Evangelism mode: activate.
If you’re a writer, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Scrivener already. If you’ve not, head over there now.
Done? Good. So what is it? I’ll quote the folks at Literature and Latte directly:
“Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.”
Before I jumped on the bandwagon last year, I was – like most, I imagine – hammering away at my draft in Microsoft Word, my outline in another Word doc, necessitating lots of Alt-Tabbage. It worked, but it was tedious, and I found the mechanics of writing annoying.
Enter Scrivener, and all of the mechanical problems went away. The outline of your project becomes the very framework of the writing process. Your manuscript is represented by a corkboard, to which you pin index cards representing chapters, with a heading and a description on each. Each of these opens up into its own corkboard, where the cards are individual scenes.
Shuffle them around, split a chapter into two, add or remove a scene – easy as pie. Makes outlining a doddle, and – for me at least – once the outline’s there, you always know what you need to write next. Which means all I need to do is sit down, open up the next unwritten scene, check the description on the card for a reminder, and go.
There are a huge amount of features I’ve not even touched yet – compiling your project to Kindle MOBI format for self-publishing, for example. And the team are adding more all the time. I strongly recommend grabbing the free trial, and seeing if you like it.
Evangelism mode: deactivate.