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Well, better late than never, right?

December 27, 2014

scrivener-logo

A few days before Christmas, I finally broke down and installed Scrivener onto my computer. This is something I’ve been putting off for some time: Word always seemed to do the job, after all, and could do so without costing additional money. But Word has its limits, as things turned out, with the WIP becoming harder and harder to manage as its size increased. And so, having heard many great things about Scrivener (case in point…), I decided to give to a whirl.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Now, I’ve only been using the program a very little while, so I don’t really feel ready to write a full post on it yet. Nonetheless, I can already say that I’m seeing a great deal of benefits. The main thing, for me, is Scrivener’s ability to organise: through it’s “binder” interface, I can split the WIP into as many little segments as I like without having to save everything as separate files, which has made things far easier to manage. With Word, I would often have three or four windows open at a time, which was starting to get…well, confusing.

Incidentally, I ran a word-count on the WIP after transferring everything over. I’m now at ~65k words worth of usable material, with very few scenes left that don’t at least have frameworks (dialogue, actions etc) written. With any luck, I can still get rough drafts of said scenes written before the end of the year, at which point I can tentatively declare this particular draft done.

Any experience with scrivener or other such writing tools? Feel free to share down below!

(Also: I’m back! Yay!)

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16 Comments
  1. SarahClare permalink

    Ive got Scrivener but I just cant seem to shake the ties that bind me to Word. It’s going to be a slow transition for me, I think..

    • It’s certainly worth a go if/when you find that Word seems too cumbersome. That said, Word has served me well for years, so it’s hardly mandatory to switch over :).

  2. charnellpeters permalink

    I’ve heard great things about Scrivener! If I ever have a larger work to manage I’ll definitely try it out!

    • I’d definitely recommend it. I doubt it’ll make much of a difference with short pieces, but with longer stuff it’s proving to be a huge help.

  3. I would like to try it, but I wonder if it’s worth it as I am in the final revision stage with about 75% done. At this point, do you think it would be worth it for me to make the switch?

    • Well in my case, it took around a day to fully switch over. By the end of that day I’d gone through a usage tutorial, transferred my WIP over and then reorganised it with the scrivener interface. My WIP was particularly disorganised beforehand, mind, so I’m guessing I took much longer than many people would.

      Personally, I’d say it’s worth giving Scrivener a go. There’s a free trial at the start, so you can’t really lose with it.

      (Also: final revision stage, eh? Congrats! I’m a tad jealous, I must confess :P)

  4. I got Scrivener last Christmas, and I love it. Best writing program I’ve ever used.

    • Agreed. It already seems like an improvement over Word, and I’ve barely even started to use it yet.

      • Yeah, absolutely. There are a lot of features to it, though. As I said, I’ve been using it for a year now, and I’m still discovering new stuff I can do with it. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to anything else.

  5. I too have heard great things about Scrivener. I putting it off too and then when I was about to bite the bullet and purchase it, I found another tool called YWriter (which is free and according to the reviews I have read, is basically Scrivener without the bling). I haven’t been using it for long, but it does seem to be a good tool so far. I would love to hear from someone who has used both tools to get their opinion on how they compare.

    • I went ahead and looked up ywriter, and the author’s website actually recommends Scrivener to Mac users. Guess I won’t be the one to make that particular comparison, then :P.

      It’s certainly interesting to see how much writing software is out there online. I can’t see myself returning to the likes of Word ever again.

  6. I’ve talked to several people who use it, and not heard anything that persuades me. I expect it depends on ones writing methods but a tried and tested system of Word files and a wordcount spreadsheet do what I need.

    • To be honest, I get the impression that Word would have worked fine for me had I been better organised. By the time I switched, I was opening about four Word windows at a time (my summary, my “fragments”, and one or two individual chapters) and wasting increasing amounts of time simply sorting through them. Had I finalised my summary first (and made it more concise), the fragments would have become unnecessary and the whole thing a lot more straightforward.

      Ah well. Hindsight, and all that 🙂

      • Whatever works for you and doesn’t get in the way of the actual writing. It took me years to develop a system of Word files that quietly supports me instead of luring me into playing with them and updating them for the sake of it. My writing room cupboards contain relics of other methods I flirted with and invested time in – cork boards, card indexes, you name it.

  7. Welcome back! I was thinking of you recently and realized I hadn’t seen you around for a little while. Glad to hear the WIP is still progressing – and you’re close to the end of the latest draft!

    I’ve heard of Scrivener before, but don’t know enough about it, to be honest. So, yes, I’m still using Word. But it’s still working OK for me right now.

    • Thanks! Things were getting pretty busy for a while (hence my absence), but by now they’re largely back to normal so I ought to be getting active again over the next few weeks.

      I see Scrivener as an organisational aid more than anything else, really. Since you’re already about as organised as can be, I’m not surprised that Word is working out fine 🙂

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