It may surprise those of you who know me personally, but I’ve written four novels. None of them are published yet, but that’s coming. I just know it.
And recently, I have a new secret weapon for writing the next breakout novel (!), and I want to share it with you. For anyone who writes regularly—anything from blog posts to novels–let me recommend an awesome little software program known as Scrivener (@ScrivenerApp).
Unlike word processors which essentially exist to record your words, Scrivener is designed to help you record your thoughts AND your words. It works the way my mind does, gathering bits of information here and there as my stories evolve. But unlike my brain, it keeps all of the information in a place where I can actually find it when I want it later. It’s like the big three-ring binders I used to use, but a whole lot faster and more convenient.  
Scrivener has changed the way I write. The visual elements alone were, for me, revolutionary. There is a corkboard for little note cards, an outliner, templates for character sketches, and folders for recording information about scenes. I can clip and save photos, text, maps and more from the internet, or just record the link. There’s even a name generator that lets you choose information about the origin of the character.
The folder that contains my actual manuscript records chapter headings, chapter descriptions, scene and POV information and…wait for it…Scrivener can take all of the information and put it together into the correct manuscript format for a number of publishing goals. It will even produce a synopsis using meta-data you’ve entered for each chapter.
As of writing this post, the cost to purchase the full version of Scrivener for either Windows or Mac was only $40! If you aren’t certain Scrivener is for you, then you can get the free trial and take it for a test drive. I bet you’ll decide to stick with it. With National Novel Writing Month in full swing, can you afford NOT to have Scrivener?
A special thanks to KM Weiland (@kmweiland) for featuring Scrivener on her blog (, and to Joseph Michael (@ScrivenerCoach) for his free Scrivener webinar ( It was a fantastic introduction to Scrivener for a newbie like me. You can learn more about Joseph Michael here (

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