Scribbling with Scrivener

So who here’s thought of trying a writing software?

Here’s a better question.  Who here plots on sticky notes / napkins / legal pads / your sibling’s favorite shirt?  I used to.  I kept a “plotting” file folder, and I shoved any diagrams and notes I scribbled into it.  And over the years, that folder grew and grew until now I can’t find anything.  Even Paige’s shirt.

Then I discovered Liquid Binder, probably right around 2008.  That program allowed me to create character dossiers, add pictures, and try my first outline.  It was limited in ability, but marvelous all at once.

Scrivener is Liquid Binder on crack.

It’s aimed towards people who want to write, plot, edit, and compile your story into publishing formats without ever closing the program.  So it’s literally a word processor decked out with amazing features specifically for writers.  (Yes, I’m swooning.  What of it?)

Now, I’m a Word girl through and through.  Scrivener has a beautiful writing pad where you can install your own background, make it full-screen, set the spacing, margins, etc.  Distraction free.  But you know what?  I love the distractions.  I love calibri.  Writing anywhere else feels… wrong.

That said, I definitely use Scrivener alongside Word to enhance my writing capacity.  Here’s how a finished novel could look, from the view of Occupational Hazards.

novelarnia3

Pictures are collected from http://www.deviantart.com and do NOT belong to me!

As you can see, I’m a visual person (you should see my paintings.  I’m such an artist when I’m drunk).  Take a look at the left column of that screenshot.  I have folders for my outlines, my characters, the monsters of this book, and different settings.  At the very top left is a “Manuscript” option, and that’s where you’d write, if you prefer to disregard Word entirely.

But look at one of my character dossiers.

novelarnia4

No longer do I guess what color my characters’ eyes are.  I never have to wonder what their personalities are like.  I can write all of the pertinent information right here in this folder, and it’s readily accessible every time I write.

Talk about efficient, huh?

Bottom line, if you’re serious about writing, bite the bullet.  Pay Literature and Latte the $40 they deserve for creating a program so expansive and amazing.  Download it.  Then spend the next two weeks learning to use it, because it will save that time and more in the future.

Trust me.  I’m not a professional.

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