Author of the novel Ghost Swamp Blues, and books on writing, On Being Stuck, Writing Begins with the Breath and The Writing Warrior.
I am a software user idiot, and that’s being kind. I don’t like to spend time figuring out programs, and when they’re exceptionally complicated I just shut down and go away. Scrivener does do all sorts of amazingly complicated things, but I don’t have to do amazingly complicated things to figure out how to make it work. Maybe because it’s a Mac-program, designed by folks who understand the importance of ease of use. Who knows. I just know that since I found Scrivener a few years ago, the way I write has been transformed. Scrivener allows me to keep, gather, and view all my research, videos, notes, and the document I’m working on, at the same time. I can write a scene that takes place in a particular region of the country while watching a YouTube video of someone who just traveled there. This allows for an incredible multi-sensory writing experience. Usually, I have to watch a video or documentary, or read a book, and take notes and then remember. Now I can write while integrating those memories. I can write from the direct experience of the place, no matter where I am in the world. Scrivener has helped me be more grounded in my writing, more organized, and ultimately, more alive on the page. I appreciate that it was created by someone who understands the writing process. This is not a program to help you write better. It doesn’t give you plot ideas or character ideas, but it helps you think better and it allows the writing that you are doing to take center stage. You will write more with Scrivener, and you’ll write better, because all your work is right there, and you’re not searching for notebooks from three years ago with that one note you just know you have … anyone else do that? No more. File things in your Scrivener binders and forget about them. They’ll be there at the exact moment your scene calls for it. Happy writing!