SOFTWARE REVIEW – Scrivener

October 26, 2008 by in category Archives with 2 and 0
Home > Writing > Archives > SOFTWARE REVIEW – Scrivener

by Kitty Bucholtz

Ask me what my current favorite piece of software is and I’ll practically yell, Scrivener! (Okay, if I could find a way to compose a story in Excel, I just might do it. Jump in here, Marianne – wouldn’t that be fun??)

I returned to the Mac universe a couple years ago and a screenwriting friend told me about Scrivener. Though not screenwriting software per se, Scrivener was designed specifically to work on large and/or research-heavy writing projects like novels, screen plays, research papers, etc. by a software developer with “lofty writerly ambitions.”

I’d been getting lost in my piles and files and was more than willing to take a chance with a 30-day free trial. Boy, it did not take me 30 days to fall in love! First, the tutorial is one of the best tutorials I’ve ever used! It explains every single thing the program will do and encourages you to go do it right now. I’ve referred back to it several times because it is so comprehensive and easy to use (unlike most “big name” software companies’ tutorials I’ve used in the last ten years).

The number one best thing about this program is that you can keep everything in one file. I’m talking about the word processing you typed into Scrivener, Word documents you also had, pdf files, audio and QuickTime files, pictures, web sites – everything! Just drag and drop the file from your desktop. Instead of multiple files in multiple formats open in multiple programs, you now have every single piece of research, every character chart, every version of every scene and chapter, your notes on your outline or synopsis – anything you want, you can keep there in your file. To the left is a list of everything you’re storing there. Create folders to organize your work according to research, chapters, notes, whatever.

Want to see a picture while you type up a scene description? Or review a piece of research while writing about it? Split the screen and type in one half while you see the picture or other document in the other half. One of those people who is always forgetting to save just before the power goes out? Scrivener saves automatically every time there is no keyboard activity for two seconds. Afraid you’ll make a change and wish you had the old version? The snapshot feature saves a copy of what you’re working on in case you want to refer to it later – or revert to it.

Tired of trying to move scenes around and getting all confused? Make each scene a separate document within the file, go to the corkboard view, and move the “3×5 cards” around to your heart’s content. Wherever you move the cards in card view, that’s where you just moved the scene. Didn’t make each scene a separate document? Use the split feature to split them up.

Wish you could tell at a glance what scenes are finished and which still need work? Use “Status” to track your work using built-in labels like “First Draft” or custom labels like “Add Research.” Want to know if your hero managed to drop out of the entire middle of the book? Mark each scene with color labels with the name of the POV character. Check out the outline view to see how many scenes in a row you have with Joe, or realize Mary went missing for eight scenes. Track anything you want to track this way!

Can you see now why I fell totally and completely in love? But how many children, you ask, will I have to sell to be able to purchase this dream software? It’s only $39.95! And because the designer built the software to use himself, you can be assured there are no bugs or glitches. I’m telling you, run – don’t walk – to the web site to check it out for yourself!

Don’t have a Mac? Visit the Links page for suggestions for Windows-compatible similar software. There are also links there for similar software for Mac, too!


Kitty Bucholtz is a co-founder of Routines For Writers, a new web site to help writers write more. She writes fun romance and light urban fantasy novels. Even though she loves talking about, writing about, and teaching about writing, she’s pretty sure she knows at least three people who aren’t writers.

Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

#Me Too

Buy now!
#Me Too

A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

Buy now!
A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

CITY OF BLAZE

Buy now!
CITY OF BLAZE

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

COWBOY KARMA

Buy now!
COWBOY KARMA

DANGER MUSIC

Buy now!
DANGER MUSIC
FATHOMS: A NOVEL OF THE PARANORMAL

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

Buy now!
GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

GIRL IN THE MIST

Buy now!
GIRL IN THE MIST

HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

Buy now!
HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS

ILONA’S WOLF

Buy now!
ILONA’S WOLF
INTIMATE RELATIONS

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One

LET IT SNOW

Buy now!
LET IT SNOW

LOVE NOTES

Buy now!
LOVE NOTES

SAVAGED SURRENDER

Buy now!
SAVAGED SURRENDER
SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection

STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

Buy now!
STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

Buy now!
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

THE FIX UP

Buy now!
THE FIX UP

THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

Buy now!
THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

THE LIFE OF RILEY

Buy now!
THE LIFE OF RILEY

THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

Buy now!
THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

THE WOULD BE MOMMY

Buy now!
THE WOULD BE MOMMY
THIEVES: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
WHO’S THE FAIREST? A Sisters Grimm Anthology
#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

HER LOST LOVE

Buy now!
HER LOST LOVE
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

CLEAR INTENT

Buy now!
CLEAR INTENT
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

DARK WINE AT DUSK

Buy now!
DARK WINE AT DUSK

DEAD BLOW

Buy now!
DEAD BLOW

FOR A GOOD PAWS

Buy now!
FOR A GOOD PAWS

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

Buy now!
HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

HER COWBOY KING

Buy now!
HER COWBOY KING

HIDDEN BETRAYAL

Buy now!
HIDDEN BETRAYAL

HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

Buy now!
HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller
OFF THE RAILS: A Collection of Weird, Wicked, & Wacky Stories

ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

Buy now!
ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

REWRITING THE PAST

Buy now!
REWRITING THE PAST
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SHADOWS AT DAWN

Buy now!
SHADOWS AT DAWN
SHORT and SWEET’S FAMILY ALBUM

THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

Buy now!
THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

THE CONSPIRACY

Buy now!
THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

Buy now!
THE DECEPTION

THE DEVIL’S CARESS

Buy now!
THE DEVIL’S CARESS

THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

Buy now!
THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

Buy now!
THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE

Buy now!
THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIDGE, NEW YORK, 1930
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN

THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

Buy now!
THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

TRACKING SHADOWS

Buy now!
TRACKING SHADOWS

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
WINTER WISHES: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

    ×
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.
  • Anonymous says:

    LOL!!! You’re so funny!! I LOVE those shirts! I’ve got to get one!

    One day you and I will think of some crazy silly way to have a writing challenge using Excel!! LOL!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Kitty,
    I have a t-shirt for you! It’s says I HEART Spreadsheets.

    Here’s the link: http://www.signals.com/signals/T-Shirts-Sweatshirts_1GA/Item_I-Heart-Spreadsheets-Shirts_HG7061G_ps_cti-1GA.html

    Of course I’m torn about what to buy for myself because the site also has a National Sarcasm Society (Like we need your support) t-shirts and that one cracks me up too.

    Sigh!

    But I have to admit I WOULD love to be able to write a novel in Excel.

    Marianne

  • Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM