Steve Bremner

Author, Podcaster & Writing Coach

Scrivener: Distraction-less Writing Software

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Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

Writing a novel, research paper, script or any long-form text involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done. Collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure—most writing software is fired up only after much of the hard work is done. Enter Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application.

A few of my writing friends or other bloggers have asked me what exactly is the big deal with Scrivener, or what makes it better than Pages or Word. Well, it makes such a complete difference in organizing and working through the writing process. Especially if you’re writing large documents, like a book or a major research project. Being able to compile all my sub-articles or chapters all into one place — and by that I mean the document itself, not a bunch of documents in a folder —  has been a huge time saver. Especially instead of scrolling up and down through a long document or opening up a bunch of different files in the same folder.

Buy Scrivener 3 for macOS (Education Licence)

Most word processors approach composing a long-form text the same as typing a letter or flyer – they expect you to start on page one and keep typing until you reach the end. Scrivener lets you work in any order you want and gives you tools for planning and restructuring your writing. In Scrivener, you can enter a synopsis for each document on a virtual index card and then stack and shuffle the cards in the corkboard until you find the most effective sequence. Plan out your work in Scrivener’s outliner and use the synopses you create as prompts while you write. Or just get everything down into a first draft and break it apart later for rearrangement on the outliner or corkboard. Create collections of documents to read and edit related text without affecting its place in the overall draft; label and track connected documents or mark what still needs to be done. Whether you like to plan everything in advance, write first and structure later—or do a bit of both—Scrivener supports the way you work.

Click on the image below to buy a regular license for Scrivener 3.

Buy Scrivener 3 for macOS (Regular Licence)

Made By Writers For Writers

Scrivener is basically an ‘all-in-one’ writing app created by writers for writers. Like I said, it can appear really complicated at first and be a challenge to use, but trust me, it’s worth learning how to get the hang of it and in almost no time at all, it becomes second nature to you. It’s like getting the hang of using a Mac when you’re used to using PCs for years. At first, it seems daunting, but then after a while, you realize how great it is.

It’s for that reason I recommend and endorse Scrivener Unleashed.

Click on the picture to open a new link to learn about the course, or keep reading to hear more about the software itself. My friend David Lee Martin teaches how to use Scrivener, whether you’re using the Windows version or the Mac version:

Scrivener-Box

As for the Scrivener software itself, when you open Scrivener you are presented with a Project Templates window pane. The software comes with a number of pre-designed formats built-in. Click on this below image to be taken to buy the Mac version.

 

When you’re finished you can compile your writing all into one file and export or compile it to many different types of files.

If it’s ready, you can even compile it and convert it directly to epub and mobi formats, depending on the eReader you’re publishing for.

Frankly, I’m seeing how using this for writing is saving me tons of steps in my writing process and streamlining a lot of the work.

Suffice it to say, I’m hooked!

They have both Mac and PC versions, and cost either $45 or $40 depending on your operating system.

Buy your copy of the software for either Windows or Mac.