Some people may or may not agree with me. Scrivener has changed how I write my novels making it so much easier.
When I first started writing years ago, I used the old-fashioned pen and paper to write the story and then a typewriter to make it look “professional,” or as professional as it could be at that point.
I got my first desktop computer right after I finished obtaining my teaching license. I didn’t realize how much better that would be over the old-fashioned ways. At least I was no longer wasting tons of white out to correct my mistakes.
I used Word for all of my writing until December 2012. It was then that I “won” National Novel Writing Month and received a code to buy Scrivener for 50% off. That was one of the best purchases I have made in a while.
Why do I use Scrivener? Good question. I’m glad you asked.
I use Scrivener for outlining. I know some writers don’t outline, but I must have something to guide my writing. I can’t write without knowing where I’m going.
When I outline in Scrivener, I can do it by chapter or even by scene. I know exactly what each chapter will be about.
If I left a book set for a while, it’s easy for me to review the outline and know where I left off. I can usually pick right back up without having to read very much.
With the trial version I used for NaNoWriMo that year, the word counter helped me keep track of what I had written for that day and where I was in my word count overall.
That feature pushes me to write for my goal every day. Even now two years later I still use it when I am writing novels throughout the year.
I set my own word count for each day and hope to heck I hit the goal. Usually I do because I don’t like not hitting a goal.
Scrivener has a busy screen, but one feature I use is background fade. I’m not sure of its exact name in the program. However, you can use it to fade out everything on the screen but your writing.
It does have a few things left across the bottom of the screen. For the most part, though, you have nothing much left, which cuts down on the distractions.
Believe me. I can easily get distracted when I’m not focused. I do my best writing when I have blanked out the background.
As a person who has lost my writing, I am a big believer in backing up everything I do. Maybe I am a freak about it, but after I put in many hours writing, I don’t want to lose it all.
I love how you can back up your writing to Dropbox. I feel better that I can at least save it there.
Your writing is automatically saved within Scrivener so backing up to Dropbox is an extra step. But it’s not hard to do once you set it up the first time.
To me, it is worth the extra step. I have never had to use my back up, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
Formatting for eBooks
I know other authors don’t use this feature. But I think it works fine.
I use the formatting to convert it to Word so I can send it to my editor. I have also used Scrivener for formatting my novel for Kindle and Nook Press.
It actually works better than some people’s comments I have seen. Maybe I’m not doing it correctly, but my novel looks fine when I preview it using the Kindle Previewer from Amazon.
The formatting can be frustrating, though. I have had issues trying to figure out how I did something. You would think the more you do something the easier it becomes. Right?
Overall, I love Scrivener. As you can probably tell, I use the basics and don’t mess with much else. I figured that’s all I need to know at this point.
I know this costs while other writing software is free. I was able to get it for half off since I “won” NaNoWriMo in 2012. Now whenever I “win,” I am more than willing to pass along my half price code to another writer.
Perhaps at some point in the future I will learn more about Scrivener, but as long as I can crank out my novels, that’s what is important.
Do you use Scrivener? What features do you like most about it?