Scrivener and Scapple
Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS from Literature and Latte
Scrivener is not a word processor or a substitute for a word processor.
Scrivener is a set of tools for inventing, drafting, writing and producing ebooks and manuscripts.
You can create all but your final draft for submission in Scrivener, and you may very well be able to submit with a draft you export or compile from Scrivener (most publishers will expect if not Microsoft Word Files, the ability to use Microsoft Word’s tracking and comments during the editing phase of publishing, and Scrivener doesn’t support tracking).
There are a number of different modes or tools in Scrivener; some, like the Corkboard/Outliner are meant to help you brainstorm and organize ideas.
Others are tools designed to let you concentrate on writing, and avoid losing momentum because you stopped to check a plot point or check a reference.
Scrivener are incorporates several tools and methods for organizing files, both your manuscript and research, and your notes that are not part of the manuscript itself, but are meant to help you as you write and edit.
Using Scrivener, you can:
- Import and store images, .pdfs, text files and Web pages
- Use DropBox (even a free account) to backup Scrivener and sync between Scrivener on iOS and Windows and/or macOS.
- Take notes that you can organize (or not) in “binders” within Scrivener. Many writers like that they can keep research and notes inside of Scrivener and easily work on their ms. while having a note or file visible at the same time.
- Keep notes about timelines, back story and character sketches just a click away from your ms.
- Outline or use the Corkboard to organize your thoughts as if you you were using a cork board and index cards.
- Skip around in various sections of your book or story or essay or screenplay.
- Use pre-built templates for novels, non-fiction books, academic writing, poetry, or screen plays or create your own templates.
- Some of the templates, like the Novel template, include special template for sheets; the Novel template includes character design templates.
- Use word count tracking within Scrivener.
- Use Scrivener to generate character names.
There’s no one way to use Scrivener; many people only use one or two of its features, and that’s fine. What matters is what works for you and your book.
Scrivener works or doesn’t work for a particular writer’s process and techniques; it’s a matter of individual style and preferences.
Download the free 30-day Scrivener trial before you buy. .
The trial version is a complete working version of Scrivener, for thirty days from the first time you launch the app.
If you’re a visual learner, there are some excellent videos produced by Literature and Latte.
At the very least you should take ten minutes and watch An Introduction to Scrivener; it’s a good overview of what Scrivener can do.
There’s a step-by-step tutorial built into Scrivener. It’s a good idea to spend sometime following it, before you start writing your own stuff.
Scrivener is currently available for Windows and OS X / macOS, and Apple’s iOS (iPad and iPhone).
There are often special offers for Scrivener via NaNoWriMo, Stack Exchange, or others.
Affiliate Links for Scrivener
If you buy Scrivener, or Scapple, their mind-mapping program from the links in this post I receive a percentage of whatever price you pay. I won’t know you bought it; just that someone did.
Scrivener for Mac
Scrivener for Windows
Take Control of Scrivener 2
This is, hands down, the best step-by-step written introduction and guide to Scrivener. The Take Control Quick Start that begins the book makes it easy either to progress through the complete coverage how how to use Scrivener, or skip to the section you need to complete a particular task.
I cant say enough good things about this Take Control guide to Scrivener, particularly this new revised version that covers Scrivener for iOS. It doesn’t just tell you what to do, it helps you figure out how to best use Scrivener in terms of your own needs and writing processes and style.
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