The choice used to be between pen and typewriter. Then it was between pen and computer. Writers are increasingly turning to sophisticated software programmes to help them write their magnum opus, writes Rachel Donadio in the New York Times. She lists several novelists who have found computer technology an essential tool for organising their fictional universe. So what software have they used?
Richard Powers who won the National book Award last year with The Echo Maker favoures Mindjet MindManager and also Microsoft OneNote.
Marish Pessl structured her novel special Topics in Calamity Physics with Excel spreadsheets.
And Vikram Chandra used Microsoft Project to keep track of an enormous cast of characters in his sprawling novel Sacred Games.
Other authors find software packages produced specifically for writers very useful.
But as Donadio points out the best bit of software might actually be a timer that puts your internet connection on hold while you actually get some work done! (Oh, I would pay for that!)
What software do the writers among you find useful?