I absolutely hate shopping.  Unless it happens to be at a home improvement store, farm supply store, book store, or an office/art supply store.  Last week I downloaded the trial version of Scrivener mainly because I’d been reading about what a wonderful tool it is for writers and partly because it looks like something you would find at an office supply store.  The screen shots of it are enough to make the office supply geek in me get all quivery with desire.  It just looks cool.  Like a brand new, unspoiled, notebook.  I mean, look at it.

So I spent some time downloading it, installing it, and then trying to power my way through it without so much as viewing the Read Me file or paying any attention to any form of instructions or guidance.  I’m pretty computer savvy and can manage to find my way around just about any new program.

Scrivener is not as intuitive as I had hoped.

That led me to dismiss it.  I was disappointed because I couldn’t force it to work with my completed (almost completed) manuscript the way I wanted it to.  I even convinced myself I wasn’t the kind of writer Scrivener was built for.

As I thought about it I realized I was wrong.

I don’t usually outline plots, not to the extent some folks do.  However, I do jot down plot notes, character notes, random scenes, and assorted other bits of information on just about any scrap of paper I can find.  Or I’ll type them up in word and save them to one of several files.  Let’s not forget the times I e-mail notes to myself and don’t use a subject line.  Then, when I need them?  Yeah, not so easily found.

As I spent more time with Scrivener and actually went through the provided tutorial, I began to see how it may just actually be the next best thing to sliced bread.  At least for the early drafts of a manuscript.  Which is what its web site touts as its forte, “its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.”  It keeps all your notes, scenes, reference, research. . . everything at your fingertips.  Easy to get at without losing your place in your current work.   No more searching through files.  No more digging through notebooks and piles of scraps of paper.  No more losing links or reference info you collected.

So I’ll give it a serious try.  I’ve got about 26 days left to try it out and see if I really like working with it enough to shell out the cash for it.  That means dumping my current urban fantasy WIP into it, as well as possibly book two in the BD&L series.

I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Please do keep us updated about your experience. Every writer I know sings its virtues, but I am so NOT computer savvy that I am afraid of the learning curve. Would like to know if it’s worth it!

  2. Ooh interesting – am definitely interested in hearing how you get on!


  3. Good on you for sticking with it. I’ve downloaded Storyist and am definitely more and more ‘inlike’ with it the more I use it. I’m also interested in Yarny which is in beta stage at the moment – hmmm, something to play with after November. Unleashing the geek!

  4. I’m certainly interested in hearing more – I never even really knew what it was, but it may be something I’m looking for!

  5. Pingback: Latest Scrivener Update « My Random Muse

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