For our 15th anniversary, my husband bought me Scrivener. After it was installed, I just stared at the screen, unsure of what to do.  I completed the tutorial and looked at the massive manual and suddenly felt ill equipped for the task at hand. I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I love what it’s capable of, but hate learning new tech skills. I’m slow and my husband teases me, he’s a techo wizard. All I can do is remember the vile Com Pewter from the Piers Anthony novels.

I’ve had Scrivener for a month and I am slowly getting used to how it works. My version is for Windows and most of the reference materials are for the Mac version. Of course! At the moment I like it.

A few helpful references for those just starting out:

  • Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez – this is mainly for Mac but is useful for Windows as well. The author offers classes for Scrivener on her website. I’m thinking about taking one later. If you have taken one, I’m interested in what you thought of the class. I use this book by working through the chapters and trying out what I read.
  • Here’s a handy cheat sheet with shortcuts. Very useful.
  • YouTube. Really, how did society function without YouTube? If you search for Scrivener you will hit dozens of tutorials, again most are for Mac. Time frame ranges from a short 7 minutes to over an hour. You can slim down the offerings by searching for a specific question about Scrivener.

There are also dozens if not hundreds of blog/sales reviews of Scrivener. It’s hard to tell which posts are by actual users and which are paid affiliates.


I have learned how to:

  • import a mauscript
  • divide the MS into chapters, still trying to figure out scenes
  • use the cork board for plotting
  • toyed with the reference folder


Problems I’ve had:

  • I backup everything. Trying to backup my Scrivener MS on a thumb drive was problematic and I still don’t have that mastered.  My techno wizard has instructed me to save on the laptop and then on a separate saving device in case the laptop is destroyed by an angry dragon. I think he may be calling me a dragon, but I’m not sure. So this glitch, mine or scrivener’s, is something I must overcome.

Like I said, I’ve only had it for a month. The more I use it the easier it will become. I hope.

Have you tried Scrivener? Any helpful tips?



One thought on “Scrivener

  1. I tried Scrivner when it was in Beta for the Windows version (Mac came first, many years before it hit Windows). I loved it. And one day I hope to have it on Red (my laptop). However, I keep spending my money on other things (like my payments on Red). I’ll have it someday! Good to know Youtube will be there for me when I do. 😉


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