At the beginning of this new year, newly resolute, I'm working on a new book, and I've decided to use a new piece of software too. I heard of Scrivener several years ago, and thought about trying it, but never did. I suppose I'm very conservative: when something works - and my current word processor, with its quirks and annoyances, does work reasonably well - then I don't see much point changing it. Learning new software wastes a lot of time; and, although I'm a master of procrastination, if I’m going to waste an hour or two, I'd rather do the washing-up or go for a walk then stare at my computer’s screen.
But this year, for some reason, I feel the need for Scrivener. Perhaps my procrastination has just reached a deeper level. Or perhaps it really will make writing easier. Because Scrivener is, in the words of its website, "a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents."
I've downloaded the trial version. Thirty days for free. Which should be enough time to decide whether to keep using it (and pay the thirty quid fee).
First impressions. (After an hour.) I read the website and discovered that Scrivener is based in Cornwall, which immediately made me like it more. I downloaded it, started it up and began working my way through the tutorial. I hate tutorials, but this one isn’t too annoying. So far, Scrivener seems neat, cute and quite confusing.
Second impressions. (After a day.) I’ve started writing in Scrivener and still feel confused. I’m tempted to give up. Over the years, I’ve evolved ways of working with my computer, and feel uncomfortable jettisoning them to fit a new format. But I’m going to persevere for a little longer.
Third impressions. (After two days.) I’m beginning to appreciate how this might work. I wouldn’t say I’m a convert. Yet. But I’m enjoying writing with a piece of software which is specifically designed for writers. There are lots of nice touches. Ways of organising chapters, drafts, notes and bits of research. I do have reservations and I still can’t decide whether all these nice little innovations are rather useful or entirely pointless, but I’m going to carry on.
In a month's time, I'm going to write another blog here, and I'll let you know if I've decided to pay the fee for Scrivener or gone back to my old, familiar word processor. Or jettisoned them both and started using a pencil and a piece of paper.
Does anyone else use Scrivener? Any tips?