Some writers have mentioned they prefer the word processing of Microsoft Word to Scrivener's. Initially, I felt the same way. But then I bent to the program and decided to give it a fair shot, seeing how I liked other aspects of its character like the Corkboard and Research Binder(s).
Let me begin this series by giving you a skeletal map of Scrivener's workings at the opening of a new project.
- Binder - step 1: the word Binder is just another word for Project. So in MS Word, when you begin a new novel, article, or screenplay, you open a new Document. In Scrivener, it's a Binder. Your Binder holds everything you have collected from research to chapters to notes to imagery for that Project. The Binder is the head of your new work.
- Folders - step 2: folders can be considered the body of your new work within the head, the Binder. They can be used to separate chapters, scenes, research, and numerous other things such as character sketches and plot points.
- Note Cards - step 3: if Binder is the head of your new work and Folders are the body, then note cards are the guts. Note cards are merely a deeper breakdown of information within the folders.
A. One of my favorite features of Word is the ability to click on a word and instantly see a handful of synonyms. Of course, I can click onto the internet and head on over to Thesaurus.com. But that takes me out of the scene or article I'm writing. In Scrivener, I have the same access except clicking on a word gives me different options. In the case of synonyms, it takes me directly to Thesaurus.com without me having to leave the document and surf the web.
B. Scrivener also automatically saves my document with each line I type. I don't know about you, but if you're like me, I waste more time pulling myself out of my document, directing my cursor to the upper left corner of Word, and saving my document--again and again and again. I'm totally necrotic about that. Lost too much work in the past, I guess. So this feature totally rocks for me.
C. Some writers like to write with the Ruler visible, while others do not. In Scrivener, as in Word, that option is available to you. When you initially open a new document there will be no ruler visible. Simply go to Format at the top of the screen and scroll down to Show Ruler. Poof!
D. It's rather easy to send off a document or share it with someone. Simply click on Export in the top toolbar, choose the format you want and the destination, and Voila!! My first time was with a short freelance article. I found Export then chose to format the document as a Word doc. and directed it to my Document folder on my laptop. Seriously. It worked. Like that easy. So easy, I couldn't find the document at first. :)
E. One of my absolute FAVORITE aspects of Scrivener is the easy access I have to any research I do.
Example: In my Binder (Project), I've created Folders containing anything from scenes to chapters to character sketches. If you opened my character folder for the novel I'm currently working on, you'd find several Note Cards - each named for a single character. This particular project contains a complex cast, so I created a sub-folder in my character folder for a separate cast of characters just to make it easier for me to develop them. (More on creating folders in Part II of my Scrivener Series.)
The exciting part and the reason I'm sharing this brief information on Folders, Sub-folders, and Note Cards is because Scrivener allowed me to import the webpages I've been using as research to develop this separate group of characters - right there on each card. THE ENTIRE ARTICLE from the research. That. Is. Awesome! It's right at my fingertips instead of having to go clicking on links and such when I want to refer to it. Hee... I got a bit giddy at this finding.A side note to the above paragraph: I also discovered I could use the same process if I wanted to save a video for research on a note card. It's really sweet.
F. THE OUTLINER
|Taken From Scrivener Site.|
G. Snapshots is also a cool aspect of Scrivener. It allows you to take a snapshot of the folder (which could be a scene, chapter, character bio...whatever - basically its part of a document that will eventually become your completed Binder/Project), you're currently working on.
For instance: you've just written the meat of a scene and a new idea hits you. But you're not sure it will work. No problem. Simple take a snapshot of the doc as is - you can title it and all - and continue working, editing in this new idea. If the idea doesn't work and you want the info you had previously, just click on your Snapshot file and it's right there. For a more thorough explanation of Snapshots, click HERE - this writer has it down pack!Would I recommend Scrivener? So far, sure. But you'll have to adopt an open mindset to learn the program. It's not hard, just different and new to you. Stay tuned next week for more information from my trial use of Scrivener.