What can I say? Scrivener is one of the most perfect
apps for writers. It’s
designed to create books, novels, scripts, epic poems, and nonfiction
masterpieces. How can you use this program to enhance your writing? Start by
opening up a doc and playing. There’s so much inside this program that will strengthen
your writing process. Here are a few of my favorites.
Word Count—Deadlines are a thing, whether you are
under contract, participating in National Write A Novel Month, or just trying
to learn your own process. Scrivener has a great word count feature to help you
keep on track whatever your time restraint.
Under the Project menu, use the Project Targets option to set up your
goals. The app will keep track of the total goal and the word count for each
session. The feature is very helpful to not only stay on track but to determine
your writing pace. Under that same menu, you can explore Project Statistics,
like the number of printed pages, useful for a set contract goal.
Drafting—I use Scrivener exclusively for drafting.
The Binder on the side of the screen shows all the chapters/sections I’ve written in order. If I
need to change a scene, it’s easy to find the spot in the doc. If I need to
move a scene, I just click and drag. Editing doesn’t get much easier. I also
use the Binder to make a mini bible for the book. I add a few extra
folders—character, setting, timeline, the reject folder. As I’m drafting, I can
refer easily back for details.
The Forums—I cannot stress enough how valuable the
Literature & Latte forums are. Writers from all walks are on there and happy
to talk shop. They have fantastic ideas for how to use and customize the
program, especially templates. Many writers have taken the basic novel or
script template and customized it to create a unique usable doc. You’ll find every kind of genre
and subgenre. Get on those forums and talk to people. Learn a few
customizations of your own to generate your own template to make the program
even better for your writing.
As I mentioned in
an earlier post, there is a learning curve for the program. Play with it,
export to Word once in a while, just in case. But the best way to understand
Scrivener is to use it. And for the price, I’m not sure you’ll find a better writing tool.