Scrivener (a somewhat advertorial post)

So instead of talking about the book that just came out on the shelves, I thought I'd talk about the book I just finished writing. (writing the first draft of, that is).

Actually, I'm not going to say anything about the new book, other than: It was so much fun to write.

What I am going to talk about is how I wrote it.

I wrote it without Microsoft Word.
(shh, don't tell Bill Gates)

Scrivener is a word-processor for people who write books. Or plays, or films, or articles. People who write stuff.

It does everything that Microsoft Word doesn't do - and you don't realise exactly how much Word doesn't do, until you've tried Scrivener.

Scrivener sorts your book into chapters. You can split the main window if you like, and work on two chapters simultaneously (awesome if you're cutting and pasting, or doing Big Edits). Or, if you'd rather, you can have a chapter open in one pane, and an image/website/audio file/video file/pdf in the other and transcribe.

It also has some unreal subject/category sorting things, so you can just hit a button and see how many times I've talked about spelling in a chapter. Or how many times Tarni does something dumb.

I'm currently loving the target options. I can say: My novel needs to be 40 000 words. This chapter needs to be 2500 words, and I want to write 1000 words in this session. And it will give you lovely sliders to show you how you're going on all these.

Ooh! And research. You can attach research to any section or chapter, and have notes and things just sitting there all the time, when you need them. And link to other bits in your book or another file or website.


Here are my two favourite things.

Thing #1: Full Screen Mode, to Avoid Distractions:

Thing #2: The Corkboard, for the Structure Fiend in You
And the icing on the cake?

Microsoft Word Professional costs US$399.99.

Scrivener costs US$34.99.

Bill Gates can bite me.