Scrivener

If you're a writer, you may have heard of Scrivener. You may not have downloaded and started using it, though, probably because writers are notoriously attached to their current writing methods, and because writers rarely have time, in the middle of a project, to just up and learn a whole new program. I myself put off giving it a try until the teaching was finished for the semester. But I'd like to confer my rousing hurrahs for this program, and recommend it to all ye writers out there.


And I'd like to recommend this even if you are busy or are in the middle of a project, because I learned this program from start to finish in a blink. And it paid me rich benefits in hours. Wonderful, wonderful Scrivener!

If you're not familiar: this program is not a replacement for a word-processing program like Word. If you own this, you'll want to own Word too, for final formatting. Scrivener is not a word processor but a "workspace" with the tools that writers (especially of long projects -- like books) will find invaluable. 

In short, programs like Word were designed for business, and the approach to using them is a business-y, linear approach. (They're wonderful for the "business end" of writing as well: final mss and cover letters, etc.) But Scrivener allows you to do things that are hard with a program like Word: like work on multiple scraps of text (and other media) at the same time, for example (as you would were they just scraps of paper you could shuffle about on a broad desk). Scrivener also allows you to put together or pull apart those pieces, shuffle them around, return them how they were, etc. -- and the operative word there is "easily." This program gives you the intuitiveness of the old fashioned approach to writing, but it gives you the order and ease of the modern age. Wonderful!

With Scrivener I was able to convert Word files into working prototypes of the books I want those files to become. Once I could begin seeing them in new ways, I gained a perspective on my own work that -- well, "invaluable" is just an understatement. The ease with which I can change things and "see" (as a vast sort of over-view) how those changes affect the larger work -- again, invaluable. If you're working on a book of short stories or poems or a novel this is the program for you. (It is also especially well-suited to researching -- it "collects" files in every media format -- and has screenwriting features that I've not yet used, but I recommend this program just based on what I've done so far.)

This is a program to help writers who think like writers write like writers. If you are a writer who thinks like a writer, you should try Scrivener too.


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