Scrivener is the greatest invention for writers since the word processor. I resisted buying this writing software because I thought I would waste too much time learning how to use it. After Dave, my writer’s group, and my friend, Lisa, all raved about Scrivener I had to try it out. It took about 20 minutes to learn how to use it, and 2 hours to master it. I felt like the creators of Scrivener figured out exactly what frustrated me about Word and created a software that makes my life so much easier.
Here’s are just a few features I love:
- It’s so easy to keep track of every scene. With the cork board feature you can see all the scenes at once, and move a scene around if its not working.
- On the right hand side, there’s a place to keep track of notes when you’re writing a scene. You can choose if these notes are for just that scene or if it’s for the entire story. When I was using Word, I would write down notes on a pad of paper next to my computer, but then I could never remember which scene they were referring to.
- The split screen allows you to write a scene while viewing another file at the same time. I like to keep a picture of one of my characters on the screen while I’m writing about them. It’s also helpful to keep the outline handy to make sure my scene is working with the rest of the story.
- Scrivener encourages you to take risks. Within each scene you can take a screenshot of what you have written, and then start over fresh. At any point you can view the old and new scene side by side and then determine which one to use.
- Scrivener helps me keep track of my progress and set goals. I can set my target word count for each section and check something off as a first draft, revised draft or finished. With Word, I just had a giant folder with no way of knowing which scene was done.
- One of the things that frustrated me about using Word is that it was so hard to find certain passages once the pages started adding up. On Scrivener, I can search for a minor character or a theme and it will compile every scene where that search word shows up. This helps me make sure that I resolve every part of the story and not get lost in just the main plot.
- I’m just focusing on the novel-writing features, but it also has great tools for screenwriting, legal briefs, and journalism.
- Oh, and in case you were wondering, it’s easy to export anything you write to Word or PDF.
Ok, there are so many other great features, but you’re going to need your own copy to really see what works for you. I wrote to the creators of Scrivener, and they gave me two free downloads to share with my awesome readers (one for PC and one for Apple)! Here’s how to win a free download of Scrivener:
In the comment section below, tell me about one good writing habit you have picked up or want to start using. ALSO, mention if you have an Apple or PC. I’ll pick the two winners on March 3.
If you can’t wait that long, you can buy it here for only $40! It is beyond worth it 🙂