Don't Be Afraid of Scrivener

When I started using Scrivener, I instantly had one really big question: How the F*** did I ever write my first novel without this?

Just a couple of days after importing the rough, rough, rougher than rough draft of my second novel), my writing life changed forever. With Love Me Anyway, I was constantly going back and forth between long running manuscripts and version upon version of individual chapters. I must have three hundred documents in dozens of folders. Keeping track of my changes was a serious headache.

The basic idea is that it breaks your work into chunks (chapters, scenes, whatever) but also allows them to be viewed and printed as one long document. If it can keep ME organized (I got the creative gene, not the organized one), it can help anyone.

I've heard a lot of writers who don't want to try it because they've heard it’s too complicated, and I think it can be if you’re trying to use it for all its worth, which I’m definitely not. If you just need a tool to organize a long document, you can change your life in a couple of minutes. Totally worth the investment, even if you never take advantage of all the bells and whistles.

One of my clients is in dire need of organizing a seriously complicated project, so I made these quick screencasts to show him how I use it and how to get started. They’re nothing pretty, but they’ll let you see if Scrivener might help you. (These are not affiliate links and I get nothing from recommending this product.)

Here’s how I organize my novels:


Here’s how you can start using it in about a minute and a half.

Hope that helps!