Author Media aired a full episode on Scrivener— and listening to the tools and benefits and the generous free trial I thought it might be fun to give it a try.
The concept, as explained on the episode, was a software that allowed better word processing and grammar tools, that understood book formatting, and that stored research and key elements of story telling that promoted consistency in the plot.
Opening the software revealed a word processing program merged with a database. That’s understandable, even logical when you think about it, but it eliminates the simplicity and openness of the blank page.
While you can import a word doc (but not other formats for those of us that try to de-Microsoft our lives), if you are starting with an existing documents you can’t easily take advantage of the sections and chapter divisions that the software encourages.
It’s definitely a software to try at the beginning of a project. To convert an old file, and put the time into using the program to the fullest, only to find you don’t like it, would be an irreplaceable waste of time.
Scrivener has a very unique model for their free trial. They base it on uses, not time. You have 30 uses to test it before paying the very reasonable fee, which if I recall, is around $50.
Author Media says it has some great writing tools, like features that tell you how often you repeat words. It lets you build your universe bible and save your various research and links.
And for those self publishing, it organizes the file with material like the front matter so don’t forget anything. And, according to Author Media, it can create a file for upload but it isn’t as smooth as a product like Attiicus (not sure of that name) or Vellum.
I think there is also goal trackers and ways to turn off distraction so you are forced to face the white page.
But it’s just clunky.
Now, I still haven’t given it a fair trial, and maybe I’ll use it to prep and edit “the cat book,” the nickname for my next project. I’ve finally started arranging interviews and reading submissions for the fundraising anthology, As the FURR Flies, to benefit Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab.
So please, tell me if you use Scrivener or have used Scrivener and your thoughts.