9 Reasons You Should Write With Scrivener

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Long gone are the days of pecking away at a keyboard on page after page trying to finish that great novel you always wanted to write.

Word processing has become mainstream and so had to adapt to sophisticated tastes and needs.

Scrivener was designed with writers in mind.

Scrivener was originally built for the Mac but has come a long way toward being the writing app that Windows users can also use. Scrivener 3 is the current version for Mac.

At this time, Scrivener 1.9.7 for Windows is being sold with a free update to Scrivener 3 when it launches at the end of August.

Word Processing Functionality

By now, everyone has probably typed a Word document and therefore it is second nature.

Scrivener has the same functionality as Word when it comes to formatting your text document.

Formatting your text is similar to formatting in Word documents.

At the top of the text document, you will see a bar that allows you to use bold, italics, text size, text font, and text size, just like Word documents.

So, for those of you that have previously used Word, Scrivener will give you more functionality without losing familiarity.

Project Targets

For writers who have daily word count targets or session goals that require keeping up with the number of words typed per day, you can set your personal goals for each project and check your progress in Scrivener to see how you are doing.

Project Targets in Scrivener help you keep up with your word counts for your project.

This handy tool lets you see how many words are in your entire document as well as how many you typed daily.

It resets at midnight each day, so you don’t have to remember to reset it each time.

Outlining

Scrivener has a binder view that allows you to have your outline open while you are typing your text document as a handy reference guide.

Outlining has never been easier with Scrivener.

This view can be closed while you are working if it distracts you while you are writing.

This can be a wonderful tool if you find yourself getting stuck and need to remember what comes next.

Auto-Save

Sometimes a good writer will find themselves typing away with no thought other than getting the next word down to complete an idea.

If you have never felt the pain of losing a 2000 to 3000-word document, you are one of the lucky ones.

Most authors can tell you that they have lost a major amount of work at one time or another, and it makes them extra cautious about auto-saving constantly.

Scrivener takes this worry away from you with its auto-save feature that saves your work automatically if there is a two second pause in writing.

So, while you pause to think about the next sentence you are going to write, Scrivener is making sure you don’t lose all the work you have done prior.

Cork-board View

One of the most popular features of Scrivener is the cork-board view.

Corkboard view in Scrivener is the most popular feature of Scrivener

This looks like a cork-board with index cards pinned to it.

At a glance, it shows you all your sections with synopsis and then it allows you to move those cards around by using the drag and drop method.

If your chapters need to change order because you decided to introduce one of your secondary characters in the second chapter rather than the fourth chapter, then you can drag and drop, the card and your outline and document change to reflect this.

Split-Screen View

Have you ever had to flip back and forth between screens when you are trying to reference something you have written before so that your story flows correctly?

Scrivener allows you to use a split-screen so that you can have your text document and your reference document side by side to make it easier to reference.

Split Screen View in Scrivener is a useful feature when you need to reference other parts of your document.

This can help when you have a long novel, and you want to reference key points you used in a different section.

Mystery writers will love this feature because you can reference back to the clues in other chapters and what people said during interrogations with ease.

You can also bring up your research materials so that you accurately quote or reference them.

Snapshots

While editing, an author can look at a text document and not like the way it reads to them, so they decide to rewrite it.

After changing all the text, they suddenly see that they were right with the first draft, but it is too late because they have already trashed it and auto-saved the second draft.

Before revising a text document, you can save a snapshot of the entire text and keep it until you are ready to delete it completely.

Then if you decide you like the first draft better than the second, you can just revert to the original because it is saved for you.

This will mean less hair pulling when you regret changing that character write up and realize you shouldn’t have changed it.

Compile

Once you have finished your project, you can use the compile feature to put your book together.

You can format as a paperback novel, short story, screenplay, short story, or standard manuscript.

This allows you to compile for .pdf, .txt, .doc, and .html.  Depending on which editing or publishing program you use to make your e-book, you can then upload the compiled work into that program.

Pricing

No review would be complete without mentioning cost.

While many apps are moving to subscription models, Scrivener is still on a licensing model and therefore it is a onetime fee for now.

This makes Scrivener an inexpensive writing app that is well worth the price.

For Mac, the cost is $49.  For Windows, the cost is $45.

The license allows you to use the program on any computer you own of the same version. 

This means if you own several Windows computers, you can use your license on all of them, and the same for Mac.

However, if you own multiple Mac computers and multiple Windows computers, you would have to buy a license for each type.

The cost for iOS is $19.99.  Currently there is no version for Android.

Cons

While Scrivener does have a lot of features that make it a useful writing tool, there are some cons.

Because of the number of features involved in Scrivener, there is a steep learning curve to using the software, and it can be daunting.  Scrivener does have a tutorial that helps with this.

Scrivener has no collaboration function so that multiple authors can work together on a project.  This function would also make it easier for editors and proofreaders to work on the project before publication.

Scrivener is not cloud-based, so it is harder to work on one project from multiple locals.  To work between Mac and iOS, you must have either Dropbox or a separate cloud service.

You can keep your Scrivener project on an external hard drive or thumb drive, but this makes it even less portable as you must keep up with moving it to each computer you use.

There is no version for Android, so those users have no way to use Scrivener if this is the way they write.

The last con is Compile as the learning curve is very steep.  Compile also does not allow you to compile for multiple forms at the same time. 

For now, you must compile for one type of document at a time.  Hopefully, this is fixed in a future version as it would make the process much more userfriendly.

Pros Outweigh The Cons

Because of the sheer number of features, the pros of using Scrivener far outweigh the cons.

Once you get past the learning curve, Scrivener gives the best bang for your buck when it comes to writing apps.

Whether you write blog posts, fulllength novels, screenplays, or short stories, Scrivener can meet all your writing needs in one easy program giving you more time to write and less time spent on organizing your writing.