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Software For Writers: DarkRoom

1 July, 2008

Recently, I’ve found that I’ve been increasingly looking at writing software other than OpenOffice or Word, in order to speed up my productivity. I’ve tried a number of pieces of software which are designed specifically for novel-writing, but have either found them lacking or not different enough to a standard word processor to justify buying them. I would really like to try Scrivener, but with it only available for the Mac (prices of which seem to be several times that of a standard laptop), that’s one investment I won’t be making any time soon.

So, I was particularly pleased to come across this blog post. It’s over a year old now, admittedly, but I’d already looked at one or two programs on the list so I knew at least some of them were still available. Looking through the list more thoroughly, I’ve found one particular program that I think is worthy of note and which I’m currently testing with my latest novel.

Let me introduce you to DarkRoom (or the Mac alternative, WriteRoom). It’s a little piece of software that I’ve been very impressed with so far and it’s entirely free. It works best in full-screen mode, minimising distractions (although the opacity of the background can be altered, to allow you to see what’s running behind it, which I think is a nice feature) and the default colour scheme of green text on a black background seems easier on the eyes that traditional black on white. It also loads incredibly quickly, which is a bonus if you’re using an old, slow machine, like I am. It has, put simply, everything I could ever need to just get the words out quickly, with the addition of a word count function and easily learnt keyboard shortcuts.

It seems to me that DarkRoom is the ultimate no-fuss, easy to use – and free, remember – word processor for those who don’t need any frills. Granted, this low-key approach won’t work for everyone, but I’ve definitely found it beneficial in just getting my first draft out of my head and onto the screen as quickly as possible, without distraction from the dreaded internet. So, if you’re a writer who’s fed up with Word or its equivalents and want an incredibly simple but effective program, I highly recommend DarkRoom.

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One Comment
  1. 1 July, 2008 10:47 pm

    Sweet. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy hearing about new programs that people enjoy using. DarkRoom is worth a look.

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