Thanks, Scrivener. Why would I thank a program?

On the seventh day of Christmas…

Having tossed the original idea of the twelve days of Christmas away, I’m counting down the twelve days before Christmas to offer my gratitude for the people and things that make the writing life possible for me.

Today it’s Scrivener.

Most everyone I know who writes anything on a keyboard—from a proposal to a news article to a plan for getting the backyard re-landscaped—composes with Word. Mac users like me may use Pages and then export it for all the Word-users in the world.

But to write novels, I use Scrivener. I don’t use it very well. I’m sure I’m missing some of its key features.

But to put together 65,000 or 75,000 words into chapters, to plot and outline, to collect research, to make comments, to keep back-ups safe and sound, I use Scrivener.

Introduced the first year I won National Novel Writing Month (reaching the goal of 50,000 words of a novel), a discounted version was one of the prizes. I took advantage of it and haven’t looked back.

I like it. Even though it’s complicated, a little wonky to use, and though it has more features than I need, I like what I get out of Scrivener.

And that is….order.

I know where everything is for the book I’m working on. My chapters are lined up, scenes follow as they should. I can keep the synopsis straight, make sure I’m hitting the beats in key scenes, and if all goes well, write a book worth reading.

The work is mine but the framework keeping me going is Scrivener. Thanks, to all the brains that made this possible.

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