[What You See Is What You See] is a bad idea for an interchange format, as it distances everybody in the process from the actual structural markup of the text. A badly documented proprietary format is even worse. It completely prevents an ecosystem of tools from growing up around your editorial and publishing processes. It throttles a lot of your best efforts to rejuvenate your processes in their crib. The publishing industry needs to consider alternatives to Microsoft Word. Using Word in a modern publishing workflow is like using a screwdriver to hammer a nail.
–Baldur Bjarnason on why Microsoft Word is a liability.
Like a lot of people nowadays, my main writing tool is Scrivener. However, I actually do most of my writing writing (as opposed to compiling and structuring) on my iPhone. Because of the way Scrivener’s export formats work, this has meant I’ve finally given in and now use Markdown and text files (and even installed myself a font with no italics option, Source Code Pro, so I couldn’t forget to use asterisks instead).
The reality is, as a fiction author, my part of the writing process involves very little formatting. Breaks for scenes and chapters, paragraphs, maybe the odd bit of italics. The rest–everything from font choice to line spacing–is up to someone else to think about (and a different software product to manage).
I don’t need Word, in other words. Not for writing, anyway.