Many years ago, I was one of the winners of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which is held every November and has participants from around the world. That year, one of the prizes for winning was a free copy of Scrivener. That was about ten years ago, when I wrote the rough draft for Crimson Knight.
I have only had to update and pay for the right to use the program three times, and the program has gotten better in many ways and in others, it needs more work.
One of the issues I’ve found with it is that you practically have to take a course to learn how to use the program. In fact, there are quite a few online classes as well as books teaching you how to use Scrivener. I didn’t have those resources so, I wasted quite a few hours learning how to do things correctly. It was a lot of trial and error, mostly error, and I am still not fully sure of what I’m doing.
That said, let’s talk about the program a bit.
What is Scrivener?
Scrivener is a program designed to help writers write. Sounds like a word processor from back in the day, but it does a great deal more than that. In addition to helping you format your work using either the presets provided or custom elements, it also:
- Assists with editing during the writing process by highlighting words spelled incorrectly and missing punctuation.
- Allows you to choose how you want to set up your project by choosing either a blank page for a custom project or choosing presets like manuscript, recipe, play, journal, etc.
- Saves your work as almost a dozen different formats including .docx and .pdf
This is the main reason I chose to use Scrivener many years ago. Once you decide to write a manuscript, it allows you to choose which kind: fiction or non-fiction as well as play/movie script. Then it:
a. Set up Title Page and Chapters
b. Separates Chapters into Scenes
c. Provides a Corkboard view so you can check each scene individually with ease
d. Has places for notes and research
e. Saves everything in one file so you don’t have to worry about losing your notes or forgetting where you found something.
f. Compiles the finished project according to choice: print or e-book.
My main issue was learning how to format and make sure all the formatting was done to the entire body of work. I have found you have to preset all the formatting vales before you start writing because if you don’t, it’s a major headache having to go back and fix everything.
Also, formatting for an e-book is much different than formatting for a print book, and you have to pay attention to the space around your text so you don’t use more than an e-book creator program will allow you to. Same with print, many self publishing programs have boundaries on the book pages you can’t put anything in because it will be damaged during the printing and cutting process.
Scrivener is a great program and despite all my issues learning how to use it, I don’t want to use anything else. The only error in this program that I’ve found is user error. I suggest buying a book and taking a course to learn how to use the program unless you’re hands on like me and don’t mind finding out how to use it on your own.
Don’t take my word for it, of course. Try out the program for yourself. I think there are trial versions available. If you like it, it’s well worth the price of the licensing.
If you already use the program, feel free to let me know your thought/feelings about the program. I’d love to hear from you.
Before I go, I want to remind everyone of the raffle I have going on for a few more days! If you’re new here, check out the full story at the link below:
Thank you so much for reading down this far!
See you on the flipside and forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!