In this episode, Ken Liu — author of The Grace of Kings — talks about why he doesn’t use MS Word or any Rich Text word processor to draft short stories or novels.
I drafted everything for the first book using a text editor (iA Writer), and I wrote the novel in Markdown. And then I put all the individual chapters into Scrivener, which I use to compile the final Word document for submission.
I tend to not do my drafting in Word just because there’s a lot of overhead. When you have a huge document in Word — in my experience, at least — it crashes all the time. Because I’m writing giant, epic fantasy, there are a lot of names and made up terms and concepts. And Word, I kid you not, gives up after a certain point. It tells me: There are too many spelling mistakes in this document, I’m giving up! And sometimes that’s a precursor to a massive crash.
He also talks about using a personal wiki to keep track of all the worldbuilding information for his massive epic fantasy.