Scrivener is such a wonderful thing. The secret is in the way it fools you into thinking it is a program exactly as complicated or simple as you need it. If you’re a writer who likes to tinker, who wants the right font, who needs sections, chapters, scenes, who plans with index cards, who keeps research close at hand, who puts pictures to characters and settings, Scrivener can be that for you. If you’re a writer who only wants a big blank space to write, Scrivener can be that for you, too. If you’re a writer like me, somewhere in the middle, who wants the blank space and the sections, Scrivener is that for you.

Everything I’ve written in the last two years has gone through Scrivener, whether it started somewhere else (like a notebook, Drafts, email, Google Drive) to be imported or whether it was written to be exported somewhere else (like OpenOffice for formatting), I don’t write without Scrivener. I use it like a To Do List, except that my To Dos are plot points and scenes. Every day, I write (at least) a thousand words. If a story is going to be 20,000 words long, I need 20 sections. Each section contains a few sentences of my To Do List, and each day, I make a thousand words out of those few sentences. Repeat until done. Until I’m done, I never look at the whole book. I never see the words that came before. I see only the section I need to write today. That’s as complicated as I can handle or else I’d never make it to the end of the book. Scrivener is that for me.