“Use Grammarly’s grammar checker online because you don’t want the iconic quote to say “Keep Clam and Carry One”
What’s your favorite writing tool? A pen a pencil, a special notebook? In any craft, if you don’t have the right tool for the job, then the job becomes an arduous task. Think “Cutting down a Redwood Tree with a butter knife.” (I need Susan Cooper for that visual!)
Scrivener is hands down my favorite writing tool. Frankly, I believe Scrivener is the best tool for any writer, whether you’re writing a screenplay, a thesis, a series of blogs, a business plan, or a novel. It has completely changed how I organize my work, and is absolutely masterful at handling larger documents. I first came across the software about a year ago, and now can’t imagine how I managed without it.
What does Scrivener do?
Here’s what the software developers say:
… Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Literature & Latte
Optimum Efficiency = Being More Productive
One of the key aspects of the program is that all your notes, research, and text are all within the program, which makes the whole process more efficient. For me, the beauty of Scrivener is it easily allows you to break up your writing into small sections, and as we all know smaller jobs are easier to do than big ones. It enables you to look at your work in bite size chunks so that you can fit each section in the best order possible to complete the verbal mosaic that is the final product.
Here are some of Scriveners’ features:
Scrivener gives you the ability to view your work in a number of different formats. Are you a visual person? You can organize your work with index cards on an electronic corkboard. Prefer lists, no problem. Like to split your screen to view two chapters at once – Scrivener has it covered.
Moving the Scenery:
The ability to restructure your work in Scrivener is phenomenal. Want to move a scene from Chapter 3 to chapter 10? No problem. Forget a long, scrolling, cut and paste procedure of Word— just click on the scene or section of text you want to move, and drag it down to Chapter 10. Boom, done.
Want to find the first scene Aunt Doris is in? Just do a search for ‘Aunt Doris’ (you will have made her one of your keywords, every time she was in a scene), and all the scenes are there for you to scan through.
Auto-creates files for a myriad of different file formats including .mobi (for Kindle) & ePub
There are way too many features to list in this post, but here are a 4 more I like:
- Continually saves your work every 2 to 3 minutes, though I also save mine to Dropbox, which the program makes it very easy to do.
- Keeps tabs on draft stages – 1st, 2nd, final draft, etc.
- Saves online research right next to your work, without needing to leave the program
- Distraction Free Writing. Scrivener will give you the words and nothing but the words, blanking everything on your computerscreen , except for your writing. A quick toggle and you’re back out into full view mode.
There is a very detailed manual that comes with Scrivener, as well as video tutorials provided by the software developers. I won’t lie, there is definitely a learning curve to the program, but I think you’ll find it worth the effort.
There are a myriad of free How to use Scrivener posts online. This one, by Nicole Dionisio, is the best and most complete one I’ve come across : http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/your-guide-to-scrivener
I found David Hewson’s ebook on Scrivener an invaluable shortcut to getting to grips with the program, well worth the $5.99. He also gives away — yes for free— a Scrivener template tailored to novel writers which was a big help when I first started.
Where Can I Find Scrivener:
Scrivener is available for both Mac & Windows from http://literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php for $45 USD. There is also a 14 day free-download trial period.
BTW, Since writing this original post, I have become an affiliate for Scrivener. But I would not recommend it if I were not an an avid user who loves to share the good things I come across with my friends. I’d like to thank one of my favorite bloggers who turned me on to the program — after reading Joanna Penn’s article on Scrivener I knew I needed to make the switch.
Whether you like to plan everything in advance, write first and structure later—or do a bit of both—Scrivener supports the way you work. -Literature & Latte
What has your experience been with Scrivener? Do you have a favorite writing tool you tell all your writer friends about?
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