I think I’m in love.
A reader of this blog mentioned some writing software he used called Scrivener. I didn’t think much of it, having already a solution that was working for me. A couple weeks later on a whim I browsed out to the website and started reading about it.
Immediately I was intrigued with the features. I downloaded the trial version and started using it. After going through the tutorial and then building my first project, I was sold. I bought a license the next day for the Mac version. I built projects for all my current and prior work and ended up buying a Windows license as well, so I can use it on my Windows 7 netbook.
I won’t go into all the myriad features of this software (the website provides all that), but I’ll mention a few reasons why I think it’s well worth the $45:
- You can create .mobi and .epub files directly from the software (.mobi creation requires kindlegen, freely available from Amazon).
- All research documents, character sheets, scene settings and more can be stored together in the same book project.
- Each chapter can be broken into scenes which can be arranged on a “corkboard” in storyboard fashion. Each scene in corkboard view fuctions like a notecard. In text view these same scenes contain your actual manuscript. These notecards can be rearranged by simple drag and drop, integrating both the outlining and writing process.
- The software keeps running word counts and has a great full-screen mode to block out distractions.
- It’s available for both Mac and Windows (both versions can use the same project files).
I’ll be honest, the mobi/epub features are worth the price alone. I was using eCub which is great, but it requires exporting the book’s components into separate .html files before compiling. Plus it has some issues creating epub files properly. Scrivener creates perfect .mobi and .epub files, remembering all the settings within each project. Being able to keep all your research documents together is also a great feature.
The storyboarding feature is really a boon for outlining. For my first novel I used Google’s notebook app, but that’s since gone away. This application not only replaces that functionality, it does so natively as part of the book’s actual manuscript. Hell, this feature is also pretty much worth the price alone. Goodbye notecards.
Being able to do everything from start to finish within the same application is incredibly valuable. The only task I have to complete in another application is the book cover because Scrivener isn’t a drawing app. It will, however, allow you to import the book cover image and add it into your finished ebook file.
If you’re serious about writing then you need this software. Download the 30 day trial today and see for yourself. I think you’ll love it too.