Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Review of Scrivener
Scrivener's design is user-friendly for the every-day operations. Each "page" is meant to be an individual scene. You can title it anything you want without it printing (though see below on my inability to make this work at first), which makes them easy to find. There's a list to the left of all of your scenes and chapters (in this list, folders are chapters, and when you Compile it, they are automatically numbered in chapters without your numbering them). You can see each "file" clearly, and drag them up and down to rearrange.
To the right, there are a number of helpful tools. The two I found most helpful were 1) the notes and 2) the links. You can leave yourself any amount of notes for the scene or chapter that will never be printed in your compile or counted in your word count. In Word, I would simply type these in for myself and highlight them or change the color of the text, but then I would get an inaccurate word count. This is ideal for those of you who are as forgetful as I am in terms of adding this action, or who want to give yourself ideals as you read through without heavily revising at any given moment. The links option is also great because it gives you direct access to your research from the same file.
Another great option in this program are the character and setting sketches. It's wonderful to have quick access to your characters without opening other files. You can even include a picture. None of the notes in these "files" are included in your word count (although you can have them included with a simple click of a check box), but are still right at your fingertips. You can even include pictures, which I LOVE.
For more detailed information on any of these features, Scrivener tutorial videos can be found here.
Bottom Line: If you write novels, this will spoil you to no end, and you won't be able to go back to Word ever again :)