Monday, June 2, 2014

A Little Praise for Scrivener

I have been a Word Perfect user for a long time in my writing world.  I learned how to create individual chapters and create a master document which controlled all the separate chapters.  I was in Heaven... or so I thought.

I was introduced to Word and even though I had to use Word Perfect at work and of course, for my writing, I found Word to be pretty slick.  It didn't have the "master document" concept as well defined as Word Perfect but the idea of typing over 100k words into ONE document did have its blessings.  I slowly moved to Word, especially when I discovered the edit mode where my friends could markup and send corrections on my stories back to me.  I started to transfer of all my documents to Word.

Last month I was introduced to Scrivener.

I have played with it just a little and already have fallen in love ... okay, maybe lust, with this program.  At first I wasn't convinced that it would be the do-all, end-all for my writing experience.

I moved a couple of chapters of my current work-in-progress and tried to see what all the whoop-de-doo-dah was about.  I wasn't all that impressed.  Then I discovered I was in plain word processing.  I moved over to the fiction novel mode.  Suddenly the program was ... okay, I heard angelic choirs singing.

There was an area for character descriptions.  Wait, there is more.  I could also store images of my characters for me to quickly refer to while I was writing.

Not only that, I could put in places and make up categories for what I needed ... like Gods/Goddesses, Research and much more.

I stored images of my characters, of my villages and cities, even sketches of what I thought my gods and goddesses should look like.  I was scouring the Internet for details about this and that and, in the past, would try to store the information in my bookmarks as "Research" with a sub-category for the book to help keep it all sort of organized.  So I had an image of my city "Lizbeth Harbor" - no wait, I had 4 images of my city and in my bookmarks they were LizHarbor-1 through LizHarbor-4.

That was the old way.  Now I have the images stored inside Scrivener and are Lizbeth Harbor, port side; Lizbeth Harbor, street; Lizbeth Harbor, inlet; and Lizbeth Harbor, town center.  When I go to my "Places" and click on Lizbeth Harbor, I can quickly see all the images.  And, there is also some web page links (pages displayed) of Internet locations I wanted to use.  I don't have to go through another program to see them, just scroll down, and there they are.

I have a innkeeper in my tale.  I had a vague idea of what the man appeared like but now with Scrivener, I have an image to detail from.

Why am I praising Scrivener?  Having all my research, images, details right at my fingertips is unbelievable.  I don't need to open another program to see this or that - it is but a short scroll down and click, there it is. And the cool thing is - when I go back to my story, the cursor is right where I left it.

I am now able to expound and detail my characters, locations and other aspects with ease and no fumbling around to relocate it either on my computer or someplace on the Internet.  During my edits of my current WIP I have upped the word count easily and added depth to my tale and my characters.  I think Scrivener will be the program to blossom my writing skills.

Plus, if I need a little back help, I can quickly export my project to Word, PDF and several other formats including epub for ebooks.

Scrivener is available for both Windows and Mac.  My only question is - Where have you been all my life?
Click for more information about Scrivener

Until next I ramble on...


  1. Scrivener is a great tool. I used it more when I did heavy research and needed to keep my notes handy. Since the research became ingrained, however, I've been mainly using Word as I find the styles in Word more intuitive.

  2. UGH, why do you make it sound so great!!! I just want my old word documents and to stop taxing my brain with new things! But, I hear you... and it sounds fantastic. I have images for my books on pinterest, another separate word doc and all the webpages favorited on the computer. Yeah, I can toggle through to all of them super fast, but maybe I need to realize having them all on one document is the way to go... thanks for the kick in the pants.... again... and again...

  3. Mark - I will probably still have a use for Word - especially when I go to edit and need feedback.
    Elyse - it is great! lol. It stores all your research, notes, images, everything in one area so you don't need to go bouncing around to find anything.

  4. you know, you're the second person I know to talk about this. I'll have to investigate. :)

  5. Lisa - it really is a great program and right now it is a free download to test for 30 days - 30 non-consecutive use days. Plus the price is very reasonable.

  6. Someone did a great series on Scrivener before Rebekah began using i. Of course I can't find it now. It appears to have many great features. I look forward to more blogs where you share new things you learn about it.

  7. I'd love to read that series.

  8. I used Scrivner for the 1st draft of my latest book and love it. There are still so many things I don't know how to use properly, but it has so much flexibility it makes life so much easier. I'll see if I can find the articles I read on it that made me take the plunge.

  9. Would greatly appreciate it, Rebekah. I know I was skeptical at first but now I love it.

  10. I've used Scrivener for my current book - but I wrote it in word first. I like Scrivener but I'm still struggling to understand it and navigate it fully. However, I will be using it in the future for my books.