I wanted to comment on my experiments with Scrivener and what I’m making of it.
Back in September I downloaded a free trial of Scrivener to see what I thought of it. Since then I’ve been a bit of a chicken and I’ve barely looked at it. Although I had made some headway with the tutorial, I was finding it very complex and a lot to take in.
My husband suggested I just forget the tutorial and simply play around with it to get a feel for what it’s like. I couldn’t even work out how to get past the tutorial; he had to show me lol. Anyway today I was having a proper go for the first time.
And I have to say I’m unsure about it. My husband’s offered to buy it for me for Christmas if I’d like it. But like I say I’m in two minds about it. Yes it’s very clever and allows you to do all sorts of things to assist your writing, such as making it easier to plan by having easy access to all your ideas and thoughts on different aspects of your story.
It also enables you to navigate much more easily between the different parts of your work, so that if you need to go back and amend things or refer to passages you’ve already written in a chapter way back, it doesn’t take forever. That’s the idea anyway.
But I didn’t get that far today. I barely did anything – at least it felt that way even though I spent quite a long time playing around with it. I’m definitely going to keep plugging away at it to see if I could get used to it. The thing is though I found myself getting rid of things I didn’t mean to get rid of and then not being able to access them again.
Scrivener just seems so vast in terms of what it allows you as the author to do. And so complicated! People have said to me that Word is easy by comparison and that’s so true. It’s like I really REALLY want to love Scrivener. I can see the potentially enormous benefits of it to my writing.
But if I can’t get to grips with it, even the basic stuff then there’s going to be a problem. My friend and fellow author Jade Reyner uses it and has written about her problems with it here and here. She’s getting on all right with it now I think.
I just hope that if I give it a bit longer before my free trial runs out, that I can maybe make some headway with it and perhaps just perhaps get used enough to using it that I can say ‘yep, Scrivener’s definitely for me’.
Or maybe it’s a case of square peg, round hole…
What are your thoughts on Scrivener? Have you/do you use it and if so what do you make of it?