The Ultimate Writer Software - Scrivener
I've been using Scrivener for about two months now. It might not seem like long but trust me, one week was all it took for me to become acquainted with the software and I bought it without waiting for any discounts.
How was I introduced to this godly writing software that so many professional writers swear by? Watch my stream with Grand Void Daoist.
Patreons to credit: -This could be you. Join now.-
If you want to know the pros and cons of Scrivener, there are plenty of reviews from different writers on the internet. However, if you want to know how it could help a Webnovel author, watch that stream. Grand Void Daoist did a fantastic job elaborating the functions that webnovelist would use commonly.
Personally, this blog is going to be a slightly more chaotic review of Scrivener. Presently, I only use Scrivener to archive the Godfather World series because I have too many levels of plotting, outlines, and character profiles. I use the software as an offline database or encyclopaedia for my world and trust me, I needed that.
#1: How long it took to get used to Scrivener?
I'm not super IT savvy but I have a brother who does engineering and programming. I didn't ask for his help but I searched a lot of Youtube videos and relied on Scrivener's guidebook.
Transferring the data was a mind-numbing pain I don't want to think about ever again. I don't think most webnovel authors do things the way I do but here was what I had to transfer:
2 seasons of raw manuscript (I dub them master manuscripts as they were not split by chapters)
Character profiles (about 30 unique characters, excluding NPC because I fucked up and had to spend 2 days adding them later on while re-reading seasons 1 and 2)
3 seasons of arc outline
100 dungeon level quest outlines & monster profiles
After the transferring of data that took way too long, I had to format and reorganise things in my Scrivener. It took way too long while I toyed with the dark mode setting and changed the font presets to my liking. Moreover, I like having multiple screens pulled up so I eventually found an editor mode that allowed a table of contents at the side and two main screens.
The transfer made me realise how messy the outline for season 3 was and I had to rewrite the entirety of its plot outline and create new categories for the character profiles I made previously because it was getting ridiculously long and cluttered on the side table of contents panel.
That's an example of how it looks now in Scrivener. It's not fully expanded and only part of the character profile is shown as I could not find a way to fully screenshot the side panel and scroll. it's dreadfully long.
#2: What made me decide to switch and purchase?
Firstly, opening several 800 paged google documents did not sit well with my computer. Even if I had a powerful processor, it still overheated. That was how I had to send my relatively new and expensive laptop back to the warranty centre to get everything replaced. The motherboard and hard disk were faulty but I don't know about that.
Secondly, the storage management was better so I started mass dumping picture drafts. That ended up becoming the best decision because referencing (with double screens) made the job so much easier. The only problem I faced was the lack of Grammarly extension compatibility with Scrivener. However, my main purpose was to use Scrivener as central storage for my series and it worked exactly how I needed it to be in terms of categorising, customisation and ease of reference.
That was what made me scramble for money to purchase the official license. Of course, I bought it using the money from my awesome Patreons. It was the decision that dramatically improved my writing experience for complex series.
#3: The functions that saved my life.
As mentioned above, there are several Scrivener functions that made working on a complex series much simpler. Firstly, the level of categories and customisation I get from Scrivener is not replicable using other software.
This is my actual setup on Scrivener as you can see. I like everything in one place that I can easily access. Dame Butterfly once told me it looked chaotic but honestly, I prefer if it had a few more panels to work with. It's a replica of my mental state when I plan although there is a space constraint in Scrivener. Yet, this is the best software I can find that matches my working style best.