Scrivener – Writing Program

Issue #114 * Blog #27-2019 * Read Time: 4 minutes * Section: Joe on Writing

Hi everyone, hope y’all are doing well. Me? Well I’m hanging in here plugging away one letter at at time. Before posting my 2019 Year End Report I wanted to write a couple of blogs giving my thoughts on Scrivener.

Scrivener is a word processing program similar to Word. Scrivener however is designed for writers and authors.

Scrivener is not a new program, I heard about it two to three years ago. I never tried it because it was designed for a Mac and the Windows version was still in the beta stages. Since I use the Windows operating system I decided to pass on the free trial.

Last month I saw Scrivener mentioned in an article I was reading. I headed over to their website to see what the fuss was about.

The excitement was due to the Windows version was no longer in the Beta stages. After doing some reading I decided to give it a try. I downloaded the free thirty day trial which has all the same features of the paid version.

Before we discuss the features of Scrivener let me explain the writing process I have used for years.

My word processor is Word. All my notes could be found in OneNote and/or on paper. The outline and timeline are also on paper. For my characters I use a character building sheet that is in an Excel worksheet.

While writing I would have Word, Excel and OneNote along with an internet browser open on my computer. I use a twenty four inch monitor, but with four windows opened and downsized to view all of them, the writing area was small. Most of the time I would use a full screen and tab between what program I needed.

I had a project that I had finished the research on and had began writing. I had five to six thousand of the projected fifty thousands word goal I needed. I decided to use this project as my Scrivener test.

After downloading Scrivener I had two options of transferring my data on my characters and the scene locations to Scrivener’s character sheets and location templates. I used both methods, cut and paste and import the files to the research section. Both methods of transferring worked flawlessly.

Note: The research section located in the binder of Scrivener will hold photographs, and most other file types including links to external websites. This is a great feature as it allows you to scan hand written files and load to this section as a PDF file.

My next move was to get my story outline, timeline and plot to Scrivener. I used the Outliner and Cork Board features to enter all that data.

Now all I had to do was get my Word Document over to Scrivener. With the import/export feature the task was a piece of cake and was completed with no issues. My last step was to set my project targets as follows. Manuscript Target: 50,000 words. Session Target: 2,500 words.

I was now ready to see what Scrivener could do for me.

The first thing I noticed was all my information was in one program and at my finger tips. I could easily switch between them. Scrivener has the capability of showing two or more windows at time. You can split them vertically or horizontally.

While writing I began reading and watching videos of how to use Scrivener. I’ll cover the results in the next blog titled I don’t think Stephen done it this way.

At this time I have only discovered the tip of the iceberg of what all Scrivener can do. I do however know that with the features I used, it saves a ton of time. The writer can concentrate on writing as all the information they need is in one program. That was enough for me to buy the program.

The program price shocked me. My cost was $45.00. That’s not a month or per year. That’s it, you own the program. The free thirty day trial is also great. It’s not thirty days from download. The trial is for thirty days of use. Example: Open and use it once a week you get thirty weeks.

The only problem I found with Scrivener is the steep learning curve. The program comes complete with an instruction manual and other tutorials. Although lengthy they will need to be referenced. I suggest to start with a new project, that way you can explore and learn by trial and error as you load all the research, build characters and scene locations.

My opinion the headaches of the learning curve is well worth it. However we know that we are all different, skeptical and don’t like change. I have provided a link and videos below so you can make up your own mind.


Scrivener Website




Thanks for stopping by and giving the blog a read. Till next time keep the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard.

Joseph Clay

Blogger: Joseph Clay

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