When I first started to write, Word was the obvious choice. I relied on my years of experience with the product and decided it would be this faithful companion through this writing endeavor. It served me well up until half way through the book. I noticed some holes in the plot and needed to rewrite a few scenes. Saving the original Word version seemed easy enough – just in case I change my mind later on. I was wrong! A couple of months later, I found myself with a myriad of documents and editing quickly became particularly cumbersome. So I needed a plan B or I was heading straight to headache and frustration land.
Being active on Twitter, I searched for mentions of a few writing softwares, but truly only one stood out – Scrivener. The universe sent me a sign (or I like to think so) when a day later, K. M. Weiland tweeted she and Joseph Michael were giving a free webinar on Scrivener a couple of days later. I was so excited I almost fell out of my chair and registered instantly. Let’s say this webinar from Joseph Michael – or the Scrivener’s whisperer as I secretly call him – was exactly what I needed.
So what makes Scrivener so great?
Let’s just say I’m a firm believer that the only painful part in writing should be you loosing yourself in the story and editing among other things. However, experiencing technical issues or software limitations is killing – or negatively impacting at best – your creativity and no writer should ever be dealing with this.
Now back to Scrivener!
This software has been a tremendous help. How much I write within the same period of time drastically improved. It also allowed me to outline the story up to some extent because I like the freedom of twisting things as I write and Scrivener can sure help you do that. All your notes are in one place and you can even have color-coded scenes or chapters. You are able to take screenshots of deleted scenes in case you need to go back to it and rearrange your scenes as you please without the hassle of copying and pasting. Writing becomes about writing and nothing else, and that’s how it should be.
Characters and setting sheets are also provided, which helps you stay on track and be consistent throughout the book, which is even better for series. This is a lifesaver for characters and world building. From the first word to compiling a manuscript into an ebook, this software provides a wide array of functionalities created for non-fiction and fiction writers, but also for screenwriters and anyone in needs of writing academic papers, or any other long writing projects.
Scrivener unfortunately isn’t free, but to me, this software is worth every penny when you’re serious about writing. A 30-day trial is provided for the skeptical or writers who are on budget. There might be a bit of a learning curve at the beginning so you might want to take a look at books, tutorials and videos available on Kindle, iBooks, Scrivener’s website and/or YouTube to only mention a few. These materials can show you the way, but I avoided the extended research by learning from Joseph Michael and subscribed to this training. At the end of the day, it all depends on what you feel most comfortable with. To this day, I don’t regret spending the extra money for this training or the software as I’m getting all I need and more in one place.
I’m not paid to write this post. I truly want to share what works best for me. Some may use other tools and that’s great. Scrivener has been amazing to me and even for blogging as I can save my research such as images, videos, audios, web pages… you name it. Writing is a wonderful experience one should be able to live to the fullest. However with the wrong tool, this experience can easily be spoiled by software limitations. So save yourself some time and energy, and find what’s best for YOU!