Thursday, June 12, 2014

Writing Process with Scrivener

After talking to many, many writers, I've realized that our creative process can take many forms. We've all heard the discussions on seat-of-the-pants writing versus the outliner, and then of course some writers fall into the middle of the process.

After seventeen years of writing, I recently started using a new tool called Scivener. It boosts that it can organize your creativity, something I can always use! And as a writer, I've found that the more organized I am, the faster I can write. But it still took me a while to jump in and try out the program, because to be honest, I'm pretty set in how I do things.

What made me decide to buy the program was the fact that after going through the tutorial video, I found that it worked very much the way my mind worked. I've used an excel spread sheet for years to organize my chapters, characters, and word count. Sciverner takes this to a new level and has helped me keep everything together in one place instead of using word and excel and having to flip through folder after folder. This is something I really like. 

I still have a lot to learn though about the program. For now, I like the fact that I can easily move chapters around. I like that I can have folders of my characters with photos at a click of a button. And I really like that my research notes are more easily accessible. In fact, everything is right there at my fingertips which saves time and really does keep me more organized.

I know, though, that there is still many things about the program I still need to discover. If you use Scrivner, I'd love to know what you like about the program. What do you like the best about it? Any gems you've discovered that you'd like to share?

If you don't know about the program--or maybe you've heard about it and haven't tried it yet--do you have any questions? 

If you want to learn more about it you can visit their website. You can also get a free trial to see if you like it. 

Would love to hear what you think!


BIO: Lisa Harris is a two-time Christy Award finalist (Blood Ransom and Dangerous Passage) and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has sold over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization, The ECHO Project, that works alongside their church-planting ministry. 

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. To find out more about her books you can visit


  1. I need some sort of organization, Lisa. I'm going to head to their website and see whether It works the way my mind works...but I very much doubt that!

  2. Let us know what you think, Rita!

  3. I've used Scrivener for several years and love it. The best thing I did was to take an online course with Gwen Hernandez. She offers it twice a year, I believe. She has also written Scrivener for Dummies. I don't have it b/c I printed off my course notes, but I think it would be worth it. She also recently offered a more in-depth course on Compile for Scrivener. I recommend checking it out.

  4. This is very timely, Lisa. Thank you. I've been contemplating (some might call it procrastinating) investing in it for a while now. I haven't heard an author not find it beneficial.

    Thanks for the kick up the backside, Lisa.

  5. I was a bit like you, Ian, needed a kick as well, but am glad I did. Still need to learn more about what it can do, but so far the learning curve has been pretty up front and easy! Happy writing!

  6. I moved to Scrivener about a month ago. I love it! One of the things I really like is being able to take a snapshot of a scene before plunging into major revisions so it is always there to go back to if I change my mind. I used to have a folder of deleted scenes to sort through when I wanted something back. I also like having the urls to the sites I have used for research readily available. Scrivener has character and location templates built in, but you can also create your own. I cut and pasted the interview document I have been accumulating for years into a template, so I never have to worry about answering several questions in depth before I realize I forgot to save as a specific document and have been altering my template. I'm sure none of the rest of you ever do that ...

    It would have been worth it at their regular price of 70 USD, but I found it for 45.