Tuesday, November 9, 2010


So, about a week ago, Jodi Meadows (another writer -- far ahead of me, she already has a contract for three novels, almost all done already) mentioned Scrivener, writing software, in glowing terms. Then, on NaNoWriMos main page, it also mentions Scrivener, with a -now for Windows- tag. So there it was, twice, in such a short period of time. Of course I had to check it out.

Now I have the beta version on my computer and I've been playing with it. About a month ago, I started looking around at writing software and downloaded 7 or 8 free trials and didn't find any of them better than MS Word, but this one...

So far I think it was worth the hype.

I'm already worried about the beta expiring December 12th and the Window's version not being released for real until sometime in January. I hope I can keep it the whole time between now and then.

What do I like about it?

On the side, where in Word I'd usually keep the document map, it has something even better. It starts off with two main tabs. Draft and Research. Under research I can put whatever I want in hierarchical folders. I can write things down about how I KNOW the world I'm creating is going to work. And I can put little empty labels there for things I need to figure out but haven't quite yet.

Right now I have an upper level folder for Characters, Beings, Jobs, and Stuff. Inside characters, I have my four people I've thought of so far. Under Beings is Gods, Vampires, Werewolves.... These are mostly empty, with little notes on things I've thought of that will make them different. Like a possibility that it's not the cross that drives the vampires away, but the cross is a symbol of people who is more likely to have ... I think it's called sacrament?? People who have symbolically eaten the flesh of Christ and drunk the blood. (crackers and wine, in actuality I think -- As a non-religious person and a non-vampire, it seems weird to me, but I'm sure there's a reason -- which I do need to look up)

I like the way it lets me think of the differences in the world I'm writing from the world I'm living in and I don't have to sit here and think vampires for twenty minutes. I can think that they will be there and one or two differences, but I don't have to know everything before I go one. And it's all sitting there nicely organized for when I want to get back to it.

This may all be a way to avoid thinking of how far behind I am, nanowrimo-wise, but I'm really enjoying the software -- and the world I'm using it to put together. But maybe that's because its not the world I started writing in for nano. With only a note here and there about the other one, I think this new one is already more fleshed out than that one had been.


  1. Thanks for the review! I've been curious about scrivener a while now, but I didn't know anyone who had it. I'm a scaredy-cat, though. I'm too used to Word.

  2. Assuming you're a PC user, you can download the Beta at: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivenerforwindows/

    If you're a mac user, you can get a free trial from the main site. They strongly suggest watching the intro tutorial, and I'd suggest that too (though I told you much of the different bits in my gushing) -- and even if you love it, the cost isn't too high. It looks like it's around $40 -- but since you're almost certain to win nano, you'll get half off with their nano-winner specials.