Sandra Jones · tools

Scrivener Rocks My Socks Off

I’m about to sound like a complete fangirl.

I’ve been a faithful MS Word user for years, and have used every version since its inception. Then I tried Scrivener, and my life changed. Once you try it, you’ll never want anything else, and no, Scrivener doesn’t pay me a commission when I talk about the program.

Last year, I kept seeing Twitter posts about Scrivener, so I downloaded it to try it out. Months later, I’m still learning to use its features, but I’ve got three writing projects in various stages on the program right now. Y’all, IT IS FANTASTIC.

Here are the three things that sold me:

1. There’s an educational price for students or educators

2. You can download the program to multiple computers in your house (which is great if you have a kid or spouse who needs it for writing research papers)

3. You can view your outline, notes, and even pictures while you draft.

That’s only the beginning of the features on this puppy! Here’s a screenshot of one of my current WIP’s.

The left side contains the binder, which is a sort of table of contents. The middle is where I’m drafting. The right is the Inspector where you can post notecards, a running synopsis, research, or ahem, inspiration. If that’s too many distractions for you, you can go into a mode where all you see is the draft area–or even a background image for more inspiration.

Another thing I love is the clipboard. You can clipboard anything–scenes, chapters, notes, character sheets, settings, whatever. I make separate files for my scenes before I write them. Then if I want to change the order of events, I can rearrange them here instead of all that nasty copy-cut-paste business in Word. The descriptions you put on the cards for your scenes become your running synopsis, and you can compile it into one document at any point you wish. In fact, you can even compile your draft as a complete e-book or ready-to-print file.

I find the character sheets especially useful. Each character’s file contains physical descriptions, background, personality, goals, and motivations. Just pin the to the board like baseball cards.

I wish I knew all the tricks, but it’s loaded with them! The program comes with a tutorial, and of course, there are plenty of Scrivener fans posting how-to’s on YouTube and blogs.

What do you think about the program? Are you a Scrivener user? Got a tip or trick to add?

6 thoughts on “Scrivener Rocks My Socks Off

  1. I’m still using Word for writing and now use Evernote to track ideas, but I am tempted by Scrivner. Sorely tempted…

  2. At first, I was a little intimidated, but Scrivener is very easy and goof-proof. LOL. It backs-up automatically. Trust me, I need easy & goof proof!

  3. I haven’t tried the iPad app’s you mentioned, Brinda, but I am interested in drafting on mine. I’ve used Pages for iPad and I’m not a fan of that. Lynda, Scrivener has been worth every penny to me.

  4. Yes, love Scrivener, and I’m not even really using it for proper writing. I just find it a convenient way to gather together lots of related facts, web links etc for a particular project into one file .

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