Scrivener – An All-In-One Writing Tool

As a writer, there are many approaches to the actual writing itself.  Some people take pen to paper, some dig out an old typewriter, though definitely the most frequent method in this era is to make use of a word processor.  Obviously, Microsoft Word is a big one, though OpenOffice and others also have their proponents.

I wrote using these basic word processors for a long time– after all, they’ve served many writers well for the last couple decades, right?  I liked writing with them, though it felt like I either had to spend a long time scrolling and searching or had to break up my work into multiple documents, neither of which really were the best for my writing.  When I’m really in the writing zone but I need to pause to check a detail from previous work, I tend to get distracted and usually get much less done than I should.

Thankfully, a friend of mine once happened to have his book-in-progress open scriviconon his computer one day while I sat behind him in an English class.  He was using a program I hadn’t ever seen before.  I asked him what it was, and he replied “Scrivener!  Have you not seen it before?  It’s awesome!”

He was right.  Rather than the basic, all-purpose word processors I’ve spent most of my life using for everything from my books to essays to badly formatted birthday cards, I could see that Scrivener had a very specific sort of setup– one meant for writers, especially for long form fiction and nonfiction.

scrivenerFor starters, Scrivener is set up in a way that allows you to break up the writing of the story in any way you want.  You can have chapters, sub-chapters, whatever.  There is a note card view that allows you to look at all of the sections and lets you add notes that don’t show up in the text itself as to what is happening, or what you want to accomplish, et cetera.  It’s very easy for outline writers to thrown up a bunch of cards (which can be added to or re-organized as needed) and then write the text in each section without having to flip back and forth between the text and an outline document.  You can make a research section that is part of the Scrivener project to fill with notes, character sketches, photos, anything.  The whole writing process is streamlined wonderfully.  Also great is that if you jump to a different section of your text or notes, your cursor stays where it was in the section you were just working on, so no losing your place while editing or revising.

It’s honestly wonderful.  It’s made me more efficient, organized, and goal-oriented in my writing.  Plus, it’s like $40, and even less for students.  Check it out: if you are serious about your writing it’s much cheaper than MS Office and is much more helpful for your writing.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been thinking about Scrivener, but I’d have to find some Youtube tutorials or something. I downloaded a free trial once, and I sat and fiddled with it for days, but I couldn’t figure it out. I’m on a different computer now, so I can probably download another trial and try again, it’s just… Change is bad. xD

    • I was a little confused for a bit but when I got it down I knew there was no going back to traditional word processing. Definitely worthwhile to try again.


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