Scrivener: Writing Program Review

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:

  1. Assists with editing during the writing process by highlighting words spelled incorrectly and missing punctuation.
  2. 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.
  3. Saves your work as almost a dozen different formats including .docx and .pdf

Manuscript Production

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 Experiences

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.

Conclusion

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:

https://wordpress.com/post/bkgriffinsnest.com/1546

Thank you so much for reading down this far!

See you on the flipside and forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Audiobook Review: Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The audiobook version of this classic I listened to on Audible. I vaguely recall seeing it on a late night classic movie channel back when I was a kid. I think it was in black and white but don’t quote me; I’ve slept a lot since then.

The story was written by Dashiell Hammett in 1934, and William Dufris is the narrator in the audiobook version.

It was hard to get into the story. Nick, the main character, sounded bored most of the time while he was telling his side of the story and when responding to others. The wisecracks fell flat because there wasn’t much emotion in them.

The story itself was good,a well thought out murder mystery I would’ve enjoyed more if I’d read it myself.

I give the audiobook three stars mostly because I got bored because the narrator sounded bored a lot. This said, don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself here. You can purchase a print copy in a bunch of places cheaper than you can get the audiobook for, and you might enjoy it more – in my humble opinion.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Golden Knave Update: Vice’s Story is Done!!

Yep, I’ve finally finished the second draft of Vice’s story. It ended up being oonnly about 30,000 words, but that’s okay. I can now begin the end when both characters’ stories merge. I am a bit scared now because I’m completely rewriting the original ending. I just didn’t like it so, I’m changing it.

Wish me luck and lollipops with this part because I’m going to need it!! I plan for it to be at least 20,000 words too so I really need to think out the scenes and keep the ball rolling so you’ll want to read the my next book: Ebon Angel.

I’ll keep you posted on when the second draft is done and then, I’ll need to type it up and get it to Beta Readers. If you’d like to be a Beta Reader, let me know! The more, the merrier!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Rare Edition of Crimson Knight – Get Yours NOW!

That’s right, the current edition of Crimson Knight, my first published fantasy novel is rare, and you really need to get yours right now.

Why?

Currently, Crimson Knight has formatting issues. The edition being released on Valentine’s Day will be the corrected version. This means the current edition will never be available from me or my publisher. It won’t exist except for those fortunate enough to have bought one. This will make it ideal for the book collector as well as the book fan.

You can get your copy on Amazon: Crimson Knight

Be sure to post a review as well as I could really use the feedback!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 11

My word count dropped again today – it was 3,214 when I was done. While this does bring my overall total up to 41,588, I’m not competely satisfied with the count. I wanted to do more.

This said, I have noted many times in this project where I can split chapters and beef them both up so the count is higher overall. There are some scenes I do want to add to once the main project is done. Since I’m projected to hit the event goal of 50,000 words in 3 more days – if my daily word count stays above 3,000 – I’ll have time to do a rework of the overall project.

I plan to split up chapters, beef up scenes and add scenes where needed, and I plan to make sure formatting is the same throughout the entire project. I’m having issues with Crimson Knight right now, and I plan to fix it before Christmas.

As you can see, writing involves more than just stringing words together. ๐Ÿ™‚

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Days 9 & 10

Yes, I’m doing two days today instead of one. That’s because I was so busy yesterday I totally forgot to post about NaNoWriMo and my writing project. It had crossed my mind I could write two separate posts and try to pass one off as having been written, but I couldn’t. I am trying to build a rapport, one of trust and mutual respect with a flavoring of ideas and events we both enjoy. I can’t do that if I lie, and the time stamp would easily make a liar out of me. So, I’m merging the two posts into one…

Monday, 9 November

I wrote 3,550 words bringing my overall total on that day to 34,836. I’ve begun tweaking the formatting of the chaptters as I write too. I made the paragraph indentation too wide in the first 8 chapters using a one inch indent. I’m going to fix those chapters while continuing on with the standard half inch indent from now on.

