Friday, November 23, 2012

Scrivener writing software

I bought a new laptop which has Windows 8 and decided to try out a new writing software. I googled around and found Scrivener for windows, which has a 30 day free trial. I was mainly influenced by the fact that the trial is 30 days of use, not 30 calendar days. I've downloaded trials in the past and forgot about them, only to open the files later and find that the trial period had expired.

The program is quite complicated to start with, but not unlearnable. Most of the features are set up to organize, format, and export a novel, screenplay, or short story. There are nonfiction categories as well, with a great toolbar that includes research and media file folders.

The program automatically saves every draft, which for me is not necessarily a benefit because i like to keep my original rough drafts and then save multiple rewrites so I can go back and reference each evolution of the story. I believe there is a way to turn it off, but I grew bored with the extremely lengthy tutorial and proceeded to test out the software.

This led to an 850 word beginning effort on a new story which is based on a nagging thought I've had for years: the worse writing advice ever given and writers who write about writers. Stephen King is a pretty regular offender at this, and often writers who try to write characters in other professions end up seeming clunky because they have no experience in the field they are trying to portray as real.

The program is pretty good so far, with a compilation feature that allows you to export everything to Word as a rich text file while retaining a working draft in the program. The cost to activate trial version is $40.00.

GlimmerTrain competition for new writers ends this month. Final draft efforts for a short story to send in this weekend.