 🙂

    I love leaving myself comments in my documents. In fact BEASTLY CM (yes, that is what I call it) has 221 comments waiting to be addressed. *sigh*

    I don’t use the highlighter that much, but I do love the find and replace feature. AND I will say this…by the end of the school year, I’m hoping to own a Mac. And I really want to give Scrivener a try!

    Great post, Katy!

  4. Rachel says:

    I use Word 2008 but same thing, LOL. I own a Mac. I do not own Scrivener. I am too scaredy cat to try it out 😉

    (If you want a more interesting post rather than a post on how I use MS Word 2008, I blogged about 3 military YA debuts here > http://goo.gl/eNyx3)

  5. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    I had a free trial of Scrivener awhile back and was all freaked by the change – I’ve been writing in Word since I got my first computer and before that, it was a word processor…I just can’t change 🙂

  6. Rebecca B says:

    Scrivener sounds cool, but the thought of actually using it freaks me out. I need a plain, old document, even if it’s a document that gets messy and long and hard to manipulate. That’s just how my writer brain works.
    I use a Mac at home, but my dayjob is PC–and I just got a new version of Word on that. Change! Is scary! I still can’t figure out really basic stuff like how to add strikethroughs.

  7. Jaime Morrow says:

    I bought Scrivener almost a year ago, and I haven’t used it. It just seems like there’s such a learning curve involved, and I’d rather use that time for writing, you know? I’m a Word girl—always have been, probably always will be. As for organizing, I have files for just about everything: characters, setting (including pics), research…you name it. It works well for me, so I might as well keep doing it. Plus, it’s just incredibly easy to take the whole file and back it up on my external hard drive.

    When I saw the picture of the typewriter and the title I was so sure you were going to say you use a typewriter. And I was all “What the—?!” 😛

  8. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    I used Scrivener for the first couple of drafts of my WIP and then switched to Word once I got further along in my revisions. I see the benefits of both! But I really like Scrivener for the early stages. The features are awesome. 🙂

  9. Carrie-Anne says:

    I hate Word, though I’ve finally gotten relatively used to it, after years of refusing to use it. The version I have is from 2004. I still miss the simplicity and sweetness of MacWriteII and ClarisWorks, and would gladly shell out some extra money to buy back the ’84 and ’93 Macs just so I can finally type in peace and familiarity again. Even AppleWorks would be preferable to Word, which I still find rather hard to navigate my way around. Even if the older programs could do less, at least they had all the basic things in a few menus and the main formatting bar across the screen.

  10. Krispy says:

    I don’t blame you! I kind of miss Word. I switched a Mac like 2 years ago because I won it, and then last year I bought Scriviner. It’s definitely a cool program, but it’s also kind of complicated to learn at first. I’m still working my way through it. Before that though, I was Word all the way on my PC. It wasn’t my favorite thing ever, but at least I generally knew what I was doing.

  11. Colin says:

    Old school? I’m still on Office 2003 at home! 🙂 But that does the job. I’m not going to shell out hundreds of dollars on an upgrade I’m not sure I need. If someone can show me how Office 2007 or Office 2010 will help me get my manuscript written faster, more efficiently, etc., then perhaps. Or if the next version of Windows won’t support Office 2003. Maybe. Or I’ll switch to OpenOffice!

  12. Sara Biren (@sbiren) says:

    Word. I flip back and forth between 2007 and 2010, depending on what computer I’m using. Also, I LOVE that typewriter. I have a thing for vintage typewriters – in photographs and uh, in real life. Please don’t ask me how many vintage typewriters I own. I just wish my mom had kept the two that I used when I was a kid. I’m nostalgic like that.

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