Wanting to make more out of my current hobby and to get my head into writing, I have been hunting for writing software for days now.

The following criteria are what I desire:
  • an organised way to keep ideas, characters, background/ backstory discrete and yet with associations among the components for a consistent backdrop
  • a usable story-board that could bring acts/sections in order
  • an archival ability to keep written stuff that would somehow not fit into the flow
  • useful resources, like standard dialogue, build-in thesaurus and quick links to writing skill
  • universal saving format that could be used on different programmes across platforms
  • cloud storage that will auto-save information without worry of losing any progress
There are numerous interesting software out there for the iPad and Windows platform. This included the pricey but highly regarded Mariner software, like Contour and Digital Persona. And then there are other programmes such as Final Draft, WriteItNow and WriteWayPro that are reasonably priced and befitting most of the features I thought I needed.

Yet, just like a television remote controller which contain thrice as many buttons as I would ever need, the programme ended up becoming so feature enriched, I end up overthinking every little bit of stuff. Like how rational a world would be to consist of both magic and science. Or detailing the factions revolving around the backstory of some characters. Sometimes technology just impede creativity progress. In fact, I would go as far as saying that technology really retarded one's writing skill, by incorporating more distracting elements than one ever needed to pen down a proper story.

Getting wiser after the foolhardy experience search, I now appreciate the value of "less being more". This was interestingly reflected on the promotional message of Ommwriter:

"OmmWriter is your own private writing room where you can close the door behind you to focus on your writing in peace. Everywhere you go, you have access to a beautiful distraction-free writing environment where your authentic voice is free to go where it is meant to go.

OmmWriter is here to serve you. Re-connect with your old friends Concentration and Creativity, and discover the bliss of single-tasking."


However, since Ommwriter Dana II is currently unavailable for Windows and I'm being a cheapskate in not wanting to spend the money for the iOS app yet, I decided to look for alternatives with similar concept.

That's where I found Dark Room. Like the Ommwriter Dana II, Dark Room is a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Without the standard word processor buttons, formatting bars and squiggly lines that question your thought process every other sentences, Dark Room let you focus on you writing, essentially emphasizing on what's important: "you and your text".

A clone of the original WriteRoom, an OS X (tiger) exclusive application, Dark Room provide a great alternative for Windows. So far, I'm having a blast with Dark Room and I think I found my programme of choice.

I would probably grab WriteRoom on my iPad to allow me to work off-base too.