Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

The Best Writing Software *Ever* ?

I’ve used a tremendous number of software tools (and other aids) for writing.

Check out these two past posts to see just a few of them:

Free Software for Writers
Free Resources for Writers

I now have a piece of software that certainly seems like it could be the ONLY one I need.

Big, bold, brave statement, eh?

The name of this Miracle is Scrivener.

There’s a 30-day free trial and the full program costs $40—if that seems like too much, you are clearly unaware of how useful this software is and you’ll need to go sell something you hardly ever use so you can afford to buy Scrivener :-)

The best overall description of Scrivener’s awesome useability is this quote from their site:

“Designed to be extremely adaptable, Scrivener has a range of tools that can be utilised or ignored to suit the way different writers work. Thus, while some may prefer to meticulously plot and plan their draft in the outliner before even the first sentence takes shape, Scrivener can be equally useful as an organisational tool for those who write first and order their output after.”

Write first—Organize laterit enables me to think about structure after the chaos of writing the first draft.”

Try that using Microsoft Word and you’ll end up in the loony bin :-)

You may want to see more about Scrivener’s Features

There is a video at the bottom of this post but I want to introduce it with just a very few excerpts from Scrivener’s Testimonial Page:

“After years of suffering with Microsoft Word, I’ve finally found a program that makes it easy for me to write the way I want to write! I’ll never go back.”


“There was a point about one month into my first using Scrivener when I realized just how much it had changed how I worked, how much easier the task had become, and I just started crying in relief. I had no idea how much of the story I was stringing together in my head, trying to keep a whole universe balanced while I worked, not until Scrivener helped me lay it out across a binder. The key for me was being able to compose scene by scene and move them around as needed, to skip whole sections of story or include them only as notes without having to use an additional document or paper notebook to keep the mess straight.

“Since using Scrivener I write much faster, and now years into use of the program I’m creating custom templates and labels, getting wicked with keywords, and in general writing smarter as well as faster. It helps me professionally as well: I keep my correspondence with my publisher in the binder, right beneath the research notes I use to double-check information during copy edits. I’ve also been able to customize exports of drafts for beta readers and for professional formatting in a way I could never have done with Microsoft Word.

“I could write without Scrivener, yes, but I’d never choose to do so. Thanks for making my life so much easier and helping me make my stories stronger.”


“I began writing my book as a single MS Word document and very quickly got into trouble. Spanning fifty years and having a complicated timeline, my draft began to tie itself in knots. Me being me, I persisted with a bad idea and, consequently, sank into even deeper trouble. While I was casting around for mind-mapping software—in the hope that I could draw myself some pictures—I stumbled across Scrivener.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. I copied my existing text into Scrivener, pulled it apart, made liberal use of the fantastic corkboard and, finally, I could ‘see’. Without Scrivener I would still be staring at a gridlock of unhappy words and eating too many biscuits. Not only was Scrivener great for my writing, it was good for my health too.”


“I have bought, and been disappointed, by nearly every writing tool available… Each one would have a unique feature that I loved, but would be lacking in some other regard, so I found myself moving projects in and out of different pieces of software as I wanted certain tools. But then I stumbled over the Literature & Latte site and my world changed. Scrivener is simultaneously the most featured and flexible writing tool I’ve ever used. Within fifteen minutes of launching it, I was in love.”


“After reading a glowing review of Scrivener last year, I saw the potential to hugely ease the challenge of collecting and organizing book scenes, notes, and ideas, and moving them around my manuscripts. Well, I downloaded the free trial and dug into it, and must say that I was totally blown away by how effective, intuitive, and productive it is.

“Think of Scrivener as a corkboard where you can organize and search all your text clips and ideas at will — then compile them from a single window into a final Word (or other word-processing) manuscript when you are done. For me the program’s biggest “Eureka” feature is the ability to readily clip and paste between chapters, seeing and changing each of them separately while at the same time concurrently modifying the whole. I also like the ability to easily compare and combine drafts of the same chapter via a single window.

“I long ago imported my current book projects and am having a blast making them happen at rates many times faster than what I could do before. And the online forum support has been terrific. Wish I’d had this program to write my first five books!”


And, if you need a more in-depth, intimate view of how various writers use Scrivener, try exploring these Case Studies


So, on to the video about this Amazing software—but, first, please don’t worry if you can’t read the names of all the buttons and features shown in the video—Scrivener is all about Relaxing & Writing, Intuitively—sit back and just be aware of the Ease of use and the Miraculous Flow you can achieve with this Remarkable piece of work :-)

 Please note that the discount mentioned in this video was offered to ScreenCastsOnline viewers
and has long since expired—sorry!
Also, they show downloading Scrivener to a Mac and using it there but it’s nearly the same and just as easy on a PC :-)

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16 responses to “The Best Writing Software *Ever* ?

  1. Jane Watson December 27, 2012 at 5:23 am

    I have been using Scrivener for several years and wish I had found it earlier! I wrote my first novel using Word’s outliner which I tortured into doing my bidding. Scrivener works with me and does what I want. It is also relatively cheap for a very highly featured piece of software which the creator refuses to charge big money for, so that writers can afford it ;-) Scrivener allows me to concentrate on the stepping stones of my novel, while at the same time allowing me to see an over view. Why is it so good? Because the creator realised when *he* began to write that none of the other available software really worked for him. This is software that is designed by a writer’s mind:-)


  2. Selena December 27, 2012 at 7:51 am

    ABSOLUTELY! I love Scrivener!!!


  3. Jon Jefferson December 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    This looks like what I have been looking for for some time now. Getting it set up now to check it out.


  4. Caleb J. Ross December 28, 2012 at 12:31 am

    So Scrivner is on PC too?! I’ve been waiting for this. Thanks for the post!


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