Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why I Like Scrivener

Dear fellow writers, when I got this writing program it just made writing easier. Suddenly, I wanted to write more often. I wasn't having as many problems concentrating as before. My head was constantly in the clouds of imagination and creation, and I got so much done.

Hahaha. I can't even type that with a straight face.

No, Scrivener will not magically help you to write more or increase your desire to write. But it is a really handy program, and I will tell you why I now use it instead of Word for my works in progress.

One of the things I found annoying using Word was that I had to have separate files for my manuscript and research, so I didn't have to keep scrolling up and up and up to find my character information or my page of place names. Also, when the document gets long, it is hard to find a particular spot that you are looking for because, again, you have to scroll through many pages.

In Scrivener, you can divide your work into sections; I like to divide them into chapters. You can also have separate pages for your research and open the document in a split-screen view so you can see the chapter you are working on AND your research pages. Everything is handily located at a menu to your left for easy access. And don't worry, when you are done, Scrivener will compile all your chapters into one document.

One of my other favourite features is you can take a snapshot of a section that you want to rewrite, and then it will always be there in the file after you have made changes if you ever want to go back and look at the original version. Nothing is lost.

There are a ton of other cool things you can do with this program, from tagging sections to tell you whose point of view they are from, to marking the status as complete or in progress, to adding summaries to sections to keep yourself organized.

No, it will not make you a better writer, but it is extremely handy at keeping you organized. You can get it here or download a trial version if you want to check it out. The tutorial is helpful in learning everything it can do.


What do you use to write? A different writing program? Word? Plain old pencil and paper?

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Check the link for some of the other blogs participating in this event!

63 comments:

  1. I hadn't heard of Scrivener but it sounds fantastic! Will check it out!

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    1. Glad to be of help :) I think it's fantastic.

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  2. I love Scrivener! It's so handy for all the reasons you mentioned. :) No, it doesn't add motivation or inspiration, but it doesn't hinder them either :)

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  3. I've heard others talk about it but I haven't used it yet.

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    1. It's also good for organizing character info, I find.

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  4. I've heard many good things about writing programs (Scrivener included) but I've never used one. I use notebooks and pens and Word. An older version of Word even because I didn't take well to the newest one.

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    1. It took me a while to get used to the new one, but I had to because that's what we used in the office where I worked.

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  5. I've tried Scrivener, but it didn't click with me. I, usually, use Yarny with Microsoft Word and, sometimes, Google Docs.

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    1. I was introduced to Google Docs recently and it seems really useful! Especially if you have more than one person working on a document.

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  6. I just use Word. I think I'll use One Note for research.

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    1. I found One Note indispensable in university for taking notes.

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  7. I am a scrivener convert. It doesn't make me write more, but it helps me tremendously. I also love that I can write wherever I want to. I can switch easily between chapters and I can move scenes around too.

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  8. I've looked at Scrivener, but decided to pass. It would be great to work with, but I just use Word for now. I think it would have come in handy with The Gremdon Chronicles and The Neumarian Chronicles because of how many facts I had to consider through out the series.

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    1. It is not very expensive, so I gave it a go and loved it.

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  9. Pen, paper and MS Word. That's all I need. As I barely ever do research, I don't need to organise it :-)

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  10. That sounds like a fabulous program - I have a Mac, though.
    Karen

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    1. I think Scrivener is originally for Mac, actually.

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  11. This was very interesting! I may have to go check that out. I tend to be computer stupid, and change frightens me in that area, but this sounds like it's worth looking into. Thanks!

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    1. The tutorial was great--I don't think I would have figured out the program if I hadn't tried it. It makes it easy to understand the program.

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  12. I buy the biggest hard cover book to start off, then transfer it to word and go from there, but I have heard of this program before, it sounds good!

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    1. I've written by hand and transferred to word before... I just found it is very time consuming!

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  13. Everyone raves about it. I need to download it and try it.

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  14. I may have to check scrivener out!

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    1. I think they were smart to make a free trial--it certainly convinced me!

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  15. I heard a lot of good things about it. But I still gotta get my butt in chair. =)

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  16. Yeah, it's that split screen feature that really interests me. For consistency sake in the story, it would be awesome to be able to compare sections right next to each other when revising. I mean, I can print stuff out and do that, but I really hate wasting all the ink and paper. I may make the switch if/when I get a new and much needed laptop.

