Writing a book can be a very complex and daunting task, especially if you have never written one before. You have gathered a mountain of research and jotted down notes on ideas and anecdotes you want in the book. How do you get started and stay organized throughout the process?
The Scrivener software program from Literature and Latte, a small shareware company, may be just the tool to help you do it. Scrivener has gotten a lot of internet buzz recently, so I checked it out. It looks interesting.
Sci Fi novelist Charles Stross, author of Saturn’s Children, Accelerando and Singularity Sky, called the program, originally only available for the Mac OS, but now available in a public beta version, “…a Swiss Army Knife for novelists.”
Scrivener offers organizational tools – corkboard and outliner - to be used either while planning a project or in content editing once you have a completed or partly completed draft. Both allow you to move text around easily to experiment with different sequences of ideas or details.
Another feature allows you to import research and split your screen so that you can refer to the research while drafting a section of your book. That particularly appealed to me because I seem to forever be fumbling with sheets of note paper or trying to keep a book open on my desk.
Scrivener allows you to segment your manuscript into chapters, shorter stories, or even paragraphs which can be combined into a single long document with a click of a mouse when the book is done.
“Scrivener helped me do everything a writer needs to do, and particularly a writer in a hurry: Gather up shards of facts and ideas. Fit them together into sentences and paragraphs, building sections and chapters. Tear down what you've built and try them another way. Annotate. Rewrite.” said Mark Paul, co-author, with Joe Mathews, of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How It Can Be Fixed.
I am looking forward to giving it a try.
The You Tube video below says its for Mac, but as you will see when you watch it, the content applies equally to the Windows version.