Not long ago, I decided to take the plunge and buy the writing program, Scrivener. I had played around with the trial version before but was overwhelmed by its lengthy tutorial and variety of features. But since I’ve started using Scrivener, I’m hesitant to go back to my old ways of using Google Drive and Mac Pages.
There are many reasons why Scrivener is a great program to use for your writing projects. Here are just a few:
- It gives you high-level and low-level views of your work. The awesome thing about Scrivener is that you can view each document within a binder separately or view all the documents together as one, depending on what view you choose. Much easier than shifting back and forth from documents in a file folder or trying to locate a chapter within one large document.
- It organises your writing, research, notes, documents and links all in one space. This is another great feature of Scrivener: the ability to store all of your work into one place. To access your research or notes, all you need to do is hover over to it and click. You can even store links, pictures and PDFs.
- It enables you to work free of distractions. I only recently learned about the distraction-free mode Scrivener offers. While I didn’t use it while finishing up the first draft of my novel, I did try it with one of my fanfiction chapters and loved it.
- It works for planners and pantsers. In recent years, I’ve become more of a plotter than a pantser but I still have that bit of a pantser in me. It was so easy for me to add notes on the corkboard and label the cards on the corkboard as I wrote my story. The cards on the corkboard view are just like lined cue cards that you can use as scene cards or quick notes. You can even re-arrange them or label the cards too.
- It motivates you with its word target. This is another feature I just learned about Scrivener. You can set your own word target and it tracks it as it moves from red to yellow to green as you get closer to your established word target. Although I didn’t use this feature, I definitely will in future to keep myself on track because a word target helped me during NaNoWriMo.
Scrivener is not only for people writing novels, though–it’s useful for people writing research papers, essays, scripts, blogs and so on. Like most programs, you can download a free trial for 30 days. It’s a little pricey but if you’re a NaNoWriMo participant, you get a 20% discount and if you are a NaNoWriMo winner, you get a 50% discount.
My experience with Scrivener has been overwhelmingly positive. If you’re a more hands-on learner, you can take the quick tutorial and if you like to really absorb information, there is a more in-depth tutorial for you. All in all, Scrivener caters to many different working styles and will probably make you more productive.