Cross-Platform Novel Writing: Is There An App For That?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Master Fwiffo, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Master Fwiffo macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2003
    I've been 'working' on a Novel for a long time. Since I'm moving into the iOS age, I've wanted to continue writing. I'm soon going to be getting an iPad to replace the functionality of my Laptop, but I still want to be able to write when the inspiration hits.

    But what I want to know, is there a cross-platform writing App that will sync my work between devices?

    Here's what I'm picturing: A writing App that on the iPhone or iPad has a mostly symplistic display (not much more than the text and an ability to select chapters or different parts of the document) that syncs to my main computer, where I'd have a full fledged editor including stats, notes, ect. Does such a thing exist or am I hoping for a pipe dream?
  2. Cougarcat, Oct 29, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012

    Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    It will exist. Scrivener is hands-down my favorite writing app for longer writing projects. It has Mac and Windows versions, and the developer is working on iPhone and iPad versions. He was targeting an end-of-2012 release in may, but that's probably changed.

    In the meantime, Scrivener syncs with simplenote. I haven't tried the syncing but I think it'll do what you want.

    BTW, scrivener is on sale for $29 as a part of the macheist bundle, but it's ending imminently.
  3. MathRulz macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    When you say cross-platform, do you mean mac laptop to iPad or windows laptop to iPad? If the former, there are many options (e.g., Pages, iA Writer, etc.), if the latter, not so much.

    Also agree with Cougarcat. If you are doing any long-form writing, novel, dissertation, etc, Scrivener is your essential tool.
  4. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    Another big vote for Scrivener!

    On the very simple side there is Google Docs :D
  5. cavgirl macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012
    Scrivener for cross-platform (Windows/OS X/Linux). Scrivener period, really. The lack of an ios app at the moment is mildly irritating but there are ways around it. An OS X/iOS alternative is Storyist. I've never tried it on the mac but I did have it on my ipad until I switched to IndexCard which can be made to work with Scrivener and is an amazing way of structuring writing on the go.

    ETA: IndexCard can export as txt/rtf to Dropbox for general Mac/pc editing. However, I don't know if it's possible to retain structure etc across that so it might not work. If you work on a chapter-by-chapter basis it's fine but I think it'd be a bit clunky with a single large file, a la Word.
  6. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    And another vote for Scrivener! I sync with Elements, but you can also sync with Simplenote and Indexcards. There is also a version for Windows.
  7. Master Fwiffo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2003
    By Cross-Platform I did mean iOS to OSX, no windows involved. It sounds like what I want is Scrivener with a mobile version. It's a moot point at the moment because I'll need a month before I can afford the new iPad, and for the momeny, Copywrite (an older app that is very well designed) is suiting me fine. Still looking forward to going mobile with it!
  8. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Scrivener doesn't have an iPad version at the moment, but they're working on developing one. It won't be out until some point next year, though. But syncing with Elements works pretty well for me.
  9. DoghouseMike macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2011
    Scrivener is almost definitely the way to go on the mac, but there's a bunch of options (with no scrivener yet) for iOS. I spose it depends what you want, I really like byword on iOS (and mac) for longer stuff, but sometimes switch to ia Writer (mostly byword though). It's got dropbox and icloud syncing, simple interface, quick to fire up, etc.
    Elements or simplenote are good for more "get this idea written down now and worry about it later" type things, although I guess byword'd do that too, I just prefer having a separate "place" for different things. I had a quick play with the new squarespace note app, but not sure it does much that drafts doesn't already do for me.

    You might want to take a look at this list, and have a look into some of the apps on there?

    Scrivener can export to opml, which you could open in omnioutliner or ithoughts for working on while out and about, but that might be a bit more than what you're after.

    Ooh, that new folding text app looks pretty nifty too, haven't used it myself though.

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