Today I finished the rather large interactive tutorial of Scrivener for Mac. It’s a piece of writing software designed by a novelist for novelists, screenwriters and anyone who wants to be able to organise every aspect of their writing in one place. For example, while Microsoft Word expects you to write your draft in one massive document, Scrivener allows you to have a separate file for each chapter, append a synopsis and notes to those files in order to remind you what the hell you originally wanted to write, and have a research folder where you can put PDFs, videos, web links, audio notes and anything else you’ve come across in order to help your novel go swimmingly.
Then, when you’ve written your masterpiece, you can reorder and redraft as you see fit, saving snapshots before revisions, tracking changes, and basically organising your work and playing around with it in whatever way you want to.
At the end, when you’re happy, you can export your file in pretty much any format imaginable. Scrivener is an absurdly powerful writing tool, and seems incredibly well designed to aid workflow. Admittedly it’s doubtful that I’ll use much of the functionality until my first draft is finished – I’ll simply have a file for every chapter, make a few research notes, and write in the rather natty full-screen mode which removes all temptation from the usual Apple Dock at the bottom of the screen – but when I do have the whole to look back on, I reckon that I’ll be using a lot of the bells and whistles.
So now all I have to do is write the darned novel. Which, by the way, is going to be awesome.