This post does not include any sponsored links. All opinions are my own and I’m not getting any retribution for it!
Hi there, misfits!
This month seems to be going by in a breeze, and by breeze, I mean with a lot of exertion and running that causes a breeze-y sensation. I’ve been absolutely exhausted lately, but not to worry! Tiredness shall not keep me from MisfitAlexa posts!
One thing that’s kept me pretty busy is, you guessed it, NaNoWriMo! As of tonight, I’m completely on track. The plan for right now is to write ahead and get some extra days done so that I don’t fall behind later this month. However, one thing that has kept me super organized and sane (as mentioned in this past blog post on keeping sane during NaNo), is one fabuloso program by the name of Scrivener!
If you don’t already know about it or use it, Scrivener is a great novelizing program for Mac an Windows. It’s about $45 for a one-time purchase, but let me tell you, it’s worth it! Also, if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo like I am, you can get a special 30-day free trial. Plus, the trial is by day — so if you only use it two days out of the month, you can keep using it until you use it for 30 actual days. Then, if you want to purchase it at the end of November, you get 20% off by using the code NANOWRIMO in the discount code box. And even better news, if you win and decide to purchase, you can get 50% off as a member of the NaNoWriMo winner’s circle! Are there any downsides here? I think not.
The cool thing about Scrivener is the fact that you can use it pretty much however you need it. There’s templates for Novels, Short Stories, Scripts, Poetry, Songwriting, Nonfiction, and even one already set up for NaNoWriMo. The main thing that’s different is it includes a code to make it fit to submit on the website and sets up all your daily and monthly targets automatically.
Basically, everything in the program can be personalized to your liking. All the settings I talk about below can be edited and changed to fit your personal writing needs. You can set your own daily or session targets as well as set a word count goal for each chapter and scene. How cool is that?
As I mentioned in last week’s post, I am a super planner, I’m as planner as planner can get. Because of this, I spent a lot of October making an in-depth outline for my novel I’m working on, The Green Light, And Other Almosts.
I crossed out my text to make sure my writing stays safe and sound 🙂 As you can see, my method of outlining goes pretty detailed, marking out scene by scene with word counts for each one. I really need a goal to work towards word count-wise or I end up typing aimlessly throughout a chapter. With my outline, I’m able to make sure that everything is planned out just the way I want it.
Another awesome feature of Scrivener is the ability to view everything in Notecard form. Think of it as a digital cork board to be able to shift around scenes and chapters however you need it. As shown in my outline above, I have my novel separated into story parts (Exposition, Rising Action, Conflict, etc.), chapters, and scenes. Everything is viewable in notecards and can be easily moved around and changed however you need it.
If you want to view all of the words in one continuous document with line separation between scenes, chapters, etc., you can change the view to Scrivenings. This way, you can get a total word count or read the document continuously and make sure everything flows right. Plus, I always find it a little hard to write with a completely blank document in front of me, so Scrivenings mode is a lifesaver.
Okay, so these are different from the actual Scrivener template, but they’re just as helpful. Basically, they’re pre-formatted templates/plot and character sheets that you can fill out to start fleshing out your characters and storyline. They’re awesome! And the best part is that you can change it and add or take away questions to fit your writing needs, and when you pull up a new template, the new information is included!
I changed my template a little to better fit my characters, but you get the point!
Alright, so this part I’m pretty new at, but that’s just because I’m boring on the layout of my workspace. Scrivener has this cool dual-screen setup (both horizontally and vertically) so you can have one page/document open while working on another. This is great for referencing an outline while writing a scene, or whatever else you may need.
I’ve also been using “Composition Mode” a lot lately, and it’s basically when you bring Scrivener to fullscreen and you simplify it to just the text and a background. It’s great for wordsprints and keeping focused, as there’s no other bells or whistles to distract you.
This is the only part of Scrivener that makes me a little sad — they still haven’t come up with an app yet! It’s been in talks for a while, and most of us in the Scrivener crowd check religiously on their website and blog to see if any updates to the app have been publicized yet. But alas, we are still app-less.
What’s the solution, you may ask? Well, it’s a bit complicated, but I suppose it works for now. First of all, you can back up everything to the Dropbox cloud, which I highly recommend so you don’t lose any of your work. Second, you can sync Scrivener with two mobile apps called SimpleNote and Index Card. I’ve never used Index Card, but I’m assuming (from the reviews I’ve seen) that it syncs everything on your index card layout so you can see it and edit it on mobile. SimpleNote gives you the ability to sync everything you write on actual Scrivenings (not outline or notecard mode), but you have to remember to sync it every time you edit Scrivener, or it won’t update on the app.
ALL IN ALL
I really can’t describe how much I love Scrivener. I fell away from it for a little while when I needed a mobile app and when my computer was down and I couldn’t use my desktop apps, but I always find myself going back to it because it’s AMAZING. So I’m giving it seven stars out of five, because you’re really not gonna find a better app for your desktop. We can just only hope that LiteratureandLatte comes out with an app soon!
If you guys ever want even more inspiration for just how incredible Scrivener is, be sure to check Pinterest for some great tips! I know that I repin a ton of resources for the program, so follow my Pinterest below so you can get them, too!