Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Little About Scrivener

There are a lot of software programs out there for writers. I selected Scrivener because I'd heard nothing but raves about the program. In fact, one of the primary reasons I stepped over to the dark side and became a Mac user was to get Scrivener. There is now a beta program available for Windows.

I use Scrivener to write novels, but it includes all kinds of writing assistance, including screenwriting.

I am hardly an expert on Scrivener, but here's a snapshot of what I work with:

On the left, the Binder reflects each scene, and the POV of that character's scene is color coded. I give each scene a description so I know what it's about.

Below the color-coded scenes, I have each of my character studies, and several other folders, including Places, Research (where you can import Internet pages with your information—but I'm old school enough I still print it out), and whatever other folder you want to create. I have three for this manuscript: NOTES/BLURB/PLOT; SOC (Stream of Consciousness) Plot Concept; and STEP OUTLINE which is more of a scene by scene synopsis I work with to get more detailed. By the way, the program also has a synopsis piece that can help.

The center area is where the magic happens, and all of the hard work to make sure it does.

On the right is what Scrivener calls Inspector. It's where I create cards for my cork board, and make any notes I want to make for that scene, or the project.

Scrivener has many more facets than I've figure out how to use. In fact, I have two books that supposedly will enlighten me and provide an even greater experience. As anal as I am, I don't have the patience (at least not yet) to work through them. BUT, their support team has been magnificent.

One thing I love is the easy way it works with Dropbox, so I can seamlessly transfer my work from my iMac to my MacBook Pro.

Here are the links:

For PC Users (remember, this is beta): http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivenerforwindows/

CR: The Halo Effect by M.J. Rose

It's all better with friends.


  1. Thanks for the info, I'll check it out. As it is now by the time i get a book finished, I have piles of papers, which I never seem to keep well organized. Thanks again,

    Bruce A. Borders

  2. Glad I could provide you with some information.

  3. I love, love, love Scrivener. I was one of those writers who had bits of paper everywhere - character profiles, location details, timelines - and it's wonderful to have everything in one place. I especially like that I can put links to research details in one place. The best piece of software ever. :)

  4. From the sublime to the ridiculous: I use Scrivener to develop Baldrige National Quality Award applications. To do that, one must make sense of hundreds of contributions and factoids from company employees and officials, and make order of the chaos of cross-references among chapters. Scrivener is about the best solution I've found to making sense of all that.

  5. I'm starting to love this program too. I especially like the ability to keep scenes separate and move them around. And I love being able to see the whole story laid out in outline form. Very useful!