Scrivener has changed my writing life.
I decided to give Scrivener a try when I committed to writing and FINISHING my first romance novel. To make a long 20-year story short. I had attempted to write a novel several dozen times over the years. Writing non-fiction was/is the way I make my living. Writing fiction was an entirely different beast, I had started and stopped so many times I almost gave up.
A few years ago I decided to give novel writing ONE more try. Having heard about Scrivener from a friend, I decided to use it as my writing software. Having everything in one place (research, notes, character write-ups, location descriptions and my version of a plot) simply made sense to me. No more having to open dozens of word documents to TRY and find my notes. No more file cards scatter all over the place.
I have learned dozens of pieces of software with no formal training, so I know first hand that the learning curve can be very costly in terms of time. Having used WORD for a thousand years I thought … easy.
Turned out it was NOT so easy. I came close to stopping … yes there were instructions. Yes there were hundreds of how to articles, but I was in a hurry and stupidly stubborn.
One day in a cloud of frustration I ran across David Lee Martin’s video training package. It said … faster, easier, more efficient. I decided to get smart and get the program. What a good decision that turned out to be! I later found hundreds of complaints on the internet about how hard and confusing Scrivener is. IF you learn it the right way, Scrivener is actually FAST and EASY to learn. It turned out to be the easiest and most efficient writing software programs I’ve used.
It took me less than two hours to have my book up and running with the chapters and key scenes blocked out AND the first chapter partially written. Over the three weeks it took to COMPLETE my novella (that was a BIG celebration) I spent approximately 5 – 10 minutes a day learning how to use all the other parts of Scrivener
For example, the book I wrote was the first is a series of three. I started creating the bible: characters, a time-line for the entire series, a chronology of when the characters were introduced, and locations. I also started a research file that I regularly added to as I found interesting tidbits on the internet at odd times of the day.
In my previous attempts at writing a novel, it was these “tidbits” that would drive me crazy. Where should I put them, how could I easily access them, how could I compile them so they would be where I needed them, when I needed them. The problem was I NEVER solved the problem and ended with with a file folder filled with random Word documents. With Scrivener all the tidbits are there, easy and FAST to find.
And organizing my friend’s cookbooks? All I can say is WOW!
FAST FORWARD to today . . .
I now use Scrivener for ALL my writing. I have a fiction series in the works, as well as several non-fiction books. I also have six blogs I work on regularly AND I occasionally do some freelance writing. My productivity has literally gone up by well over 50 percent. NO kidding! Scrivener helps me get organized and keep track of stuff I kept on losing before. It helps me keep my research in one place where I can actually FIND it when I need it!
Right now I have over three dozen blog articles in one stage or another. Some of them are just ideas along with some notes. In my “previous” non-Scrivener life, I would simply have LOST these soon to be “great” ideas, simply because I didn’t have a good place to store them. Other blog posts are in the research stage. I keep my eye out for people I want to interview and have a place to store their contact information and replies. When I find a content tidbit I need, I simply dump that information into the appropriate place.
One of the really nifty aspects of Scrivener is that you can attach custom ICONS to files or folders. This works well with my blog posts. I have created icons for: ideas, first edit, final edit, and published. This allows me to instantly see what stage an article is in. For example, THIS article now sits in my POSTED bin.
When I finish a post … I am really lazy. I simply copy/paste the final article into my blog, add some formatting and some illustrations. For those who are willing, there is a special markup language you can use within Scrivener. When you are ready to post, you simply transfer everything including the markup language and voila … you have a completed post that has already been formatted and is ready to go.
I didn’t write THIS blog post in one session. I wrote a bit, let it sit for a while, added some more, took stuff out and added more over a two week period. Over that same two week period, I found several images I thought might work, so I dumped them in my research file. I found the links to David Lee Martin’s program and added the free PDF book links to my file.
For me, working this way is less stressful and more productive. I am able to work in small chunks that finally click together as a whole.
OH! I almost forgot to tell you about Scrivener’s COMPILING magic. You can save time and money by instantly compiling your book manuscript into a variety of different formats including: a mobi file which can be uploaded into your Amazon Kindle account, PDF, Word Doc and others. My first try took me 30 minutes, now I’ve got it down to ten minutes start-to-finish!
I LOVE SCRIVENER!
Scrivener can accommodate pretty well any working style there is … and help you become MORE PRODUCTIVE at the same time. DO give it a try.
This PDF e-book will give you a great overview of what the Scrivener software can do.
Check out David Lee Martin’s video training program here. This program will get you up to speed and using Scrivener in less than an hour.
Check out the Scrivener software here Take advantage of their 30 day free trial. You could have a whole book written before you have to pay their exorbitantly expensive price of $40.