• Daniela Silva

Writers using scrivener: does it help?

Being a writer is not an easy feet. People think that writing a book is "something everyone can do" and yes, someone actually told me this once. I am perplexed.

Writing and wanting to write are two things with miles away from each other.

Lately, I have been playing a lot of dnd (Dungeons and Dragons) and my character is a rogue and she has thieves tools. For those which don´t understand the gibberish I am talking about you don´t need to. My point is only that I, a writer, have writers tools.

And one of the them is this little software called Scrivener.

Scrivener is a payed computer programme that makes life easy for every type of writer. Literally everyone, even scriptwriters or essay writers or someone writing something for the radio.

The software offers several templates depending on your project and believe me, there are a lot of templates and they are very helpful. These can then divide into sub-sections that will make it easier for your to organise or move around your work.

One of the key features would be the move around ,like a pegboard, of your story. Being an outline or the actually manuscript you can take pieces and move them depending on your scenes exploring where they fit.

and most importantly where they would fit better.

Personally I only used the Novel (with parts) template because I am in the process of writing a fantasy book. With that I can say that I still have a lot to discover on scrivener so if you are an expert at it by no means deem me an expert too.

From the moment I bought this app ,which is roughly £39.95 (for students), I was mesmerised by its functionality and practicality. It is truly an advantage for writers, even more for amateurs writers.

TIP: if you would like to have a discount on this app the best way would be to finish Nanowrimo since at the end you not only earn a diploma but also a 50% discount in several writing tools, Scrivener included.

This software does have a learning time but if you are writing everyday (like you should) you will learn how to navigated it in no time.

Now the thing that for me is worth the money is the sub-templates that come with the Novel (parts) template. (What a mouth full of templates!). This being outline plans, character sheets, world building sheets and research folders.

Have in mind that all of these are very basic and if you want to utilise the programme to the maximum you will need to add you own organisational sheets.

In the side is my way of completing a scrivener template. These are the steps that I deem necessary to finish my writing process. and these can differ for everyone.

I find this amazing, the ability to just hold everything story related in the same place. I can built in a list. I can incorporate a map for my world (which I built with Inkarnate: If you want an article about it let me know in the comments!) and I can construct my outlining and brainstorming all in one.

Now, I do use the three Act structure for my novel and something really useful is the scene cards, something that I learned on the wide-web.

Scene cards are a very concise way of knowing if your scene is worth writing. They consist of three questions (at least as I do it) which are:

  • Meaning of the scene?

  • When is the scene?

  • Who is on the Scene?

Scrivener lets you built in your own sheets as well. You can write up questions that you need your characters to answer like:

  • Goals?

  • Motives?

  • Background?

  • Favourite food?

  • Personal habits?

And then just make that same sheet a template and use it in all of your different characters. and the same for Settings or Research.

You can make pre-writing lists so you know what to work on and complete before you actually start writing.

And if for some reason you delete some piece of work that is valuable you can access the trash folder and everything will be there for you to recover.

I never reached the editing process because I am a real-time editor meaning that I edit as I write. And Scrivener is perfect for editing because of its build in Note taking feature.

You can add comments to yourself in the manuscript or you can utilise the sidebar to write notes about what you your next steps need to be. For example research something that need researching and so-on.

I use Scrivener for a lot of things, most all related to novel working or Nanowrimo. This is my sheet for my Nanowrimo 2019 project (which I didn't finished: more on that here). You can see that I separated the short stories by days which is also a possibility. The side bar can also show specific things that you would need to have in hand like places key aspects to remember when you are writing up descriptions.

I can admit that Scrivener is not cheap. It is not but ,in my humble opinion, it is worth the money. and I know this because for me it is advantageous and I don't know half of its features yet!

And there is always the 30 days free test trial that you can try and see if it is worth for yourself.

For more information or download of scrivener: here.


Have you read my newest post? Here it is: Fantasy vs Sci-fi: Genre Theory.

Also, don´t forget to subscribe for a chance to win a FREE BOOK: giveaway rules.

Thank for the support and please comment so we can all become friends.

Happy readings.



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© 2019 by Daniela Sofia Silva.