Sunday, November 24, 2013

On Scrivener


I'm a big fan of Scrivener, anyone who follows me on social media can vouch for that. Whenever I can find a coupon or when a promotion starts up, like for NaNoWriMo, I shout it out. Speaking of, anyone finishing their NaNoWriMo word count should pick it up, since they will receive a 50% off code.

What I like about Scrivener is how simple to use it is. I'm a visual person, so seeing all the note cards on screen with writing on them helps me. Scrivener accepts and exports in multiple formats, but the truth is, we writers need Word. Word is the standard and is how we will give and receive manuscripts with editors. Not having Word is a serious disadvantage even I couldn't maneuver around. I exported The Dragon's Tear from Scrivener to Word, and spent two weeks on another person's computer. 

There is a fair warning on Scrivener, different versions operate conflictingly. Mac users get the best version, as Scrivener started out as a Mac program, and was later ported to Windows. This has caused the Mac version to be more user-friendly and have more features. I would put the current Windows version to have 80-85% of the total features and usability from Mac, but that last few percents hurt most in the final product.

When exporting a manuscript for CreateSpace or Kindle Direct Publishing, I strongly recommend using Word. Both publishers have an easier time accepting a Word file out of all the different files. Word also gives you more freedom in how to customize the layout, but at the cost of having the user to do more work. I hope Scrivener keeps updating and improving both versions so they appear identical, but at the moment they are not.

Even with the writing end-game lacking, I highly urge writers to pick up Scrivener, or give the trial a chance. The name generator in the tools section has saved me countless times, and is worth the price of admission on its own. I still use it when working on a manuscript and happily take on the responsibility of playing with Word later on.

Here is the link, and I hope you all enjoy it.