Last December I decided to download the trial version of Scrivener. Even before the 30 day trial was over I was buying the software. I love this program and for many reasons.
- Planning is a breeze in either corkboard or outliner mode. I prefer corkboard because I love to see things laid out in a more visual manner and outlines just take me back to high school composition classes and the nightmare of writing my masters thesis.
- My entire story is opened in one document with super simple navigation. No more opening large, cumbersome files in Word with my entire story or opening 25 separate files, one for each chapter.
- I can easily keep track of my edits by going into Revision Mode. There, anything I add will be color coded. With each subsequent revision, a new color text is used so you can easily track when you changed things. “Oh right, that was after Sue read through my manuscript.”
- Snapshots can be taken at various stages in the editing process so you can go back to an earlier draft, but they are all saved in the one file, so again multiple files don’t need to be opened. I’m still getting used to this feature, so if you have any tips for me, I’d love them.
- Again, all in one spot, you can keep your character sketches, places, research, and what ever else you want. I include photos of characters and links to websites so I can easily refer to them again if needed.
- At the end you can compile your manuscript in many types of files to share.
I honestly don’t know how I ever managed to write a 37 chapter story using Word. That’s not to say that Word is irrelevant to me; I still use it because the spell checker is better there than in any other program around. Scrivener allows so much more versatility though. You can customize it and use it in a way that works for you. Word is really a business program which incorporates so many things that I will never use while writing novels.
Here is a video introduction to Scrivener. Check it out and then consider downloading the 30 day trial version of the program.