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    1. That is true--writing on the computer with a program like this does save on ink, paper, and clutter.

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  17. I use Word, notebooks, pens, and pencils. This program sounds interesting... I might have to check it out! Thanks for the info. :D

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  18. I think my jaw seriously dropped open while I read this. Scrivener may be the program of my dreams!!! I've just been plodding along with Word, but every single benefit you've pointed out here makes me realize what a fool I've been. Okay, first thing: update my virus software. Second thing: Get Scrivener!!!!!

    P.S. Thank you for explaining what Scrivener does in practical terms that I could totally relate to.

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    1. haha, glad I could help. Try taking the tutorial--it shows you exactly all the cool things Scrivener can do.

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  19. LOL! I am SO laughing at your first paragraph...

    I've wanted Scrivener for so long... gaaaaah... it sounds AMAZING... And who knows? Maybe my head will be constantly in a cloud of imagination??? LOL.

    Great post. And new follower here... wanted to come by and say thanks for your awesome comment on my blog. Glad to be connected! ;)

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  20. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today. Right now, I just use Word. But it's always neat to know what else is out there.

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    1. There are always options for the future, right?

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  21. I've always wanted to use Scrivener, but I never have a Window laptop for long enough to try it out before the computer breaks on me :( I'm becoming more and more of a fan of Google Docs - though there still has to be separate files for research and manuscript, there's an integrated research sidebar that lets youpulls things from the web into your doc file, which is pretty sweet.

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    1. Google docs is pretty neat. I haven't used it very much though.

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  22. Thanks for the review of Scrivener! I have a free trial but haven't really taken the time to actually try it . . .my bad. It takes me a while to get into something new. I use word and notebooks, but from your review it sounds like I should be using scrivener. I get really frustrated by the whole scrolling up and down the document thing, trying to find the right spot to fix something, or just look over a scene again. Plus the idea of having research, or maybe a character glossary available on a split screen is really nice. Hmm. I think I need to set a date this week to really check Scrivener out.

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    1. Exactly that. Good luck with your date :)

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  23. Need to check it out, too... THANKS!!!

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    1. You're welcome! It is nice that they offer a free trial.

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  24. This is a good breadown of Scrivener, which i know a lot of people love. I don't know that it would work well for me. I prefer to do my research and notes in handwritten journals. It just works well for me

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    1. Some people prefer to hand write, and I've sat outside with a notebook to write myself. It can be more relaxing, I think.

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  25. I've heard about this program, but I thought it was just for Macs. Is there a version for PC users?

    Though I must admit, sometimes I hand-write. Soooo time consuming, but sometimes it works better for me. Sigh.

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    1. Yes, they recently made a version for PC :) Hand writing does take a lot longer, but it is what works for some people!

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  26. I use good old word. I do tend to copy and paste sections I'm specifically working on, into new documents then paste them back in when I've done. I'd love to give Scrivener a go. Only if it will make me a better writer though ;)

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  27. I use Word, but I do have the free trial of Scrivener on my computers. I just haven't had a chance to use it yet.

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    1. It took me a while until I found time to actually go through the tutorial, but once I did I was hooked.

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  28. Sounds interesting. I may have to check it out. Do they have a free trial for Mac?

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    1. Yes, I believe there is a free trial for Mac on the same website.

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  29. I usually start with pen and paper and then type it into Word, which I edit as I type. Thanks for sharing about Scrivner. I keep hearing about writing software but not much detail...
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. I know there are other writing programs out there... but this one has everything I need, so I haven't bothered looking at others.

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  30. That sounds cool. I've never tried a program like that. I just use good ol' Word. Thanks for the tip! :)

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    1. You are welcome! Word does work, but I just found the writing tools in Scrivener so very helpful, I can't go back to it now.

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  31. I've never heard of it. I use Write Way. I suspect like any program it has its advantages and disadvantages. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. I've never heard of Write Way. Yes, I'm sure different writing programs have different advantages, though I suspect they are all somewhat similar.

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  32. I use Word, but have heard great things about Scrivener. Maybe it's time I check it out! Thanks, Allison. :)

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