Wednesday, October 9, 2013

5-minute MFA: Scrivener Review and How-to's (Day 9)

I'm a little tech wary.

It's not that I'm afraid of computers, it's more that I hate the learning curve on each new, greatest "thing." I used Dramatist Pro, Storyweaver, and a number of other writer's software over the years with pretty limited success. I always figured that the time I spent learning how to make the software do what I wanted could be spent writing. All the time I needed to learn how to outline could be used outlining on paper so the time saved could be spent writing.

Logical, right?

Recently, though, a few groups I belong to have started chattering about Scrivener more and more. It's not new, but for some reason it's just making it's rounds  my way.

The trial is free for 30 days. The best part? First, the days don't have to be consecutive. So 30 logged in days. If you write a couple of times a week, your free trial could last a while. Second, it doesn't require your credit card and it won't autobill you if you forget. I love that because I've been bamboozled a time or two by free trials. Nothing like overdrawing because you forgot that you'd signed up with that genealogy site a month ago. (True story.)

I started my Scrivener trial in September and it took me a couple of hours to get comfortable. I was mostly interested in a program where I'd be able to write in a word processor that would be compatible with Word, but that would offer me something more. A little extra writing help.

For me, that extra was the ability to outline your novel, have character descriptions, research, and place names all in the same interface. One click and you're armed with the name of the city your villain was born. Stuck in the plot mud? Click over to your outline notes and reacquaint yourself with what you thought the whole point of the chapter was supposed to be.

To get myself up and running, I copied and pasted the first chapters of a work in progress and went from there, but with the help of a few tutorials and a couple of minutes of tinkering around, you'll be able to start a new project in no time.

I've got about two weeks left of my trial and I'm more than sure I'll plunk down the $40 for the license. Later this week, I'll talk about how I outline my work and how exactly Scrivener fits into that. It's really changed the way I approach new works and I'm excited to learn how I can incorporate Scrivener into other types of writing...essays, short stories and maybe some blog planning?

Sky seems the limit on this one.

Interested? Find Scrivener here.

Want a great group of tutorials to get started? Here's a nice group.

Happy Writing!

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Note: I was not compensated or provided software by Scrivener or any other entity. Nope. I simply loved my free trial and will plunk down my own coins to purchase it. Yay!

Miss a day? Check out my 31 Day MFA Challenge Master List!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE SCRIVENER!!! So many great features, but for me - being able to have all my research docs in the same program with my novel (historical fantasy) is GOLD. This program is worth every penny - I would pay twice that much for it (shh, don't tell the developers).