Scrivener Is an Excellent Organizational Tool for Writers

Hello my furry friends and not-so-furry people! We finally had a little bit of rain here in New England. It made for great days to play indoors. Of course, James doesn’t appreciate it when I play inside, but….

So, while I was playing with my toys and distracting James from his writing, he was spending time taking a tutorial on how to use Scrivener. What is Scrivener, I can hear you asking? I have been told on the best authority (yes, I knew that would get me a treat) that it is a writing tool, and not simply any device. It comes with all kinds of beeps and squeaks.

(Logo borrowed from

Well, James found a writing contest to distract him from his novel (okay, I won’t go there again, at least not anytime soon) that required a screenplay. James had already written a play, yet wasn’t sure if a screenplay was written in the same manner. While searching online how one is formatted, James noticed that Scrivener was recommended as one of several software options to aid in creating a screenplay.

(Borrowed from website)

Last November James had participated, to my detriment (ouch, well, it’s true) in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Since he was a winner, which means he wrote the required 50,000 words during November, he was given a discount on downloading the Scrivener software. He took advantage of that discount, and he’s now glad he did. In fact, if you, too, have an offer to get Scriveners, James recommends that you grab it. Full disclosure, James has no, none, nada affiliation with Scrivener. (SCORE a “yuge” – as The Donald would say – treat).

(Borrowed from their website)

During the tutorial, James ran to find me (I was cooling myself on the slate floor on the back terrace) and said that there was a section, all be it small, on writing screenplays. All he had to do was to choose “Scriptwriting” under the “Format” tab and then “Script-Mode, Screenplay.” It was that simple.


Within that format, there are multiple options (the beeps and squeaks mentioned above) such as character, parenthetical, action, etc. Each one of these options places the cursor (James told me that is the vertical bar that pulsates – okay, I don’t get it either, but maybe you do) exactly within the screenplay where you want to begin typing. It made James’ life so easy, and my life a quite one since I wouldn’t have to listen to how frustrated he can get when trying to…. (Okay, sorry. James can be so sensitive.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah. So James banged out the first fifteen pages of the screenplay and wrote a synopsis. James says that’s a one page overview of what the story is about from beginning to end – I’m not sure how that works, but I trust James. (Double score, a double treat). He then submitted both to the contest and was told he would hear back in seven to fourteen days.

Well, it’s sixteen days since he submitted and he’s still waiting to hear. Then again, who’s counting the days? James knows that it is highly probable that nothing will happen with the screenplay he’s begun, which will mean he can get back to his novel. (His dear friend Kathy, a lawyer, is reading it and will have editing comments for him later this month.) In the final analysis, James says Scrivener is an ideal tool for writers. Whether working on a screenplay, novel (fiction) or memoir (non-fiction), Scrivener has a format for every writer.

The other day James was participating in a webinar (news to me, but James says it’s an online seminar) that was similar to the tutorial offered by Scrivener. The leader of the seminar was Joseph Michael, known as “the world’s greatest Scrivener coach,” and hosted by K.M. Weiland. It covered multiple topics from reviewing how Scrivener appears to some of the key tools a writer can use to make their life easier while writing. In a nutshell (It could be fun leaving some of these shells lying around so I could catch a chipmunk or squirrel), Scrivener is an organizational tool. It has “folders” that house drafts, research, templates and more.

James realizes that he has only peeked inside what Scrivener has to offer while working on his screenplay. He’s looking forward to using it more often. One thing he did tell me was that he’s going to take baby steps. (How, as an old man, he’s going to do that, I’ll never know – ouch!) What he says he means is that he’ll take it one writing project at a time until he’s comfortable with the software. I imagine, now that I know what he meant, that it’s a fantastic idea to take his time. (Yes, a treat and a belly rub!)

Oh, and James this very moment received an email that says Scrivener is on sale through 8-August. There is an eleven percent discount from $45 to $39.99. It may be cheaper at another time, but if you are interested, you can get this offer here. There is also a thirty-day free trial of which you might be interested in taking advantage – or so James tells me.

Let us know if you have tried Scrivener? If so, what is your opinion of it? If not, why not? Would you consider using it? I know for James it took a swift kick in – (What? That’s not a dirty word! Okay, but don’t delete that cause I want my friends to know how you censor me.) As I was saying, it took a jab in the side (is that better?) to get him to begin to use it.

I always enjoy hearing from you, so please leave a comment on this blog post about this or anything at all.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)

Paw Prints courtesy of
All photos © James Stack 2016 unless otherwise indicated

5 thoughts on “Scrivener Is an Excellent Organizational Tool for Writers

  1. Interesting to know how the screenplay option works. I’ve been playing with Scrivener off and on (mostly off) since finishing NaNoWriMo back in November. It seems like it will be really helpful once I actually commit to it. So … one of my writing retreat projects is to finally import the chapters and notes for the book I’ve been working on. Fingers are crossed – and I hope you get good news on your screenplay!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. James has yet to use for his current novel that is almost complete (around draft 10). However, he’s seriously considering it for 1st draft novel he wrote during NaNoWriMo since he hasn’t even looked at it since. At least he’ll give it a try.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never tired Scrivener. Why? Cost is one (small) factor. The fact that I am anything but tech-savvy is another factor. I figure it would take me so long to figure out all the “beeps and squeaks” that I would be ancient before I could actually start using it. Wait, what am I saying? I’m already ancient!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know this won’t get me a treat, but James is already ancient (okay, I wanted to make Marge feel good), and he was able to figure it out. He’s also less than tech-savvy (in fact, he’s tech-challenged), and if he could do it, so can you. Tell Dragon I said hello.


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