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My Favorite Writing Things - Scrivener for PC

Liz here: 
Last week, Jen gave you an introduction to Scrivener for Mac. There are some differences between Mac and PC, but everything Jen said Scrivener can do in Mac, you can do in PC. I love how organized it keeps me. I love how you can color code your folders. I'm so visual, it's perfect for me. 

The right hand side of Scrivener is useful too. On this side, you'll find the inspector pane. This pane has several different views. The one I have open on this screen shot shows the notepad section. 
Here, I can see my note card with the synopsis on it, change the label and status of the document, and take both project and document notes. 

Other tabs in the inspector pane allow you to define custom meta-data, set keywords, and insert comments like you would in Word. One of my favorite features of the inspector pane is the snapshot tool. Not sure if you're going to like the changes you're about to make to your document? Want to have a back-up just in case? 

All you have to do is take a snapshot, which is as simple as clicking on the plus button under the camera tab. You then title your snapshot. If you decide you don't like the changes and want to return to the original version, you click on roll back. It's really that simple! 

Now, let's say you've finished your chapter or manuscript, and need to save it in Word. All you do is click the compile button, check which documents you want to include, name the file, and you're all set. It takes seconds to turn your Scrivener file into a Word file, ready for sending to crit partners or to an editor. 

3There is so much more to Scrivener than either Jen or I can introduce to you in this limited space. If you take the plunge and get Scrivener, I'd also recommend Learn Scrivener Fast. This is a comprehensive tutorial to help you get the most out of the program. It shows you how to do everything you need to in Scrivener, plus lots of little tips and tricks. And once you buy it, you'll always have access to it online, so you can refresh your memory if you need to. The link for it is to the right, just under the Scrivener links.

Happy writing! 

These are a few of my favorite (writing) things.

Jen here:

This month on Pencildancers we are talking about our favorite writing tools. I’m going to cheat and give you two, both of which I’ve come to rather recently.

Before a few years ago, if you’d asked me what my favorite writing tools were I would have said my trusty Mac, MS Word, and a handful of writing books. My Mac and the books would still be on the list, but MS Word has been replaced by Scrivener (see the link in the right side bar to go to their website and find out more).

Scrivener is a powerful tool for writers because it is the electronic equivalent of a giant binder. You can have sections for your manuscript, sections for websites, research, all those character sketch forms you use, photos, etc.

I used to keep all of that stuff in a giant binder and in folders in my filing cabinet and in folders on my computer. I couldn’t always remember where I’d gotten a particular piece of research or what that photo was about. Now I can keep it all in Scrivener. There are Mac and PC versions. They are slightly different. I will be talking about the Mac version.

I love that I can import a web page directly into Scrivener and it still functions as a web page. This is huge for research. Here’s how you do it. File>Import>Web Page.

I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

The second thing that is awesome about Scrivener is that it visually lets you see your whole story. If you follow a three-act structure in your novels, you can color code your folders to correspond to the acts. In this example, from Coming Home, I have yellow for Act I, blue for Act II, and green for Act III. This gives me a good visual overview of my story arc. 

Additionally, I color code the individual scenes by POV so I can see if each character is appearing as often as they need to be.

It sure beats the Excel spreadsheets I used to keep!

I said I’d give you two tools. The second is Toggl. It is great for keeping track of your time. You might not think this is a big deal, but knowing how you spend your time is the best way to make adjustments in your productivity. Toggl works on the desktop, your phone, and your browser, all syncing to keep track of your time. I have about 5-8 categories I dump my time into, and it has been quite enlightening to see where I spend my time on during the day.

Hope that helps. Come back next week to see what other resources the Pencildancers are loving.
Click to Tweet Scrivener is that it visually lets you see your whole story.

Grammarly a Great Tool

Diana here:

Ask writers which tool they use the most or can’t do without and you’ll get a different answer from each one.

For me, is a necessity. They have a free version and a paid version.  You would think a writer would be well-schooled in grammar, right?

Yes and no.

I write the way I talk. I pause when I’m thinking about what to say (comma) and get extremely wordy when I’m excited. (wordiness) And then there’s the Midwest upbringing that pops out of my mouth that has to be corrected. Ya know? And ending a sentence with a preposition happens all too often as in, let the cat out.

Again, I know how to fix these problem areas when I see them but they hide from me. When I read my work it sounds fine. lets me know when I need to rethink what I’ve written.

This shouldn’t be a big deal because I have amazing critique partners and they catch a lot of my mistakes. Since I’ve started using they’ve had to spend less time correcting my grammar issues allowing them to give me better critiques about the story I’m writing.

And then…

There is social media. Nothing like a writer posting an amazing paragraph full of errors on their author page. catches those for me as long as I use it on the computer. It doesn’t work on my phone. I blame those errors on the small keyboard and screen as I don’t see them until I log in on the computer.

So what does this amazing program do? It catches grammar errors in my emails, social media, blog posts and in Word documents. For it to work inside of Word you must buy a subscription. But the free version does have a workaround that is explained on the site.

What tool do you like?

Tweet this: Grammarly is a great #wrting tool
Check out more reviews for Grammarly