Guest Post by Lucinda Whitney
Lucinda Whitney was born and raised in Portugal, where she received a Master’s degree from the University of Minho in Braga, in Portuguese/English teaching.
Or I should say, Why I Love Scrivener So Much.
What is Scrivener? It’s a software program for writers. According to their website:
Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.
I discovered Scrivener last year, after completing NaNoWriMo. I knew Word was not working for me, and I needed something that could help me organize my writing and have it all available at one glance without the need to open a dozen Word documents, or have little sticky notes everywhere. I had a coupon for Scrivener, and I tried it (though I must say that the full price is only $40, which is an absolute bargain). After watching a couple of tutorials on Youtube, and spending a few days playing around, I was sold. This was the answer to my questions.
I love it so much, I’m on a mission to convert writers everywhere to it. And no, I’m not being paid for this endorsement.
Disclaimer— this is just the way I use Scrivener. There isn’t a right way or a wrong way to use it, and other writers will use it in different ways.
Another disclaimer— Scrivener was originally developed for Macs, and lots of features are still not available in Windows.
And another important disclaimer— I’m using screenshots of my Work In Progress. Keep in mind that it’s a very, very rough draft, and I’m only about 1/3 of the way into it. Take it easy on me.
So here’s a compilation of my favorite features in Scrivener (Windows version), in no particular order. If you want to follow along, you can download Scrivener for free.
1— Having everything in one place.
As you can see, there are 4 main parts on my Scrivener board:
1. The binder, or chapters and scenes
2. The main document area
3. The index or synopsis card area
4. The document notes area.
I will explain the binder area in more detail in a minute. The main document area is where I do the writing. I write by scenes, and each scene is assigned to a chapter. I don’t use the synopsis cards too much, but I’ll show how they can be used. The document notes area is where I write notes to myself and where I ‘store’ parts of the text I’ve cut. I love this because I can take out parts of the text that don’t work but they’ll still be attached to the scene where they came from, which means I can always put them back without the problem of trying to figure out where they go. It’s very convenient, let me tell you.