Tuesday, March 5, 2013

To Scrivener? Or Not to Scrivener?

I've always been a Microsoft Word kind of gal or enjoy using purple ink pens and composition notebooks. But I have to admit that sometimes I get lost in my own work. All the scenes sort of blur together sometime when you are juggling 70 to 80 thousand words and sometimes I find myself re-reading more than actually writing. I've even started making plotting tables like J.K. Rowling just to keep all the story lines straight.

The past few months I've noticed more and more writers who profess to using Scrivener. Even Authoress has mentioned on more than one occasion how much Scrivener has helped her.

I've been spending some time on Scrivener's website and these are the things that are attracting me to it:

  • I wonder if Scrivener is like Final Draft. To me it seems inconceivable to write a screen play without using Final Draft. Obviously, I know one can write a novel without Scrivener, as I have done it several times myself. But would it make the process more organized and less confusing for me?
  • I love Scrivener's motto: Outline, Edit, Storyboard, Write. It just makes the whole process of writing a novel seem so approachable.
  • It allows you to organize your research files (images, movies, docs, etc..) within the program.
  • There is a virtual cork board that you can rearrange index cards on.
  • You can export your documents into multiple formats (even for e-readers!)
  • There's a free trial download
Do any of you guys use Scrivener? What are your thoughts?


  1. I like it. You can't go wrong with a free trial. You can use it and see if you like it. It's a tool specifically for writing novels. Word has a lot of tools and options that just get in the way of that. It's like trying to dig a hole with a sharp stick vs a shovel. Sure a sharp stick can do a lot more, but a shovel is going to get you a hole faster.
    When scrivener for iPad finally shows up it'll probably be the only thing I write in.

  2. Thanks for your feedback! I definitely want to be using the shovel. I'm curious about Scrivener for iPad too! My ipad goes everywhere I go and it would be great to be able to use it for some serious novel writing.

  3. Anita,

    Scrivener and Final Draft are completely different. Here is an article from 2009 which should clear up the difference between them for you.


    If you are interested in interacting with other Scrivener users, there is a public community for Scrivener Users on Google+. We have over 190 members. Since this is a public community you can read the community page before you decide whether or not you want to participate or not.


    1. thanks for the link! going to check it out :-)

  4. Personally, I looooove Scrivener and find it hard to write in anything else anymore (and I haven't even watched the tutorials yet, so I'm probably missing out on half the features, haha). DEFINITELY worth it, in my opinion, especially if you're one of those writers who usually ends up with 27 documents pertaining to your current WIP.

    The only issue I've run into is when I'm compiling the document and converting it back to Word (so I can send it to other people). Sometimes the formatting gets messed up in the process (but again there's probably some tutorial or tips somewhere that explains the solution to that, haha). Overall, though, I love it.

    1. Haley, just send people pdf's to markup. There"s no good reason to send a word doc. If you're collaborating then make your partner also get scrivener

    2. Thank you for your input Haley. All I seem to be hearing are good things. Can't wait to give it a try!

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