This question is somewhat inspired by Is there a need for better software for writers?
I'm currently using Google Docs for writing, and it's a great tool: simple enough, has some nice features, cloud-based, free, etc. But the question I've mentioned above made me think, what if I could use some super-powers that IDE gives to programmers to help me write? (Yep, I do write code for living as well.)
While there seem to be a lot of writers who want to (or need to) have an advanced map of characters, locations, and events, there are also those who don't. I am a very text-first writer, and I'm comfortable with having the map in my head. The main problem for me (the one that I'm trying to solve) is that I don't always remember what exactly I wrote about my characters, especially about episodic characters. So I need a way to quickly look-up whether some guy has a straight hair or curly, or what colour his eyes are. Stuff like that.
I've tried several different writing tools and none of them has any IDE-ish features that I'd like to have. But maybe it exists and I just can't find it?
So, here's a list of features I need from an IDE:
- Formatting support (basically RTF level, no need for super-fancy stuff)
- Some cloudness (either their own, or Google Drive sync)
- Available for Mac (would be super-cool if also available for Windows)
- Ability to organize chapters into folders (tree structure)
- Spell-checker (That's a tough one as I'm writing in Russian and I need a spell-checker for Russian). It might not have its own spell-checker, but it should then allow 3rd-party ones to work with it.
- Character list
- IDE-like reference tool (that's actually what gDocs totally lacks)
- "Find in project" would also be a nice feature, especially if it'd support regExps
- Should either be free or have a free trial, as I'm not buying a cat in a sac
A bit of explanation of what an 'IDE-like reference tool' is:
- It should allow me to quickly create character from selected text. For example, in chapter 1 I have a sentence "Sally Brown, a tall blonde girl, was waiting for her work day to end". I'll select "Sally Brown", press some key combination, and there will be a character creation window or panel, to which I can copy the description).
- It should also allow "binding" a character to the selected text. For example, in chapter 2 I have a sentence "Sally stormed into the office and started shouting". Cmd+hover over the word "Sally" and the IDE should suggest something like "Did you mean Sally Brown (tall blonde girl from chapter 1)?")
- Once the text is bound to a character, it should be highlighted and I should be able to hover it (or cmd+hover, or cmd+click, or whatever) to see a tooltip or a small window with character info (including chapters where she can be found).
Does something like this exist?
The locked question Is there a special software for writers?) is similar, but it has no details about what writing software can and can't do, and answers provide an unsortable list of distraction-free editors, mind-mapping tools and writing IDEs (for the lack of a better term). This question however is much more specific.