Bless Scrivener and all who write upon her…

Is it possible to assign gender to a computer program (like a ship)? 

Until recently, I looked down my nose at writing software.  I thought, hey, there isn’t really much that it can do that can’t be done in Word or Excel.  What do I need all the fancy-schmancy for?

Ok.  I was dumb.  I had not started writing hundreds of pages and trying to keep track of everything.  And, God knows, I would rather lick a fish than write an outline…

So when I did NaNoWriMo last November, I gave in and downloaded a free trial of Scrivener.  This little program…woohoo!  Not only did I have a place to draft (and earmark/color code each draft revision), but it made little notecards that appeared on a bulletin board that could be dragged/dropped without fuss.  Dragging these cards to a different spot would move the whole scene/chapter to a different point in the novel!  It provided outlines-as-you-go and character sheets and document notes and name generators and targets and statistics.  Just, wow.  So, when I finished NaNoWriMo, I grabbed the full program without a second thought.

Where was this when I was in college and grad school?  It would have been AWESOME for dealing with research papers!

Yes, this is a completely biased love-fest.

Scrivener has made my writing time easy and, quite honestly, fun.  I don’t have to go sifting through piles of chapters which may or may not be the version of the draft I was seeking (or even the right chapter!); I’m not exactly known for being methodical with computer file names.  I don’t have to open a different program to locate my research or to verify a character fact.  Hell, I am half certain, if left to its own devices, Scrivener might write my novel by itself!

There are other equally great writing software programs on the market–some with simpler set-ups and others with more bells and whistles.  Just do your research; give the trial versions a go.  My suggestion is that you roll with what works best for your style, temperament, and creative needs.

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