Archive for the ‘software’ Category

Scrivener

I think Scrivener is a great program for writers working on long-term projects.

Sold from the hip/cool-sounding “Literature and Latte” website, Scrivener is for writers sort of what iTunes is for listeners. It organizes your writing projects and allows you to see them on the left hand column. It gives you as a user a convenient way to keep research notes connected to your manuscript, and it allows you to import a variety of things for research–web pages, audio, video, etc. If you want to keep clip art handy, it is easy to do with Scrivener. The application also has a really neat and usable virtual corkboard that allows you to see the structure of your whole project at a glance on virtual notecards.

I used the program for the first project I got when I started my business. It was a great help. I got all my sources for various sections stored in the program. The research done and organized, I was able to write it easily.

The main drawback for Scrivener, for me, is that it does not give you a WYSIWYG interface. For smaller projects I found the program wasn’t helpful. I wanted quick turn around and simply wasn’t comfortable waiting to deal with format when I was done with text. When I started my business I had envisioned doing longer projects. However, my first book (which was a really small paperback for direct marketing) turned out to be the longest project I have done. Since then I have worked on smaller projects (and found the remuneration to be just as good or better than what I have made as a book ghostwriter). For these writing jobs, I have found working in Scrivener and then converting to an office document to be too complicated. I prefer just to get it done in a way that let’s me visualize the pages.

If you have longer projects (or don’t have my hang-ups about shorter work), you will find the program extremely helpful. It is inexpensive and, even though I don’t use it in my profession as I thought I would, I still don’t regret having it available for other projects.

NOTE: this is a Mac only program.   However, the website includes a page which contains links to all Scrivener’s competition, for both Mac and PC.  If you find something that works for you, let me know.

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