writing a novel on mac OS

I'm trying my hand at novel writing (I know, clichet,) but anyway text edit just isn't cutting it for me. My files and scenes are getting a little too long, and I'm not actually sure: for any writers out there, what is the best tool to write a novel on the mac? Thanks.


MarsEdit Might Do the Trick

Subject line pretty much sums it up. I started out with a trial version of MarsEdit, and then ended up purchasing it outright because I liked it. It is a blog editor, but it just might work for writing a novel. After all, I've seen a few novels etc. in blog/journal form. There is a Mac App Directory entry on here for MarsEdit, as well as a podcast episode. Your mileage may vary, but I've found MarsEdit to be well worth the price.

I recommend you use ulysses,

I recommend you use ulysses, which is a great apps that supports the markdown syntax, and it has perfect accessibility compatibility.


I'm a huge Scrivener fan, and its accessibility is great as far as I can tell. One good thing about Scrivener is that it has a very generous trial period so you have plenty of time to decide if it's right for you before you invest any money into it.

Scrivener is amazing!

Hi there!
I just finished the first draft of a novel and used Scrivener for the whole thing. It was well worth every penny for me, but there is a 30 day trial on their website. There's a lot to the interface, but it's really pretty simple once you understand the layout.

Scrivener Tutorial

I wish someone would do a Scrivener tutorial. I started a novel in something else, but imported it to Scrivener.
One thing that really is bad is the macOS Spellchecker/Grammar check. Anybody have any solutions for that? Grammarian isn't bad, though it has a few accessibility issues. The macOS grammar check is absolutely horrible. Also, I want to start outlining my novel, because I'm on chapter 10 and it feels like I'm dragging my readers along. Is it possible to use the corkboard and outliner in Scrivener? I was unable to read the index cards in the tutorial with VoiceOver, but since that section of the tutorial is pretty visual in nature, I figured it out up until that point.
Also, I really want to figure out how to make template files for my projects, for example the novel template has a folder for characters, and pressing CTRL-N on it creates a file where you can input information about the character and make notes. You can do this for other things as well, such as places, but what if I want to make a Planets folder with a ready-made template for planet setting information? It's these things that need some explanation.

i need a south african english spell checker

Does scrivener have an SA English spell checker? I really need one. If not, can scrivener use mac OSX spell checker, because I have one for that. Is there someone who could show me how to use scrivener, like walk me through or something?

RE: Scrivener Tutorial

I am actually planning to do a tutorial of Scrivener with VO soon. I don't claim to be an expert, but I did learn a lot writing my first draft. Yes, the cork board and outliner are both accessible, but you have to do a lot of interacting and uninteractting to make it work well. I mostly use the binder and put the info for my outline in the notes section below each file. For the templates, once you've created your file, there should be an option in the file menu to save the document as a template. You might be able to get the same option by pressing VO-shift-m on the document in the binder, but don't quote me on that. The cork board view is a little easier to use in the IOS app because you can explore by touch, so you might try that... HTH! :)

Spell Checker

I'm pretty sure Scrivener uses the OS spell checker. Honestly I do the majority of my edits and spell checking on my Braille Sense though, so I could be mistaken. I will say that the developer was very receptive to suggestions when I did beta testing for the IOS app, so you might try contacting him. :)

Scrivener all the way

Scivener have worked very hard to make both its mac and IOS apps accessible for us. I love it on IOS, though spell chcking is obviously and issue, but it sinks with the cloud and you can just take it up on the mac.

Imagine it like a progressive folder and file structure, you can write scenes or chapters, move their order and then compile. Lots of useful note taking features too so you can kinda sketch out the book first.

Good luck, I look forward to reading...

Re: Tutorial

The built-in getting started tutorial was definitely helpful for me, but I do think a VO-specific tutorial would be great. That's awesome to hear that you're working on one, WriterGirl - I look forward to listening to it. Let me know if I can help in any way. Truth is I haven't had much opportunity to use Scrivener recently but I'd love an excuse to get back into it.

Why to not keep it simple?

I have wrote a book draft in Romanian language, 12 chapters at the moment, about Android. I used the most blamed software MS Word 2016. It is working perfectly for my needs.
For the sake of simplicity I have used one file for each chapter. When work is finished I will put all chapters together and work with titles, index etc. Also I can modify quickly what section I want without any risk to spoil the rest of my work.
Also, considering a book published as a blog series first I highly recommend Mars Edit. You can also use a plugin to generate automatically for you pdf files with your articles/book chapters for download. Alternatively you can go on your own blog once a new chapter is published and save it as a pdf or text file in order to have it for your final time when you have to grab all your work together.
Technical solutions and ways to work out fine are plenty, but inspiration and sustained work are more difficult to obtain. Isn't it?

MS Word 2016

Club AppleVis Member

Adrian, are you saying MS Word 2016 is now accessible on the Mac? I have been waiting for it to be accessible. I am using the good old TextEdit for my poems.

Again, scrivener

I use the blank template in scrivener. Move through the sections with VO J, you can access the folder tree to get into sections with cursor keys, create scene (block of writing) with command n, finally, to move the order of a scene use control and command to drag the scene. It's really simple. There are loads more little tricks I'm sure but that works for me.

I wrote my first book in text edit using a series of folders making it easy to navigate the narrative. When it was done I just copy and pasted into a master file, so scrivener is very similar, it just keeps it all in house.

I've not tried MS Word again. Does this have an accessible means of separating out large projects and adding notes and commentary?