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Back to writing with Scrivener 2

posted Jan 22, 2011, 11:31 AM by Greg Halpin   [ updated Jan 23, 2011, 4:31 PM ]
Scrivener is a great application developed for writers by writers. If you write, I highly recommend that you try it for yourself. You can test it out for thirty days before committing to purchasing it. I don't think I would have finished Welcome to Scranton without it.

I had been using Microsoft Word. I was writing for two years and I ended up with an unwieldy Word document. I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Anytime I wanted to move a scene from one spot in the story to another, it was a serious challenge. I'd have to scroll through my hundreds of pages and cut and paste the selection to the new location in the story. Later on, I might realize the scene didn't work there and I'd have to move it someplace else or back to its original location. That's a lot of work in Word. It was taking too much time that could have been used for writing.

Scrivener allows you to work with scenes. Each scene is visually represented by an index card on a cork board on your screen.  You write your scene and move on to the next one. If you find a scene might work better in a different part of the story, you drag that scene to where you want it. It's as easy as dragging and dropping. See these video demos to get a better understanding of what I mean. Scrivener helped me tremendously in taking a couple hundred page Word document and putting together a story that flows well. In fact, I ended up taking out some very good scenes and chapters that, by using Scrivener, I realized they just didn't quiet fit in Welcome to Scranton. But instead of deleting them, Scrivener allowed me to put them into the Research folder for use later. In fact, those scenes and chapters will be the basis for new short stories.    

I wrote Welcome to Scranton using Scrivener 1.5. Now that Scrivener 2 is out, I've upgraded and am working on my second book, a collection of short stories. For the most part, they are set in Scranton. The stories revolve around the quirky characters of Cafe del Sol. Some of the characters from Welcome to Scranton will make an appearance. Some will even have their own stories.