Learning to use Scrivener: Part 1

Hi, everyone! Paul here today to talk about Scrivener. For those of you not familiar with Scrivener, it is (according the Literature and Latte website) “a powerful content-generation tool for writers that that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents.” This is a program specifically designed for writers. I researched Scrivener for quite some time before making the decision to purchase it. I had a lot of questions: was it that much better than Word? Would I use enough of the features to make it worthwhile? And, most importantly, would I even understand it enough to use it? Let’s take a look at what I’ve learned so far, shall we?

I have always been kind of a beginning-to-end writer. I like to compose a rough outline so I know where I want to go and how to get there. From there, I start typing my rough draft from the opening lines to the end of the project. With Scrivener I have had a whole new way to write opened up to me. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but it is true. Scrivener allows you to break up your text into different pieces and then organize them all in one program. I wasn’t sure how much I would use this function when I purchased Scrivener. To be honest, this wasn’t a factor in giving myself the green light to buy, but more on that later.



I realized the value of this function when I started inputting all of my random ideas for my next book. If you’re like me, you tend to end up with scraps of paper, napkins, and whatever else is nearby covered in scribbles when an idea strikes you. Well, I usually keep all of these “notes” in a folder as I begin work on a project. Needless to say, it is tedious and difficult to turn those thoughts into a cohesive document. Scrivener proved to be lifesaver in this regard. I was able to create separate folders for each idea. In each folder I created text and notes that housed my ideas. My intent was to organize all of these random ideas into one document so they would be at my fingertips when I started writing. To my amazement, I realized that a rough outline was already in place when I looked at all of the folders I had created. I can add to them and move them around as I see fit.

So, to wrap up this post, I have to say that now I am really excited to begin writing this project. I have a rough outline, and I am totally confident that I will be able to create and write scenes and chapters out of sequence. I will be able to view the project as it comes to together and then identify what it needs to complete it. If you’re considering Scrivener, I hope this helps. There is so many tools and functions that I still have a lot to learn. I’ll try to keep posting my thoughts on Scrivener for your benefit. My next post will cover the reason I actually decided to purchase Scrivener! Until next time…


Paul R. Hewlett

Paul R. Hewlett

Paul R. Hewlett is the author of the Lionel's Grand Adventure Series, beginning chapter books for children. He is also the co-author of the kidlit blog Sher A. Hart: Written Art. His debut book, Lionel and the Golden Rule, was released in December of 2011. He released his second book, Lionel's Christmas Adventure, in November of 2012. You can learn more about Paul and his books at his website: paulrhewlett.weebly.com.


  1. Scrivener sounds pretty good, but I wound up using Word since I always carry my usb stick with all my chapters around with me. That way I can jump onto any nearby computer that has Word on it and work on my story.

    • Hi, Ken!
      Great to hear from you. That is one thing I’ve thought about while using Scrivener. If another user doesn’t have it, then what? I have to learn more about that. I hope all is well.


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