Scrivener – The Writer’s Tool

So in a further attempt to move the novel along, or more accurately, get it started, I purchased the well reviewed Scrivener program today.  I had heard many good things and after watching a few video tutorials on the Scrivener website and seeing some of the nifty things I could do with it, I was sold.  I was also pleasantly surprised at the $AUD38.04 education price tag … which for any program, not to mention one so highly regarded, is pretty amazing.

Check out the video below to see all the basic fun things Scrivener does.  Obviously I’ve had only a little time to play with it yet, but I especially like the split screen editing tool, being able to have your research all in one program i.e. not having to click on multiple browsers/windows to access all your information, and the ability to create ebooks (check out that video tutorial here), which seems very cool to me.

As a writer’s organisational tool, this program seems invaluable.  I was only today reading an interesting blog discussing the different organisational and methodical approaches writers use when they are drafting their stories, whether it be freestyle or intense plotting.  Either way, I figure it would be more a help than a hindrance with an 80,000+ word novel to have a program that helps organise, streamline and keep everything neatly together.

Most importantly, however, is that so far it’s all been very simple to pick up and use.  There’s nothing worse than a program that offers to clean the car, do the washing and write your story for you, only to discover that the damn thing is so hard to operate that any person with an ordinary sized brain never gets to utilise any of those functions.  Scrivener doesn’t seem at all pretentious in that way, which is good news to my cerebrum.

~storytelling nomad~

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15 comments on “Scrivener – The Writer’s Tool

  1. I used Scrivener for a while a few years ago, before eBooks were widely available. But I was so familiar with Pages (the word processor on Macs) that I just stuck with something I easily understood, so the technicalities wouldn’t interfere with the real work.

    I watched the Scrivener video on eBook formatting, and was mystified a couple of minutes into it.

    Pages offers eBook formatting for dummies 101. In other words, with the document open, you click on “export,” choose the formatting you want (like iPub or PDF), click on it, and presto! A copy of your document is automatically converted to that format.

    Four of my novels are available as eBooks, and all were converted that way.

    Scrivener does many fine word processing chores, but is not enough better to bother learning a new process if one is already familiar with a current one, like Pages.

    One another thing about eBook formatting. Each eReader offers a template for its required style. All you have to do is open the template, plug in your document (or even begin a document fresh in it), and when finished, you are already formatted the way the eReader requires.

    Good luck getting yours going.

    • I have been using Pages for a few years now and love it. I had no idea it offered eBook formatting though! Thanks for the info.

      I suppose what I like about Scrivener is having everything to do with my novel all in one place in easy to view screens…no switching between documents and web browsers. As a word processor, no doubt I will continue using Pages, for assignments, letters etc, but to have something separate for my novel is for me akin to having a workspace just for my writing.

      Thanks again for the eBook info…I have nothing but short stories finished at the moment so I think I’ll be a while yet before I get there, but it’s good to know how I can go about it when the time comes.

      • In the menu bar, under file, there is “export,” that’s where you can designate to convert your file to various eReader formats.

        Actually, I still write originally with a pen in a notebook, then later I use Pages for editing and submitting. So I don’t have a problem keeping stuff together – it’s all in the notebook.

        It doesn’t really matter how you do it, only that you do it.

      • Indeed, it’s not the means but the content that counts really…in a nicely presented format of course! Thanks for the info though, I’ll be playing around with it all today.

  2. This is a great find, Katy. I’m still sorting through the information on the website, but I think it is worth the investment. I would definitely try the beta version first myself and if I ended up using it then I would absolutely consider purchasing this software. Keep up updated on how it works out for you!

    • I’m really enjoying it so far. Yesterday I transferred a whole load of documents in and it’s so nice to see all my work consolidated like that…it gives a nice perspective as to where you’re at (and also how far you have to go!). I’ll definitely keep the blogosphere updated! And let us know what you think of the beta version. :)

  3. Hi katy. I didn’t know this existed, thanks for the information.I might just give this a go too. Good luck with it.
    I hope you have received my message about my new URL blog.collinsquinlan.co.uk. As you can see I was successful in my move to my own website. it is still a work in progress, but I would love to see you there.

    • No problem! Good work with the website, I’d have no idea how to even begin transferring everything so quickly! Look forward to reading how it all turns out!

  4. Pingback: The dangers of ebook world domination « storytelling nomad

  5. Pingback: Plotting Tools: Scrivener « Klebenleiben

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