Microsoft’s OneNote

As some of you might know, I’m a huge user of WordPerfect. It blows Word out of the water on practically all accounts. I would grudgingly say the only thing Word has going for it is its review capabilities, but that’s it. Everything else in Word is unnecessarily difficult. Try to put a graphic image in a certain position lately? With WordPerfect, you can specify exactly where it goes. If you’ve never used WordPerfect, and stuck with Word because it’s what the office computer has, trust me, you’re missing out on the word processor that professional word processors use.

Anyway, I will give kudos to Microsoft for one really cool Office product. OneNote. (And yes, they’ve made it one word.) Right now I’m putting together my next novel, a fantasy entitled Dew Drops. I plan to really dig deep with this one, go more into the characters than I have before. I ultimately intend to map the story out scene by scene. I think I may do more preparatory work than I will writing the book. But that’s how it should be sometimes.

So, OneNote lets me create folders and pages for everything! I have several characters named and identified their place in the story. I’ve jotted down notes on the taglines, the synopsis, the setting, and right now I’m going through the most detailed description of the plot that I’ve done so far. (I’m getting things straight in my head, and I’m coming up with a pretty smooth flow to the story.) I can even list off to the side all the characters that come into play at certain point. I still plan to draw a map of the land in Sketchbook Pro 7 (yeah, I upgraded a couple days ago) and add that to OneNote. What’s even more cool is I can add links to the various parts, so if I need to remind myself how a character thinks, I can link to their description, and Alt-left arrow right back to where I was. At its most basic, though,. OneNote is exceptional in allowing me to keep everything nice and tidy. And that inherent feature is greatly appreciated.

I became aware of OneNote when I went through a three-year online animation program through Westwood College. While I don’t think I actually used OneNote for anything school-related, I did tinker with it one a story or two. But I didn’t really get into it the way I am with Dew Drops. Probably because Dew Drops is my first new novel in a long time (what’s been published has all been heavy revisions of previous manuscripts). So far this experience is turning out to be satisfactory. We’ll see how it goes as I get deeper in.

Corel, the makers of WordPerfect, have a similar program called WordPerfect Lightning. I have it installed on my home computer but not my laptop. Since my laptop is dying and I’ve already ordered a new one (should be here next week-or, well, this week since it’s Sunday morning right now) I plan to install Lightning on the new toy. I won’t use it for Dew Drops but the next one I’ll take it for a spin. Compare it to OneNote. The one huge potential plus for Lightning is I could very easily copy stuff into WordPerfect itself if I need to. Copying stuff from anything Microsoft always involves an extra step- copying without formatting, and letting WordPerfect handle it. Lightning would probably allow me to skip that step.

Been a while since I blogged, so I thought I would drop one in about how I go about doing this writing thing I do. I welcome your comments!

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