There wasn’t a write-in scheduled for today by anyone so completed my writing for the day and began researching how to make a simple loom for when I start learning how to weave. I’ll also be able to use if for macrame I do believe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday, 10 November

I wrote 3,538 words today bring my total for my project to 38,374. I made notes on where I want to add a scene and where I want to split the chapter into two separate chapters. It will help things to flow smoothly and no slow down too much. I’m not happy I didn’t write more, but there’s still time for the additions I have planned once I get the initial goal reached.

I missed today’s write-in because I was busy doing research on industry in the 1930s in New York. I like to have some reality woven into my stories. It gives them more depth, I think. Anyway, I was reading and taking notes, forgetting all about the write-in until it was over. There’s a replay, but the live show is more entertaining and helpful.

I did fix the formatting on the first two chapters – it was niggling at me to do so. I didn’t want to forget to do it and end up with a mess like I’m dealing with in regards to Crimson Knight.

That’s all for today folks, I’ll see you on the flipside so don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 8

I didn’t do as well with today’s word count. Every word count is a chapter in my book by the way. At this point, I am developing the main part of the story. Today’s chapter isn’t one I’m completely happy with so, at the end of the event, I’ll be working on it until I am happy with it.

Today’s word count was 2,931. That brings my total word count to 31,286. This is the best year I’ve had since starting NaNoWriMo years ago! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been seeing people in the chats for the write-ins as well as the discord channel I host for my writing buddies talking about not”feeling it” about working on their projects. Some are very far behind, some not so far behind and some, burning out early.

I’ve been counseling not to stop writing; stop writing on your project. Just for today or just for a few minutes – whatever you need – just don’t stop writing. Writing every day needs to be a habit. It also doesn’t have to be project related. It could be a poem, song lyrics, a list of things you need to do – things of that nature. As long as you scribble something down every day, it’s a win-win situation.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and screwdriver!!!

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 7 – End of Week One!!

I had such a great time with yesterday’s virtual write-in on YouTube hosted by staff of NaNoWriMo I had a great day writing today! ๐Ÿ˜€ I wrote 4, 366 words which has brought my grand total up to 28, 355 words!!! The total for the event, as I may have mentioned before, is 50,000 words. My own personal goal is 60,000 words. I’m a bit over halfway there with the first and almost halfway there with the second, Considering this is only the first week, I’m doing a magalicious job!!!

I may even have time to do the editing and cover art and publishing before the end of the year!! It would be beyond fabulous to have a book published in time for Christmas!

Wish me luck and lollipops I get to my goal soon! Good luck and lots of lollipops for those doing the event with me!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 6

Today was a good day to write! I got 3,881 words written in a little over an hour. I only work on my novel for an hour a day to keep from stressing out. Stress is bad for a writer and can cause us to write nothing but junk that we’ll have to waste time deleting later. My total is now up to 23,989 ๐Ÿ™‚

At 3pm Central Time, NaNoWriMo is hosting a virtual write-in using YouTube and Facebook Watch. I’ll be on YouTube. I’ll post an update on my writer’s page on Facebook tomorrow. I’m only posting there on a weekly basis so I don’t get distracted. There will be virtual write-in events tomorrow and Sunday as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to them to join in the conversations and to see if I can get a new idea or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope those of you who are participating along with me are meeting your goals or, at the least, are still enjoying the event! Drop me a comment below and let me know!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 5

Today was a really good day! I got 3,833 words done bring my total up to 20,108!! The general goal is 50,000 words, and my personal goal is 60,000. I see myself hitting both goals by the end of the month even with me being away from home for 12 hrs a day due to my new job starting on 16 Nov. It’s in a town 2 hours away from me, and I will commute until I can afford to move.

Ever since I began this event, I’ve been attending the virtual write-ins hosted by the staff of NaNoWriMo. As I have, I’ve noticed other videos about writing I hadn’t seen before. One video that reached out to me was done by two members of AutoCrit. AutoCrit is an online editing service with an app that has limited services for free. It’s like Grammarly in that regard but more geared towards novel writers than Grammarly is.

I watched the entire video and now, I want to watch more of the videos put out by them. Deciding to do NaNoWriMo this year has been beneficial to me thus far. I’ve found a couple of new writing resources that are greatly helping my writing now and will help on future projects.

Check out NaNoWriMo yourself! Also, check out AutoCrit to see how it can help your own writing.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!