Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Scrivener, my love...

So for all of you writers out there, I want to share with you the absolute LOVE of my life - Scrivener. It's a relatively cheap (forty *american* bucks!) writing software that I use on a daily basis. I'd like to formally introduce you.

Now Scrivener was designed for writing. You can download a free trial for Mac or PC here. The trial lasts for 30 days... no! Not thirty days from the download, thirty used days, so I could open it one day each month and it would work for thirty months... comprende? I bought it before the trial was even up :p.

A couple of the reasons I love Scrivener:

It has project targets.

You have an auto backup that kicks in when you close;

It has a great outliner for planning those novels - I found this a godsend!

You can skip between chapters/separated texts while viewing the documents as whole. These are referred to as scrivenings.

A great corkboard that you can customise and set out your whole novel on:

And when you've finished your manuscript and are ready to print? Simply compile it into a pdf document for easy access!

There are a whole bunch of other tools that I have yet to discover, I know you can split the screen to view your research (all stored in Scrivener, including images, videos, text etc.) and what you're writing, you can drag your chapters/segments around on the corkboard and the left hand navigation panel and makes notes on the notecards on corkboard with snippets of what the segment is about etc.

All in all I have fallen desperately in love with this software. There are writers out there that think that it's too complicated and detracts from the actual 'writing' however I disagree. Bells and whistles distracting you? Simply launch full screen mode, which allows you to edit the background and the text so that's all you see on your screen. Great or what?

UPDATE: I'd just like to include this link to an excellent tutorial video on youtube, where the creator himself runs you through a quick guide to Scrivener, there are other longer video's available, but this one is a quick peek at how to get the most out of the software. You can find it here.

Enjoy, and feel free to comment and let me know what writing software you love, or love to hate!

Do all things beautifully xx JP


  1. i also use Scrivener, and i love it!!!

    I have barely scratched the surface though, and i think it will take starting novel number 2 (i did most of my current one pre scrivener) to really begin scratching past the surface

    Some good screen shots by the way. Hopefully more people will join the revolution of the Scriv :)

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    1. Thanks, it is fantastic, I'm only halfway through my first novel and I know there are things that I haven't discovered yet. There's a great youtube video that explains it - I'll have to add it into the post to link you to it :)

      It's a great little tutorial by the guy that created Scrivener.

      JP xx

  2. Wow, you make me happy that I bought it. I haven't used it yet, but it sounds like it has two of my favorite software packaged together!

    I agree with turndog, great screen shots!

    1. I have to admit the screenshots aren't my own, I linked them directly from the scrivener site - I'll update my post to include the source links as well.

      Congrats on buying it! It's fantastic :) I promise you won't regret it! :D

  3. Absolutely brilliant! What an ideal gift for a writer. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. It's not a bad gift at all, also (I forgot to mention) you can download the program on upto five computers with the same license, you just can't be in the program on two or more computers at once - nifty eh? JP xx