My DesktopThat is the question. A writing friend recently introduced me to Scrivener, a writing management tool that authors use to compose and manage their novel or large projects.

Writing a novel is more complex and messy than I’d imagined.  My desk and computer files are bulging with historical research, character sketches,  plot outlines, articles documenting today’s environmental red flags and projected dystopic scenarios (I love people who forward these to me!),  photographs and art, downloads, inspirations, old and current drafts . . . you get the picture.

The thought of learning a new computer program, however, starts my chest tightening and forehead throbbing, until that familiar dread of it’s way too complicated for me takes over.  Just ask my husband and son-in-law!  They’ve helped me over the threshold into new electronic territories.  I now even have a smart phone now and love it!

Am I ready to spend my days on another electronic learning curve?  I’m undecided.  Scrivener Tutorials promise amazing tools to navigate and integrate all the processes of writing. I’ll have everything under one roof, all my stuff at my fingertips.  Quick, efficient.  Will this help me move my novel faster to completion?  I’m really ready.  On the other hand, what I’m doing works well enough. Will I just be adding new levels of frustration to my writing?

Let me know if you have pros and cons to add.   In the meantime, think I’ll just jump in and try their free 30-day trial.  Stay tuned.


© All materials copyright Shirley DicKard, 2012 – 2013, except as otherwise noted.


    1. Well sure! There are frustrations built into all programs… anyhow, there are other programs out there for the same purpose, be sure to hunt them down. It may be untenable to convert your current work over now, you’ll have to decide. I think the real value comes in those early days of beginning a work, when it’s impossible to to get the ideas down on the final order they’ll appear. I just think Scrivener’s greatest strength is the ease with which you can shuffle things around.

      Perhaps the most useful thing I can say is that Scrivener is not a production platform, that is you don’t want to use it format your document. It is a writing platform, designed to all you to put down ideas without the clutter and distraction of a full fledged word processor. How many times have you had to correct MS-Words untimely desire to reformat your piece, at a time when you shouldn’t even be thinking about format?

      Well, now I sound like a salesman. I love the program and find it helpful.

  1. Shirley,

    Scrivener is an awesome tool, been using it for several years. Well worth the price! I’ll say more later, but recommend highly


    Mark Jokerst

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