Wednesday 14 March 2012

I have just discovered Scrivener (updated)

Like many other writers I suspect, I've been happily plodding along using MS Word for my manuscript, using the document map function to help navigate my way around the enormous document. Until this week, that is...

On the recommendation of some fellow writers, I decided to try Scrivener and downloaded the free trial. (NB: I got the Windows version but it's available for Mac too.)


So far, so good!

I am loving the functionality of it, being able to create index cards and drag the entire scene to wherever I want it to go. There is a choice of views, including pin board and outline view, and you can keep all of your research and media in the same place rather than have to keep accessing other programs, all without having to leave your active document, thanks to the screen splits.


I am getting good use out of the 'full-screen' mode already, putting one more barrier between me and the internet where I already waste too much time, giving my willpower a bit of a boost. Then there's the 'compile' feature, where I choose the format (novel manuscript, PDF, MS Word, preview etc) and the software takes care of it all for me.

I foresee a long term relationship forming with me and my new writing buddy. Thankfully it's not all that expensive either, so I won't have to fork out too much when my free trial comes to an end.

I'm not getting anything out of this by the way, just in case you were wondering if I was on commission or something. By sharing my experience of it, I'd love to think it may be useful to somebody else too.

ETA: If you go ahead and download the free trial, there is an interactive tutorial that takes an hour or so to work through but was invaluable. I also sync my 'projects' with Dropbox, just in case I decide to pour tea or diet coke all over my laptop and it works out great, backing up automatically too.

Over to you... do you use a writing software or do you stick to trusty MS Word? Have you given writing software a go but had a negative experience and given up with it? Would you ever consider using writing software?

Updated 20/3/12: I bought my full license today, I really do love this program. Not convinced yet? I stumbled across these great tutorials too, covering outlining and brainstorming in Scrivener (Source: )


  1. I don't use writing software, but I've been thinking about it. I write in Word and keep each chapter in its own document until I'm ready to do a read through of the entire document. It can get a bit time consumming to find specific scenes, but so far it's been working for me... That said, we need to change and grow, right? Thanks for the excellent info.!

    1. Thanks Wendy,

      I must admit that I never really saw the point of it, but I do now. I'm onto my third day of using Scrivener (several hours each day) and I haven't found any negatives yet.

      I have each chapter as a folder and each then scene, all with index cards that I can fill in, that I can view at the same time as I'm writing to keep my on track or read as a complete outline or synopsis.


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