Scrivener Writing SoftwareA number of my writer friends have, over the past few years, mentioned “Scrivener” to me, but I must confess: I was a bit slow on the uptake.

“Why do I need another word processor?” I asked myself, “I have Word. Everybody uses Word.”

Then, in the middle of a writing project, I found myself at the edge of a giant plot hole. It was vast and deep. There was no bottom in sight.

“With Scrivener,” one friend said, “I just write everything out in scenes. Then I can move them around, adjust them, delete them, rearrange them….  It really helps get the bones of a story in place.”

Suddenly, “another word processor” didn’t sound like such a bad idea.

To be honest, Scrivener is more than just a word processor. It takes you back to the days when you could write scenes on pages, outline on index cards, shuffle ideas around, and re-structure a story to your heart’s content before you actually committed to it.  It exports in many formats (including eBook formats like Kindle). It lets you keep all your research notes right in your project file. It gives you a place to attach notes and comments right to your scenes. It takes snapshots of a version of a scene, or multiple scenes, before you rewrite (just in case you decide you hate your changes). It has templates for character and scene sketches. It allows you to view your scenes in index card or outline form.

Scrivener is the answer to a writer’s prayers.

Yes, I installed it. Within two days, I paid for a registration.

Needless to say, that plot hole is patched. The first draft of that book is now done, and it’s in the hands of some first-reader friends while I mess around with researching and outlining the next project.

Yes, in Scrivener.

If you’re a writer, and would love to have a way to structure your work however the muse leads you, check it out.

The creators of Scrivener live at the Literature and Latte website. There, you can find versions for both Mac and PC, download a trial, read testimonials and watch many hours of informative tutorials.


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