Monday, June 11, 2012

Expanding the Toolbox

by Mary Sutton / @mary_sutton73

There are many tools in a writer's toolbox, but none quite like the applications we use for our craft (unless you still write long-hand, in which case God bless you). Like many writers, I have always used just a word processing application to do my writing. I use Microsoft Word, some people may use Word Perfect, but same concept: open application and type. That means you have to find another way to keep track of all those pesky things that writers of fiction must have: character notes, plot synopses, scene descriptions, etc. I used Evernote. Some writers use Microsoft Excel, some just use a separate Word file.

This all works, but it's a bit clunky. After all, when your novel manuscript is 90,000 words and 47 chapters, finding one particular scene - the one you have to move - can be a little tricky.

For a couple years now, I've heard about this alternate application - Scrivener. Break your manuscript into scenes. Easily move them around. Keep your character notes right there. Pin things to your virtual cork board. I have friends who swear by this application.

I've always been intrigued by the web site description, but have been afraid to try it. What if I don't like it? How much time am I going to invest in learning a new tool (I've used Word for almost two decades, I'm pretty good with it)? But I saw Scrivener and got to touch it with my friend on our research field trip last weekend (more on that in another post). And I liked it. Or I was at least intrigued by it.

So I'm taking the plunge. I've downloaded and installed Scrivener. I'll be blogging about my initial experiences - say the first week or so - for anyone who is similarly interested and wants a first-hand account.

Here goes nothing.

Note: I'll be using the Mac version of Scrivener for this experiment. If you are using the Windows version, please allow for slight differences.

2 comments:

  1. I've heard about Scrivener but haven't tried it. Now I'm delighted to let you be my guinea pig. Tell us everything.

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    Replies
    1. Keep on reading. I'll posting as I learn.

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