Sunday, June 22, 2014

To Scrivener, or not to Scrivener--that is the question.

I considered trying Scrivener two or three years ago, but I never did. I think I was most concerned with how easy or difficult it would be to export my manuscript into Word, and I never looked further into it. Then last week, author Becky Levine started an interesting discussion about Scrivener on Facebook. It got me thinking about Scrivener again. Now I think I might try it.

For those of you unfamiliar with Scrivener, it's a software application that was designed for novelists, though other types of writers use it as well. (Note: I don't work for Scrivener and, as far as I know, I don't know anyone who does.) The website says it's a "word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won't tell you how to write--it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application." Which all sounds pretty cool. The website also offers a 30-day free trial.

How many of you use Scrivener? If you have experience with it, do you like it? Is it helpful? What are your favorite and least favorite parts? If you have not yet tried it, do you plan to? Pros and cons, bloggy friends! Let's hear them!

In other matters, how many of you remember the old Almond Joy/Mounds commercials? (If you click on the link, check out those 70s styles!)

Pepper says,

 "Sometimes I feel like a nut.

Sometimes I don't."


Jemi Fraser said...

Pepper is a cutie!!

I LOVE Scrivener! I would suggest starting using it when you start a new project though - it's more intuitive that way. The only Con I can think of is that it took me a bit to get in the swing of it.

Pros - those 30 days are 30 days of use, each scene is in its own file, super easy to compile to a Word doc, all my character sheets/research files/setting info etc are all in the same file. You can split the screen to 2 scenes at the same time. I use this ALL the time during my rewrites or when checking to see if I'm repeating info. You can leave notes that show up for individual scenes and overall notes that you have for the entire doc (big pic things I need to fix).

Hope that helps! Any questions, feel free to email or tweet me :)

Dawn Simon said...

Thank you for the detailed comment, Jemi! Such great information! I can totally see how the viewing-two-scenes-at-once aspect would be so helpful during revision. I'm especially glad to hear it's easy to export into Word. Also, thanks for offering to answer questions. You are so sweet!

Side note: Pepper thanks you. ;)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I LOVE Scrivener. I wasn't interested in it at first, but then I won a copy. Now I can't imagine writing a story without it. It just makes my life so much easier.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Stina! Excellent news! Cool that you won your copy! I assume from a writing blog? Yay for bloggy friends and giveaways!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I've heard great things about it, but haven't tried it yet.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Sharon! I have a birthday coming up, so I asked my husband if I could get it! :)

Kelly Polark said...

The new and getting used to it thing scares me, but sounds super useful. I've been going back and forth about it!

Old Kitty said...

Love the ad and it works cos now I'm singing it! "Sometimes you feel like nut, sometimes you don't!" LOL!

Hello Pepper!!

I've heard of scrivener but not used it!! Hope you do get it for your b-day though! Yay! take care

Dawn Simon said...

Kelly, I sooo get it!

Old Kitty, you're super fun! Thanks! (And Pepper says hello!)

Thank you for all of the thoughtful comments! :)

Medeia Sharif said...

Cute dog pics.

I had a trial or free version of Scrivener on my old computer, but never tried it. Now I don't have it at all.

Lynda R Young said...

I've not tried Scrivener, but I'm super comfortable with Word and it does everything I need it to do.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Medeia and Lynda! No Scrivener for you gals, eh?

I keep flip-flopping, and I halted the birthday purchase. I have a system, albeit a messy one, that works for me. It would be nice to have everything in one place. The writers in Becky's conversation said there's a feature that allows you to tag characters in scenes so you can follow each character's thread, which seems so useful. Also, many said they found the corkboard feature alone made it worthwhile. I write around work during the school year, and a part of me worries I'll lose valuable summer writing time to learning Scrivener.

Dawn Simon said...

Oops: "to learn Scrivener." Darn typos. ;)

Dawn Simon said...

Update: I now have Scrivener, though I'm just doing the tutorial today. I'm really glad I bought it. Yee-haw! I'll probably ease into it slowly so I can keep pushing forward with my WIP.