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!!

Crimson Knight Update – 1/27/19

Today was my only day off this week which meant trying to pack a bunch of things I wanted/needed to do into this one day.

One of those things I wanted/needed to do was work on Crimson Knight’s manuscript formatting so I could get it rereleased by Kindle Direct Publishing.  I was working with the site’s book creator program last week, and I had a lot of issues with it when it came to the formatting part.

I decided to use Scrivener to create a new manuscript using only the sizing and formatting required by the program for Kindle.  I got this Scrivener program years ago for free for participating in NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been quick to update it every chance I get.  It’s a user friendly program. 🙂  I have copied and pasted from my original digital manuscript to the Scrivener program and now, I’m just tweaking things so it all looks uniform.  Once I get it looking like I want it to, I’ll use the program from KDP to create printable version of Crimson Knight.  I am hoping this time, things go a lot easier and faster so I can move on to getting an audio book version started.

That’s all I have for this week.  I would’ve done more on the manuscript, but I did have other things I had to do as well.  I’ll work on it again on my next day off, and I’ll let you know how things go.

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

Writing News – Jan. 21, 2019

So, last week, I ended up with three days off, and I spent most of that time catching up with housekeeping and some other projects that had been neglected of late due to my work schedule.  One of these projects was me cleaning out my huge amount of email.

One of the emails I received while I was offline was a notification of things happening over on Kindle Direct Publishing.  I moved to them when they merged with Create Space.  I was initially told all my published work would be seamlessly moved over and would be available from Amazon just like before.

Well, this new email made this all a lie.  Apparently, the site has changed publishing applications so everything from CreateSpace is no longer compatible.  Of course.  Knew something like this was going to happen.  So, I started with the ebook I had been making before I went offline.  The program for this is not that user friendly, and I got frustruated with it after working on it for several hours.  I decided to leave it alone and go back to it on my next day off.

As luck would have it, I worked one day and was off again yesterday.  I managed to figure out the issue I’d been having with the ebook creator program and completed the ebook – finally.  It’s now available of Amazon. Yay me.  Anyway, I began work on the release of the novel the ebook is for: Crimson Knight.

First off, neither of the programs used to create the print version of my novel is user friendly.  The book cover creator program also forces you to use templates that are quite limited.  I tried to use my old cover and found no option for that – if anyone finds it please let me know!  After I finally got the cover made, I turned to the program used to actually create the book – you have to upload your manuscript initially and then do some other things before it will accept your book for publishing.

I am now having formatting issues from hell.  My own manuscript is great, but it looks awful on KDPs previewer even after I’ve followed the guidelines for saving, formatting, sizing etc.  I messed with it for hours before giving up and saving it for my next day off.  That should be Sunday, and I’ll let you know what happens when it does.  Wish me luck.

That’s it for this post, folks.  I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Personal Update April 10, 2018

Public: So, what have you been up to lately?

Me: Working and sleeping mostly.  Did have to go see the dentist after two of my implants fell out.  He took out two more and now, I have to wait a month before he’ll put them back in again.

Public: Bummer.

Me: *sigh* That’s life.

Public: Surely you’ve done more than that lately?

Me: I’ve been working on things to put into my Etsy store when I have the time.  I make hats and lapghans for cancer patients and veterans first, then I work on other stuff.  I’m currently working on an edging for an altar cloth.  The pattern is one that Marie Antoinette Hees published around 1915.

Public: That sounds like fun.

Me: I like learning new things and easy isn’t much fun anymore.

Public: Sounds like you have a full life.

Me: Not really, but I do try to keep busy even when not working.

Public: How is your writing going?

Me: Just submitted The Inbetween to Independent Publishers for consideration.  I’ve not done much else since.  I am trying to make money anyway I can to make ends meet, and my writing suffers because of it.  The Etsy store and my job have to come first.

Public: Good luck on the book.

Me: Thanks.  I’m also trying to read The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver when I have some time to.  Not watching any television or movies right now – not enough time.

Public: What’s the link to your store, we’ll go have a peek at the very least.

Me: I’d appreciate that.  The link is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GriffinsMarket

Public: Keep up the good fight, and we’ll see you later.

Me: See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.