Adios, MS Word.

If you have noticed that I haven’t posted anything here for a while, then drop me a line. It would be nice to know somebody is paying attention…

Why did I vanish from blogland? Work, and not just the J-O-B type. I’ve been doing actual A-I-C writer work too. I tried using Scrivener to work on some ideas, and I fell in love.

I fell in love so much that I chopped up my first novel manuscript and put it into Scrivener and started re-working it. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. I will never write a novel using MS Word again.

Why did I fall in love with Scrivener? Two main reasons: convenience and structure.

I confess: I do too much research. Research churns my idea fermenter. Sometimes I can’t find that thing I read about a few years ago that related to whatever random project I happen to be thinking about. Scrivener gives me a nice dumpster to toss my research in, dangling it nearby the actual writing so that I might be tempted to dive back in upon occasion. For weeks I obsessed about filling up the research section of multiple projects with documents and web pages and whatever else I felt like shoving in there.

Having the manuscript sliced up into parts and chapters and scenes, each with a handy spot for summary, makes my brain smile, especially when I start thinking about re-arranging things.

This tool is so good at keeping me focused on the project as a whole that, right now, as I type these words, I am filled with the urge to get back at it. It just seems to bring everything together in a big picture sort of way that helps my brain process and create. This may sound a bit strange, I know, but it is the truth. Word never did that for me. Word can’t do that for me.

It wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows while getting started. I did get all sorts of formatting crap gone wrong when I imported from Word. I got over it. Totally worth it. Oh, yeah, there was something of a TREMENDOUS learning curve figuring out how to use the software, but when I took the time (as recommended) to work through the tutorial, everything was smooth, smooth, smooth.

So, off I go, back to it.

Bottom line: If you write novels and haven’t tried Scrivener, you owe it to yourself to do the free download, work through the tutorial, and play with a new project idea. Who knows? You might fall in love too.

(and, no, I am not getting paid for this.)

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