Scrivener is not just a regular word processor. It’s a content-generation tool designed to help writers complete a first draft.
I started out using Scrivener just for novel writing, but I’ve recently used it to write articles, essays and short stories. I appreciate the project management tools the most when I’m working on a longer project, but the program also works for shorter pieces.
One of my favorite features is the virtual corkboard complete with virtual index cards. Before beginning a novel, I use the cards to make an outline (See Dan Wells on Story Structure). Each card corresponds with a scene, so if I decide to add in more cards or switch some scenes around, the document moves with the card. That means I can just shuffle the cards around to see how my story would work if some scenes were swapped. No copying and pasting. This works very well for me because in the beginning I start with a very bare bones outline of a few key scenes. As I write, I flesh the story out with additional scenes.
The cards can also include images. Right now I have a corkboard outline of all my main and minor characters. I choose images of actors, models and random people to represent the characters. Then, when I click on a card, I can read that character’s short biography.
Literature and Latte offers a free, 30-day trial of the program. One of the cool things about the trial is that it only counts the days you actually use the program. So if you download the program, and then get swamped with work or something, you don’t have to worry about wasting your free trial.
Right now, the program is on sale for 50% off at Amazon. Literature and Latte also offers discounts for students and educators. In the past, the company also offered a 50% off discount to anyone who successfully completed NaNoWriMo. If the sale at Amazon ends soon, here is a Scrivener coupon code that may still work at Literature and Latte:
WORDSWITHJAM – for 20% off.