Writing a Novel with Scrivener

There are many ways you can write a novel, from pen and paper to using a typewriter through to using Microsoft Word or some other program. Scrivener is a piece of software that is designed specifically for the task of writing – so what does it do differently?

All Kinds of Writing

The main part of Scrivener is, of course, a kind of word processor. You can type in words, edit, spellcheck, all the usual stuff. However, it also has a built-in notebook, allowing you to store snippets of text, images, website links, and so on.

It’s not the same as a note app like Evernote as it allows you to use the word processor and link in to these notes, arranging them onscreen as you like.

You can also create sections of text from sentences through paragraphs to whole chapters, and quickly and visually rearrange them. It makes editing a breeze, and allows you to write sections as you think of them. It’s truly useful for just getting the words written as the tidying-up can happen later.

Quite simply, it’s easy to go from an outline to a complete draft no matter what you are writing.

And when everything is finally to your satisfaction, you can export it in a variety of formats to print, email, share, or upload.

Is Scrivener Portable?

Scrivener is available for Windows, macOS, and iOS, so you can use it on a large number of devices including iPads and iPhones. You can sync through Dropbox to carry on working on any compatible device you own, but don’t try syncing with iCloud – it just doesn’t play nice.

Would You Write a Novel with Scrivener?

Personally, I never have. I used an earlier version of Scrivener on Windows and found it to be quite buggy and prone to crashing – it seems to be a Mac-focused program that just happens to also run on Windows. I don’t know if that’s a fact, but it looks that way to me!

When it works, it’s fantastic at what it does. However, I prefer knocking out rough drafts in Word, yWriter (a personal fave with many Scrivener features included), or even Google Docs if I’m feeling brave.

So, no, I wouldn’t – but you might, so certainly give the trial a go!