Posted in Miscellany

Scrivener Review

Well, folks, Scrivener for Windows is out of beta and version 1 is available for purchase or free trial.

It’s fabulous. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Finally PC=Mac in the writing world.

An aside…I know people rave about Mac, but I’ve always been a PC devotee, mainly because of the cost. Before I ordered my Lenovo laptop last spring, I visited the Apple store many times, but honestly, I don’t get the attraction. For the cost of the kid size Macbook, I have more resolution, larger screen size, more RAM and faster speed by several orders of magnitude. Plus I also bought a 24″ LED monitor for another $200, which turns the laptop into a desktop, a movie theatre, or even an additional computer. For example, yesterday one of my children was doing internet research using the large monitor, a keyboard plugged into my laptop, and a wireless mouse. At the same time, I could look at the website from the laptop to provide assistance.

Back to Scrivener. Currently I’m working on two projects using it. I’ve imported text, web pages, and pdf files into the research folder. I’ve been able to easily move scenes around as I change my mind, using drag and drop either in outline format or cork board. I love the virtual index cards, which can be colour coded as you wish. In fact there is so much here to customize: fonts, colours, shapes, and sizes.

On the left you see a list of scenes, which can be organized in files or folders, in the middle your text, and on the right the index card and notes–or you can write in full screen mode which shades the border to eliminate distraction. You can also post photo onto your index card or notes to look at while you work.

Working on the split screen is much easier than using Office, and that’s the reason I bought the large monitor, though it’s had many other uses since!

I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of Scrivener. I watched the tutorial before I started using the beta version, but really ought to do it again. In fact I’ll do that right now! But before I go, I just want to say that this is really a pleasure to use. Unlike most software that is designed by well-intentioned Martians, this clearly is programmed by folks who know a lot about writers and writing.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

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