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Five Reasons to Use Scrivener

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I was a WordPerfect girl for many years. Reveal codes could not be replaced when working with legal documents. Nothing Microsoft ever offered came close. I am well aware that Word has the ability to view codes as well. Sadly, they were never as easy to work with. I’ve taught classes on how to use Word, PowerPoint and Excel, so I know them well. And they are good. Not as good as the Word Perfect suite was, but good.

Yet, for writing a book not even WordPerfect can measure up to Scrivener. No, Scrivener doesn’t have the same exceptional word processing capabilities, but it is far superior to Word or any other software I’ve worked with when it comes to writing books. Why, you ask? Let me tell you.

1. Drag and drop scenes.

With Scrivener, I have the ability to easily drag and drop scenes into the order I want them. This allows me the freedom to write whatever scene my scattered brain is in the mood to write and reorder the scenes later.

2. Keep track of research.

I can easily pull my research into my project with Scrivener, where I can view it while I’m writing a scene.

3. Character sketches handy.

When I writing, I can easily add information to my character sketches, they are right there in a handy spot within my project so that I can drop in new information as I come up with it. I can even give them a special mask icon, to help me identify them quickly.

4. Split screen.

I can work in two screens at the same time, which means I can have a character sketch or research open while I’m typing a scene.

5. Compile is simple.

Anyone who has ever published a book with Word knows how difficult it is to get the formatting correct. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are with the software, it still has glitches. Not so with Scrivener. Formatting a book is as simple as filling in the fields that tell Scrivener what to include and how you want it displayed, then selecting the format you want the book in, and hitting the compile button. That easily, you have a ready to view book.

I may make it sound simpler than it is, but I am a software geek. Regardless, I cannot imagine life without Scrivener now that I have used it for a couple of books. I only wish I’d known about it when I published my non-fiction. I cannot imagine how much simpler compiling research for “Zebras of Hope” would’ve been if I had this software at the time.

Scrivener is offered at a discounted rate to NaNoWriMo Winners. They offer a free trial, so you have nothing to lose by trying it. Do yourself a favor and check it out. You won’t regret giving this software a chance. In case you’re wondering, I have no affiliation with Literature and Latte, the makers of Scrivener and am sharing my honest opinion.

If you already use Scrivener, please share in the comments what your favorite feature is. If you don’t, share if you plan to try it or not.


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6 comments on “Five Reasons to Use Scrivener”

  1. Nicole Jarrell Reply

    I’m still hesitant to give it a try. I have a nice system going, and I’m worried that if I try something new, it’ll throw off the balance. But I hear so many good things about it, not just from writers, but small business owners. Maybe I’ll have to give it a try.

    • Elle E. Kay Reply

      Try the free trial. Use it to write a new short story or novella. That way you won’t mess up your system with a major project and you can check out all the cool features. 😀

  2. Toni Shiloh Reply

    I’ve never used it. I heard it has a steep learning curve and that was enough to keep me using Word. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

    • Elle E. Kay Reply

      Admittedly, I am a computer geek, but I didn’t find it difficult to start using. There are so many videos on YouTube to make it easy and I know there was a Scrivener class offered by the PA chapter of ACFW too… I bet Donna still has the link. I should consider preparing a YouTube video of my own on using it… more geared to Christian authors than the ones on there now. It’s something to consider if I ever make the time.

  3. Pam Reply

    I have a Nov
    Ellen ready to publish. Would it be worth using Scrivener and load it there for formatting and downloading copies for beta readers and reviews?

    • Elle E. Kay Reply

      Absolutely! I think so. If you put a marker between the scenes, Scrivener can even recognize that when it does the import, so that your novel can be separated into scene breaks. I even use it to convert .doc files that I am critiquing so I can read them on my Kindle. I then highlight the issues I come across before going back and making the edits. It gives me a more natural reading experience, so that I can see the things that readers would see.

      I am really glad I switched. Some people don’t like it, but I think it is the people who are afraid of technology and don’t like change. Check out a couple of the YouTube videos for Scrivener (make sure you are watching one for Windows is if you use a PC and Mac if you use Mac – they are very different) and see what you think.

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