The Program I Use to Write Novels

This post is not sponsored or an advertisement. It’s a response to a question that I’ve been asked. The program I use to write novels, specifically my current work-in-progress, is Scrivener. Key features make me prefer it over MS Word or Google Docs, and I use it for almost all of my writing projects.

The binder is the first feature I adore. There’s a left-hand column where I can organize the book into separate documents and even folders. This allows me to create chapters and even scenes, move them around easily, and see where I’m at in the process. A research folder is automatically created. Your word count doesn’t include that information.

Projects statistics and targets are the next must-haves. There’s a word count listed at the bottom of each document, but as noted above, a manuscript can be broken into several documents. Using project tools allows me to find out how large the total MS is. I can set a word count goal for the overall project, or for a single writing session, and it will alert me when I’ve reached it.

The right-hand sidebar shows document notes. Toggling the display shows project notes. This feature is handy. I want to remember where I was headed with a scene or chapter when I have to stop writing. It’s also handy for noting research I need to do, when I don’t want to break the flow to go look something up.

The Program I Use to Write Novels

There are tons of other features, but those are the ones I use the most. It has its drawbacks, too. The spellcheck is crap, as is the search function. Overall, though, it’s a solid tool. Scrivener allows me to organize the work-in-progress. I don’t invite distractions by having to shift to other programs or open other documents.

Okay reader, what programs do you use write your novel? You don’t have to be a participant in The Merry Writer game to play along here!

The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

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