When I first encountered Scrivener I thought, “Wow, this is a really great way to spend a huge amount of time doing work that isn’t writing.”

I still think it’s that, but I’m coming around to seeing how it’s also got the potential to be an incredibly useful tool. I’m working on a couple of projects where I need to be able to keep track of a lot of names and relationships, and my general method (methos) of doing that is by keeping document files with random information inserted into them, and naming them things like “Jo’s history” in which I also put, say, Morrison’s background, thus making it very difficult to find Morrison’s background later.

Scrivener’s format lends itself to keeping those kinds of notes in a file at the side of the page, allowing them to all be available at a click. Same with the synopsis; it’s in the same file, so it’s just a matter of switching over to it (though I’m so used to alt-tab to look at different pages I keep alt-tabbing myself out of Scrivener). All by itself those things are incredibly helpful (except the alt-tab problem), and there’s obviously a great deal more functionality that I don’t know how to use yet.

I clearly need a Matrix-style “I know kung fu” download, although there’s apparently an excellent Scrivener how-to by Gwen Hernandez, who *also* knows kung fu, so that’s almost the same thing. :)

Anyway, I started the one project for which Scrivener was obviously suited in it, but am slightly surprised to find myself setting a second proposal up in it too. Apparently I’m becoming a convert. Probably not enough of one to move the longer works in progress into it, but possibly enough to move MAGIC & MANNERS in so I can keep track of names…

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2 thoughts on “Scrivener

  1. I wrote my last novel in Scrivener, and found the binder very useful. The ability to highlight chapters by POV, and append a short synopsis so that I knew what
    major point happened when, proved very useful.

    I took Gwen’s online class, and bought her Scrivener for Dummies book. There are so many options. Ways to track plot points/clues/annotate your ms right out the window. I’m a plot-as-I-go-along/wow-I-never-saw-that-coming brand of writer, and Scrivener is useful in helping me track plot and characters as they develop. But it’s not for everyone.

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