I bought Scrivener when I first took on the Nanowrimo challenge in 2013, but only used it like a word processor. Not really getting any additional benefit out of it, I went back to using my trusty old Microsoft Word. I was a fool! A fool, I tell ya! I can also tell you, that feeling underwhelmed by the program was entirely my fault.
I recently opened it back up in an attempt to organize myself better with this next novel, which would ideally lead to making the revision process a bit easier. I dedicated a few hours to running over the tutorial and picked out just a few of the features I now absolutely love, to share with you.
- Character and setting sheets. Holy Hannah! These are fantastic! You can set up templates and just fill in the gaps, save it all into the same project and continually refer to them to stay on point and not mix up your details and descriptions. It’s even cooler when you use split screen and just have it open while you write. Simple things make me happy. Simple things that don’t let me change my character names throughout the book make me ecstatic.
- Meta data and keywords. These blew my mind. Which doesn’t take too much to do, apparently. You can pick out keywords on pages that you’ll want to keep track of, set them in the Inspector, and easily be able to find when you last wrote about them, keeping your story and details aligned. You can also create a collection with all of these and view it all in a continuous page. Amazing, right?!
- Taking a screenshot in the Inspector before you edit anything. This keeps your old copy and if you hate the edits you made, or are worried about something you deleted that may have been integral to the story later, you can click ‘rollback’ and bam, your old work is back!
These are just a few of the features that I can recall and which stood out for me because of my own specific writing challenges. I imagine the more I use it and learn it, I’ll find more amazing pieces that make my writing a bit easier to manage.
If you’re interested in owning this, you can access Scrivener on PC, Mac, iPhones and iPads. I don’t know about other smartphones, I’m sure you can look and see if you’re really interested. If you can’t find it, email them, demand that this be made available to you because you deserve its amazingness (I believe it’s my duty as a writer, to create new words. You’re welcome.) in your very own life.
I’d love to hear about what programs or apps you use and why they sing to your wordsmithing (see above bracketed comment) heart. Comment below! Tell me!