Monday, March 4, 2013

An Early Look at Scrivener for Writers

Things have been really busy lately and despite my best intentions, I have not had the time to really sit and study the Scrivener software for authors. This past weekend I did have about half an hour of time that was not claimed so I worked my way through the Scrivener tutorial.

I started with the online "text version" of the tutorial. Below you will see screen shots of what Scrivener refers to as the Binder. This is the left hand column that will appear on your screen. To view a particular page in the text tutorial, simply scroll up or down on the Binder and stop your cursor on the desired page. The page will appear on the rest of your screen.

For those of you who prefer video tutorials, Scrivener provides that as an option as well. The screen shot below depicts what you will see when you pull up the page for video tutorials. 

It takes me awhile to learn how to use new software, so I will be reading the text tutorial again and watching the video tutorials once or twice as well.

Once I feel more up to speed, my next leap into the learning process will be to draft a small writing project using Scrivener as the word processing tool.

What do I think so far? Just working through the tutorials has been an extremely easy process. Often I find myself so frustrated trying to use the tutorials provided by the software manufacturers I abandon the entire project of trying to decide if I want to purchase the software for my own use.

Just clicking on the toolbar icons has been the most helpful part of my learning process. Each icon will pull up a pop-up screen for that particular tool. The tools are somewhat self-explanatory. Below you will see a pair of screen shots for the Research Folder tool. This is where an author stores documents with information from research to be used in the writing of the draft. The tool is found easily in the Binder and can be opened with ease while writing to refer to the needed information.

I like what I have seen so far. The 30-day Free Trial is an actual 30 days of use! What that means is 720 hours of actual use of the software! Or at least that is the understanding I have from reading the website.

Better still, Scrivener has information on the tutorial landing page that allows you to learn specifically about the type of writing you plan to use the software for. In my case, I plan to use if for non-fiction. Here is what the options are:

If any of the readers of this blog have used Scrivener, please comment on what you liked, or did not like about the software.


  1. I've use Dramatica's Writers Dreamkit, Storymind, yWriter and Story Blocks.

    But once I tried Scrivener, and made my way through the tutorial to grok the fundamental way it does things, I discovered that it really works well with the way I write.

    I know it's a personal thing, but it just seems easier to use than the other programs I've tried. It's a lot easier to outline and organize, and the export options are great.

  2. The trial is not 720 hours, but it is 30 any days. If you only use the software for 10 minutes one day, you have used up that day. But you can skip days without using up any of your 30 days.

    If you are interested in interacting with other Scrivener users, there is a public community for Scrivener Users on Google+. We have over 200 members. Since this is a public community you can read the community page before you decide whether or not you want to participate or not.

  3. Thanks for the clarification.

    This is software worth checking out.