Thursday, February 24, 2011

Scrivener for Windows

Last night I was listening to some episodes of Mur Lafferty’s ‘I Should Be Writing’ podcast and heard a very brief mention, in ISBW #176, about Scrivener for Window. That pricked up my ears. I like PC computers, I prefer them to Mac’s but there is one thing I have been jealous of writers who use Mac’s. They had access to the Scrivener program.


Scrivener is basically an organizational and editing tool especially designed for writers. You can use it as a word processor but it is much more than that. It keeps all the information you have on a writing project in the one place. There are character and place templates, places to store research notes and images that are in the program but separate from the actual writing. This makes compiling the finished project easy. There is a cork board function that creates note cards for each section, chapter, scene, location, or character so you can see at a glance what you have and where it is. Because the whole thing is connected, you can plot and outline using the cards, re-ordering them to suit the story and the changes are carried out across the project.

The program makes editing less daunting because of the snapshot function. You can take a snapshot of a page, section or the whole project if you like. When you finish the edit and realize you liked the original better, you can revert to the original with a click of the mouse.

Another fun part of the program, and one that is useful for me and all the other writers who have problems finding the right name for a character, is the random name generator. It is handy for when those pesky, unexpected new characters turn up in your story and you can’t keep on writing until you decide what to call them. Often, by the time you work it out, the train of the story is lost. How easy is it to click on the name generator and find something that at least temporarily appeals?

Although the program is not being released until later in the year, the delightful folks at Literature and Latte have released a free Beta version of the program. There are still a few bugs they are fixing as the Beta testing phase progresses but most of those are minor glitches that don’t adversely affect the functioning of the program.

Check out the Scrivener for Windows page here.

4 comments:

  1. Very nice post and very great information. This blog is very intresting and informative. keep it up dud!!!!!! very nice work
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  2. Thanks Asim, glad you found the post interesting.

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  3. Hi Jeff,
    I find your article very interesting as I have plenty of life stories to tell. But first i must get the ideas down, in some kind of order and plotted in a way that reads like a story. And thats where scrivener comes in. I found it very interesting. I'd like to follow you to find out when it comes out because I can't wait to get organised. Thanks for sharing.
    Rich

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  4. Hi Richie, You don't have to wait. The Beta version of the program works well already. There are still a few minor bugs they are fixing along the way. Just follow the link to the Scrivener page and download the beta version for free.

    Jeff

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