Scrivener is a program created by the folks at Literature & Latte for and with writers in mind. Let’s look at the Top 10 Reasons I love Scrivener and why you may love it too.
I’m a Scrivener fan. I’ve talked with a lot of writers who are as evangelical about this program as I am (many even more so), and I’ve probably met an equal number who have tried it and found that it didn’t fit their needs. But from what I can tell, a lot of writers are still curious about it.
If you’re in the third camp, this post is for you.
It’s been a few months since I last raved about my love of Scrivener so I thought I’d update you on whether my love had waxed or waned. In summary, I began writing my new book with Scrivener on March 18 this year. I have now essentially finished it. I have written 80,000 words in just over 5 months (see the lovely Scrivener Project target pic on the left). This has never happened before. I am on a creative high.
How much of this can I put down to Scrivener? It’s hard to say. I think it’s been a huge help. Also this book has been fun to write, which makes the words flow too. I’ve now moved on to editing my book in Scrivener, which is what I wanted to talk about today, because I think Scrivener has several features which make editing easier than in Word.
…the programmer in me cringes every time I find myself repeating a certain action. I move something on the whiteboard, and then go into my writing software and move the scene. It violates the DRY principle: Don’t Repeat Yourself. I believe this holds up as well in writing as it does in programming. If you’re going to do something, do it once and only once. So I looked for a way to get my writing software (the fabulous Scrivener by Literature & Latte) to take the place of my equivalent of Emma Darwin’s novel-planning grid or Alex Sokoloff’s whiteboard and Post-it notes.
more here » Story Structure in Scrivener AG Daws.
When I was in college the hardest part about writing was trying to keep track of scenes, revisions, digging through folders for the last updated copy of my story, and eventually trying to format everything to the right specifications using Microsoft Word. I think that I spent more time on housekeeping tasks than I actually spent writing. Though for a writer the task of writing should weigh heavier than any other part of the process. It shouldn’t be about getting the margins, line spacing and page count formatted correctly.
Enter the Game Changer
About a year ago after warning numerous tutorial videos I took the plunge and bought Scrivener after a brief trial period. I needed something easy to learn, use, and could export my writing properly. Scrivener did all that and more. I could finally breakdown my story by scene and still keep track of the surrounding pieces without creating page breaks or writing in separate files.
Though I never noticed the power until I started writing on the go for this years NaNoWiMo challenge. I had been writing on my iPad for a few years and liked not having to lug around my macbook with me everywhere. It pays off not having to worry about an extra five pounds when you don’t need it. What I mean is that I started syncing Scrivener with Dropbox (a free online storage service) to access my writing on the go when I wasn’t near my laptop, but had my phone or iPad with me. If I got caught with an idea I could start writing where I left off. A great free app that I used was Plaintext by Hogs Bay Software, which is a simple, you guessed it, plaintext editor for files stored on Dropbox. All I needed was to point Scrivener and Plaintext to the same folder to get both programs talking to each other.
Back in June, I published several posts on my experience with Scrivener (here, here, here, and here). At that time, I was still in my trial period phase with Scrivener and mostly I had imported a small project and done some tinkering.
Since then, I’ve purchased Scrivener and done several full-length projects, including some novellas, short stories, and novelettes. And I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.