Novel Update: January 2016

One of my resolutions for 2016 is to finish a preliminary draft of my fantasy novel, titled (for now, at least) Raven Grey and the Relics. To help hold myself accountable, I’m publishing monthly updates on my progress.

This month, I’m pleased to announce I’m finally giving Scrivener a try. Well, at least for the free 30 day trial!

Some authors I know swear by software like Scrivener, others simply stick to Microsoft Word, others still stick to pen and paper or dictation. I’m still trying to figure out what method(s) work best for me. So tonight I downloaded the free Scrivener trial and am giving it a whirl.

Initial thoughts: That Scrivener learning curve I keep hearing about is for sure a real thing. I whizzed through the tutorial but absorbed little. Trial and error and Googling when needed, I find, will be a better tutor.

My preliminary goal with using Scrivener is to type out and save the beginnings of my manuscript from this humble little composition notebook:

Sorry for the poor lighting. My studio apartment has no overhead light near my writing desk.

I’m really liking the software so far. It’s certainly way better than a big fat blank Word document with that darned cursor blinking back in your face.

Nifty cork board for organizing book-y stuff.

Look, it gives you a cute little cork board to pin virtual index cards with all your parts, chapters, scenes, characters, places, doodles, etc.

Which reminds me, I wonder if work would mind terribly if I used the office scanner to make a PDF version of the world map I’ve drawn on a Starbucks napkin…Hmmm 😉

Happy blogging everyone, and please do comment below with your thoughts on software such as Scrivener. Or really just any thoughts you may be having, related to writing or not!

P.S. It helps very much if you download the correct version of Scrivener for your OS. I accidentally clicked on the Mac OS version instead of the Windows version, and spent a good half an hour figuring out what the heck format the dang software was in. 🙂

As Homer Simpson would say, d’oh.


    • What it requires in the learning curve is allegedly made up for in its organizational strengths. So far, I see a lot of potential with it, but the price tag is steeper than I’d like once the 30 day trial is over. We’ll see! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve heard of Scrivener but never been tempted to try it. It actually looks pretty handy (namely the ability to have notes along the sidebar) would save me from having to jump between documents. Update on how you like it after a few weeks and I might be tempted to try it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve grown so used to the blinking cursor that I would feel lost without it. I’ve heard of that program as well but keep reminding myself that, “Kurt Vonnegut would never have needed that.” It’s a dumb maxim to live by as I will never be that man, but I try and remind myself that the determination and organization need to come from myself as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and comment! You make a really excellent point — I really appreciate the perspective. And you are so right that ultimately the will power has to be internally driven. Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re welcome! And as for the cost, I appear to have initially misread the website. It says $45, and I had assumed that was a monthly, or perhaps yearly license fee, but so far I can’t find anything to suggest that it’s a recurring cost. I had assumed it would be priced in the hundreds of dollars per year, like a lot of good quality software is. But if the lifetime fee is truly only $45 (which I’d be shocked if that were all), then so far it seems very reasonable!


  4. […] I downloaded the free trial of Scrivener the other night, and as much as it definitely does have a not-so-user-friendly learning curve, I’m already in love. For a while — and by “a while,” I mean months and months — my novel’s story line development and world building has really stagnated. […]


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