What’s This About?
To be brief: Scrivener. I’ve been wanting to talk about it for a long time. I’m using it for Vicissitude, the story project I’m working on, currently and I’ve grown quite used to it so I’d like to give my take on it. But first things first…
What is Scrivener?
Scrivener is a very nice writing software that I picked up about two years or so ago. Before then I believe I was using Microsoft Word, and I wasn’t liking that so much. And on top of that I had just bought my first Macbook and I really didn’t want to get Microsoft Word at the time, not to say that it’s not a decent program; Word gets the job done.
But I had gripes with it, for example like navigating through huge documents was a pain for me because back then jumping to where you needed to go required making headings and if you made the wrong kind of heading then you had to take it out and reput in the right one.
So for a time, I divorced Microsoft and roamed for other writing software. My fallback was Google Docs, something I used for writing with my friend, but Google Docs has enough issues being a realtime document editor. And I don’t like the idea of not being able to get my stuff uploaded when I’m not connected to the internet. Great for college life, but just missing that something extra.
And then I came across Scrivener…
It first caught my attention because of the Yin and Yang style logo. And I have to admit, if you want to get my attention, Yin and Yang/ Tao things is one of my shameless guilty pleasures. Though it also helped that my novels deal a lot with Yin and Yang, so it seemed too good to pass up. So what’s good about it?
Navigating Became So Much Easier
This is a screenshot from my own project. You can see on the side that everything is divided into folders for my different chapters and the documents for each scene is in them. This function right here helped me out with my novel immensely because now I don’t get confused with going back and forth when I edit and tinker scenes, which I did and still do a lot these days. So if you’ve got a novel or a short story with a lot of parts, then you’ll definitely love their templates.
I wasn’t really looking for a notes feature at the time, but I soon found in the midst of writing fantasy novels that there is a lot of world building to keep track of. And keeping notes around the house and my workspace doesn’t cut it. I lose those notes more often than not, and by the time I find them again, they’re so outdated that I just have to throw them out anyway. But Scrivener lets you keep all your notes in your project so that you don’t have to bother with outside binders, folders, files for them. And if you need them for your next project, you really only have to copy and paste.
Another thing that I wasn’t looking for, but I wound up liking is that there’s something called composition mode and in it you can write with different backgrounds. Since I’m the kind of person who hates blank screens, what I like to do a lot is get pictures that resemble some of my novel characters and set those pictures as my writing backdrops if the character is in the chapter.
Now I have actually heard that this is a little buggy on Windows computers. Keep in mind, that the version I have is for the Mac, so your experience may be slightly different from mine.
What’s the not so good about it?
They don’t happen too often that it’s a constant gripe, but they still do happen occasionally. I’ve never lost anything due to a crash though. And I hope that it doesn’t deter you from trying or buying Scrivener. I feel like crashes are kind of something to expect with any software because computers just aren’t perfect. But Scrivener does make the attempt to find and fix bugs with updates. Also, I must emphasize again that if you’re using the Windows version then you might have more or less crashes. But the friends who I know that have the Windows version, still seem to enjoy Scrivener very much.
But before I scram out of here…
Honorable Mention Functions!
Compiling- One of Scriveners biggest claims is that they make it easy for you to compile and make your desired ebook-formats.
Character and Templates- Scrivener comes with some already if you like that sort of thing, or you could make your own.
It’s not just for novels! – I’ve seen templates for recipe books, research papers, short stories, poetry. It’s pretty flexible use-wise. So don’t think that you have to be a hardcore novelist to use it. You can pretty much use it to do all the same things that you normally do in a word document.
Being able to set word count goals and keep track of them- For all you lovely Nanowrimo fanatics and those of you who like to see your progress in numbers.
Alright, alright, I’ve said my two cents. If you like Scrivener, or have experience with either version, leave a comment and say what you think about it.
See you next post ya crazies!