Linux at Home - Creative Writing with Linux

Linux at Home: Creative Writing with Linux

We are told by our governments that in the current crisis the single most important action we can take is to stay at home and minimise the amount of contact with others. The new variant of Covid-19 is much more transmissible than the virus’s previous version. The advice to stay safe is therefore even more important. It’s only with everyone abiding by the law can we protect our health services and save lives.

In this series, we look at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged. The change of lifestyle enforced by Covid-19 is an opportunity to expand our horizons, and spend more time on activities we have neglected in the past.

Now is a great time to take up a new hobby. How about spending your time penning a classic novel or screenplay?

Here are 3 gems for this purpose.


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FocusWriter is a simple, distraction-free word processor.

It uses a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen, allowing the program to have a familiar look and feel to it while still getting.

There’s a good range of features including daily goals, timers and alarms, multi-document support, and customizable themes.

Read more about FocusWriter


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ghostwriter is a distraction-free Markdown editor.

Enjoy a distraction-free writing experience, including a full screen mode and a clean interface. With Markdown, you can write now, and format later.

There’s a good range of light and dark themes, live HTML preview, and support for a good range of formats. We particularly like the focus mode which highlights only the current text around the cursor while fading the rest of the text. It’s one of the ways the software helps you to keep focus, and let your creative juices flow.

Read more about ghostwriter

KIT Scenarist

KIT Scenarist
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KIT Scenarist is billed as a simple and powerful screenplay editor.

KIT Scenarist is a fully-featured studio for creating movie screenplays. It’s got a fairly sizeable userbase, with more than 10,000 screenwriters using the software.

This is cross-platform software. Besides Linux, it runs under Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Windows.

It combines:

  • Project organizer that allows storing all research documents on the project in one place.
  • The corkboard provides opportunities for placing, arranging, grouping and visualizing scenes of the future screenplay in the form of index cards on the corkboard.
  • A specialized script editor allows users to forget about formatting the script and direct all the creative energy to create stories.
  • The module of reports and statistics helps to examine history from a different angle, and prepare all the necessary reports for production.
  • Flexible application settings system allows a user to create a comfortable environment for creativity.

Read more about KIT Scenarist

All articles in this series:

Linux at Home
AstronomyExplore the universe from your garden
Brew BeerWeave malt and hops and yeast together in unique combinations
Circuit DesignLearn to design electronic circuits
CollaboratingEdit documents collaboratively in real-time
CookingHome cooking is an activity that’s great for individuals and families
Creative WritingPen a classic novel or screenplay
Cross-stitchingA form of sewing and a popular form of counted-thread embroidery
Digital ArtPaint and draw directly onto a computer
Digital Music ProductionDigital Audio Workstations
DOOM GamingTake a break and play classic DOOM
EmbroideryCraft of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle
ExercisingKeeping fit can be a challenge with lockdown
GardeningPlan your perfect garden with these great tools
GenealogyResearch your family tree
Home SecurityCCTV solutions to protect your home
Musical InstrumentLearn to play an instrument
RSIReduce and prevent repetitive strain injury
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Stack Korora
Stack Korora
3 years ago

I’m just a happy user of Bibisco, but I have to say it should be in this list. It’s very powerful for creating and tracking a lot of characters, scenes, objects, time/dates, and locations. One of the things that frustrates me is when the creative juices start going and then I forget something trivial about the story so far making me stop and comb through past details for far too long. Tracking it all with Bibisco means I can quickly look up things and let the creativity flow.
Highly recommend.

Friar Tux
Friar Tux
3 years ago

My program of choice for ALL my writing is Cherrytree by Guiseppe Penone. It answers ‘Stack Korora’s’ (above commenter) issue nicely as I can have a sub-page with all my characters and their qualities/faults, etc.. I DO, however use FocusWriter, though as a Bible study app. I have tested almost all the available Bible study apps but find them overly complex and complicated. With FocusWriter I have my favourite Bible version, a dictionary, a study guide, and a commentary (all in TXT format) on tabs at the bottom. Simple and quick. (FocusWriter also works beautifully as a tech manual if you need various journals open at the same time.)

2 years ago

Planning to switch from macos to Linux, I’m struggling to find a software for novelists similar to Ulysses.
Any suggestions?