Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Learning about Scrivener for e-writers

I cope with a lot of delays in my long-term writing projects, but given my hectic daily schedule and other unpredictable non-writing events I am sure that not the software or any technical shortcomings are responsible for that. However, trying to find inspiration, I registered the last week for a Webinar explaining Scrivener for writers, introduced by Joanna Penn and presented by the expert Joseph Michael.
Although I was relatively familiar with the software, I was a bit sceptical at the beginning  that I will be able to learn too many new things in the one hour of the webinar. However, the lesson was very well structured that I went far beyond the basic understanding of the system, to detailed directions for saving the book in the proper format for Kindle or ePub or other type of devices. 

Better time management

For the moment, all my writing projects are organized - it's a way of saying - in Word Docs. After I finish the first draft, I add almost twice the quantity of words and content while working the second draft. I am not very well organized and my ideas are often jumping from a topic to another. Or my documentation is done for various topics that should be added separately after. Scrivener makes possible an immediate conversion of the Word text, that, in addition, can be elegantly separated into separate sections and chapters. Such a wise management will help later on, when the document will be prepared for e-publication. Pictures can be also added easily to the text, not only for the cover. 
Once you have the text split, you can add, change and create new content within minutes. The documents can be saved as 'first'/'second' etc. draft allowing the user to see the progress and operate proper changes if necessary. More than that, you can set a board to check the progress of your writing, up to the objectives you established, the daily progress and the final number of words you achieved. The available formats will automatically help to create the proper matrix for different types of writing requirements: non-fiction, fiction, scriptwriting, poetry.

Saving money too

Let's say that now you are done and can't wait to add a new title to your writing portfolio. If you want to selfpublish online, there is a very important step to make: formatting. The scary word for many beginners writers, when the funds are scarce. Scrivener saves and allows the formatting of your book in different formats, within minutes, without additional costs or difficult hair splitting. Watching online the explanations offered by Joseph Michael, I realized that everything is a matter of practice: the more you write the faster you will be able to create the right format for your book. 
Are you using Evernote for doing the basic research? Another good news is that you can automatically integrate it into the bigger document and use the information. 
Scrivener, praised in 2010 as one of the top best writing applications, can be freely tested for 30 days, enough time to consider if a further investment is necessary.

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