Indie Software Pt 2: Scrivener


You may have heard of this writing software if you’ve ever been to a writing conference. The first time I stumbled upon Scrivener was an Internet search for writing software that would help me keep my ideas together and organize my chaotic writing. I went to and began reading about the program. I watched the tutorials, and weighed the price of paying $40 for a program. I knew I needed something if I was going to seriously pursue writing, so I bought it.

There is a huge learning curve to this software. The tutorials are great, but you’ll still need to explore the entire program to try and figure things out. I ended up buy Scrivener for Dummies at a local bookstore, and it’s become my best friend.


Why is Scrivener better than Microsoft Word?


I know many people who write in Microsoft Word, and that’s great. I sometimes write in Word too, and there’s nothing wrong with it. When I’m writing a novel or novella, I use the Snowflake method for outlining and preparing the story. If you don’t know what the Snowflake method is, I encourage you to look it up. Better yet, I may do another blog post on that . . . maybe next month.

When I write, I fill up a notebook writing out character bios, synopsis, scenes, plots, and anything else that comes to mind. I also find pictures on the Internet for my characters so that I know how to describe them in my stories. Then comes the actually writing. I break my chapters down into scenes, and this makes for quite a few folders in Word.

In Scrivener, I can keep all my research, outlining, and story in one file. I can also separate my chapters in the file and break down the scenes for the chapters without having to make millions of different folders. From there, when I’m finished writing, I can compile the entire document into a word file, pdf, ebook, or paperback book format.

Let’s say I’m sending only one chapter to my critique partners. I can export just that chapter into a document to send to my partners, and then when I get their edits, I can go back in and change them in Scrivener. I save change, but I can also revert to an earlier version of my story if need be.

Here’s a screen shot of A Wife’s Devotion.

You can see that I have folders for each chapter, research, characters, and I even have space for the front matter of my book as well as back matter. It keeps all of my information together so that anything I need while writing my novel is right there in the program.

I cannot say how much I love this program, but if you’ve tried a free trial of it, you may want to consider giving it a try. Scrivener works with both MACs and well as Windows. It costs between $40 and $45, and in the long run, that’s not very much.

I’d love to hear about your writing process in the comments section.

Next week we’ll talk about Vellum 2.0.