I’ve never used anything besides a trusty word document when writing. I have a whole folder dedicated to a single novel with separate documents for the storyboard, the character sheets, the outline, synopsis etc. I end up having a whole row of tabs open and switching between documents when in the thick of writing. This was getting tedious so I scoured the Internet for an alternative.
A while ago I tried Liquid Story Binder and it just frustrated me so I returned to LibreOffice. This week, however, I discovered the free Linux installation of Scrivener. Scrivener is a writing suite designed for use not only by novelists but by journalists and scriptwriters too. I’d heard good things about Scrivener and I’d also heard arguments against it by those who favoured yWriter. I tried installing yWriter but it just didn’t work for me. So I stuck with Scrivener and, for the first time ever, actually went through a software tutorial from beginning to end.
Scrivener is awesome! I imported my WiP and now have all my documents in one place. No more switching between tabs and accidentally closing the wrong one. Being able to have everything in one place is a major plus for me. Secondly, I can structure my story far more easily with Scrivener. Since I have an alternating point of view between two main characters, I was having to scroll backwards and forwards through my book to find the previous POV chapter I wanted. In Scrivener, I’ve split up all the chapters for easier viewing, editing and writing.
There are a dozen other nifty features, like synopsis cards and session word counting, making my writing life that much easier. Writing a book is hard enough without having to fight your word processor every step of the way. I’ll definitely be using Scrivener for future projects. While it won’t write the book for me, using a suite like this does make writing and keeping track of scenes, chapter and characters a lot easier and therefore makes the whole writing process much more enjoyable. I guess it’s working since this week I’ve averaged 2k words a day 🙂
Have you used Scrivener or yWriter? What are your thoughts?