If I could marry a computer program, I’d marry Scrivener.

Seriously. I love this program for writing as much as I love homemade chocolate chip cookies. Also brownies. And Nutella.

I’ve tried a couple other programs in the past — Jer’s Novel Writer (which I never really got the hang of) and yWriter. I did like yWriter, and I had it for quite a while on my old laptop until I switched to a Mac. Then I tried Jer’s for a very brief time but didn’t like it much. On the plus side, both of these programs are free to download. Downside: yWriter is not available for Mac.

That’s when I made the decision to invest in Scrivener. Best $45 I’ve ever spent. Okay, maybe not the best, but certainly a close second.

It has a ton of features to help with organizing your ideas, scenes, chapters, character sketches, notes on settings, research. Like, everything. Currently, I’m enjoying the revision modes as I edit and rework parts of my novel after working with an editor and a few beta readers. I reworked the setup of my “Binder” several times until I had it just the way I like. So many of Scrivener’s features are customizable, which is awesome, as everyone has their own techniques and rituals when it comes to organizing their writing.

Here you can see just a section of my Binder. The text in blue is part of Revision mode; when in Revision mode, any new text you type is entered as a different color.

Scrivener, writing, program

Scrivener writing program

While technically you don’t have to label each folder as a chapter, I like to have mine labeled as such. It helps me visually. Each folder/chapter has subdocuments, with each scene as its own document. This comes in handy for its “Compile” feature, which allows you to save your novel to any format you wish. Scrivener will automatically separate each scene with a default separator, but you can change it to whatever you wish (seriously, love the customization!).

Scrivener also has a “Corkboard” view:

writing program

This view has a “freestyle” mode, in which you can freely move index cards around. Once you have them in the perfect arrangement, you can commit the order. Above are my chapters, but you can view each separate chapter as a cork board as well.

There are so many awesome and nifty features. Way too many to discuss in a single blog post.

You can check out Scrivener by Literature and Latte here. They also have a program called Scapple, which is also amazing. I use it to organize family histories and timelines of my characters.

Do you have a favorite program you use? Or a favorite organizational technique? I’d love to hear them!


One thought on “If I could marry a computer program, I’d marry Scrivener.

  1. I’ve had Scrivener for years, but I’m sad to say that I’ve never explored it all that much. I’m sure there’s tons of stuff there that I have no idea exists.


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