In the shadow of NaNoWriMo, I got a nice deal on a writing program called Scrivener. I’ve heard about it many times, including getting a heavy recommendation from one of the guys at my weekly writing group, but I never gave it a shot.
Like many great things, I wish I had used this sooner.
Scrivener is admittedly a very dated program, so people that like the cutting-edge tech might find offense in paying for it. However, this is an example of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
One of the greatest issues with writing these days is distractions. Scrivener culls those out nicely. You can put everything you’d need to write a novel in one place. Sometimes proprietary software is the best tool for productivity.
I find myself enjoying it for the same reason I like my Chromebook— I get things done because I can’t do anything else on it. However, unlike my Chromebook, I’m not really settling for something that just works for me. Instead, Scrivener feels like it was for writing novels.
Scrivener is an organization tool and allows you to look at your creative project at several levels. Anyone that knows a basic file system can use it and it’s entirely up to you how deep into the rabbit hole you want to go.
The program has the potential to eliminate repetition. Alongside chapters, you can put notes to track revelations given to the reader on several levels. Not only can you keep track of literal events, you can track things like character growth (or lack thereof) and noting hard to track numerical elements. This is rather invaluable for dodging plot holes.
Of course, with experience, you learn to avoid these sorts of things, but it’s nice to have things laid out before you as a safeguard. Scrivener is a great tool for people who get sucked up into world building so much they don’t write. The documents are in RTF format and it is easy to flag what goes on the manuscript and what stays as planning.
I haven’t had any issues with moving files in between it and word, but Google Docs is wonky with it. To be fair Google Docs is crabby with everything.
Anyway, I highly recommend it and I’ll probably have more to say about it next week.