Scrivener Writing Software Review

Scrivener (pronounced in three syllables) Writing Software offers a neat way of solving the quantity vs. quality problem experienced by most NaNoWriMo participants. The volume of words produced inevitably leads to large sections that will never be worthy of publication. Scrivener’s “Dust Bin” file function lets you select offending text and save it to a Dust Bin document located below your draft where it will remain a part of your total word count.

The program’s Scrivenings mode lets you move between a part of your document to the whole for drafting and editing. The font and style you like for drafting and editing can be changed when the project is compiled for submission or publication. And everything you need is in the Binder at the left of the screen: Each scene or chapter document, all of your research, and templates about characters, settings, and more.

A screen capture of the Scrivener desktop view from my computer.

For planning and organizing there is a Corkboard and an Outliner. Both let you see the overview and detail of your writing project and make it easy to move parts around. Scrivener also provides the standard scriptwriting features and lets you export the script to Final Draft upon completion. The software even lets you use MathType equations and LaTeX documents with MultiMarkdown.

At the bottom of every screen is a live word and character count. You can set session targets for your writing as well as track overall progress toward the finish line. Every hour or before making major edits, you can take a “Snapshot” and use a split-screen view to compare before and after versions. And Scrivener offers a customizable full-screen environment to remove every distraction.

Scrivener’s feature set puts this writing software at the top of most lists for Mac and Windows. Normally priced at $40-45, it is available for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) as a fully functional free trial version through to December 7, 2013. NaNo participants can purchase Scrivener for 20% off, and NaNo winners get 50% off.

This writing software offers everything the writer could desire. I have used Scrivener for years and have never been disappointed.

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One Comment

  1. This was very helpful. I have heard about Scrivener before but wanted more information. Also this I didn’t know about the free month long trial. thank you Don.

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