Day 16: Scrivener
DAY 16: SCRIVENER
Overcome The Major Flaw Of Most Word Processors That Keeps You From Finishing Your Novel
Scrivener Is Writing Software Made Exclusively To Work With Your Creative Process — Not Against It
Writing is a messy craft.
You don’t start with “once upon a time” and write all the way through to “the end.”
The process looks a little more like this:
Day 1: Write an opener.
Day 2: Develop a character’s backstory.
Day 6: Rewrite your opener.
Day 7: Get very lost in research about the history of Rome, but take some notes you think will be helpful.
Day 21: Give the character from Day 2 an entirely different name and backstory.
Day 39: Finally reach a chapter where you can use your Rome research. Spend 3 hours looking for it. Realize you’re never going to find it. Change the setting to Greece and hope it still works.
If you use a conventional word processor, your different chunks of writing are scattered across different files, pages, comments, you name it.
Tracking down all the different pieces can become as difficult as the writing itself.
I know I have some incredible notes about Roman philosophers in 3rd century B.C., but I’ve searched my entire computer and can’t find my notes anywhere…
Depending on what you lose, it’s not just inconvenient, it’s potentially disastrous.
No matter what you’re writing, your success depends on having the information you need, where you need it, when you need it, so you can use it to write something amazing.
The #1 Problem With Most Word Processors
Most word processors aren’t designed to allow your natural creative process to express itself.
They’re created to store words. That’s it.
Because writers work in chunks, they need software that not only stores those chunks, but organizes them in a way that lets you keep track of them and access them quickly.
You know when you’ve been writing for what feels like 30 minutes, only to look up and realize 3 hours have passed?
That’s when your best writing happens.
Conventional word processors can kick you out of that state when you’re looking for character development notes or a passage you know was really good but you can’t seem to find.
Write In Chunks. Save & Find Them Easily.
Scrivener is like a digital binder that lets you organize everything about a writing project.
That means everything you need to finish your novel is all in one place: notes, research, random ideas, pictures, webpages, and more.
Here are some of the features writers love most:
It’s exactly what you think it is.
A digital corkboard that lets you jot down notes and drag and drop them into a structure that makes sense for you.
Visualize your best ideas all at once, and rearrange them however you want.
Tags, Colors, and Icons
Scrivener lets you color code your notes, research, and chapters.
Use them in whatever way makes sense to your brain.
Color-code chapters, characters, or different points of view.
Tag research as “helpful for now” or “helpful for later.”
Use icons to indicate which part of your outline corresponds to your work-in-progress.
About to take your story in a whole new direction and not sure how it will turn out?
Take a snapshot to save your work before you conduct a major word-surgery. Then, if you don’t like the results, revert back to the snapshot like nothing ever happened.
Got specific information you know you need to develop for every character?
Create a character template that has info about characters’ professions, relationships, upbringing, you name it.
Just you and the words. Nothing else.
Use full-screen mode to eliminate distractions and finally get to work.
It’s Not Just A Word Processor. What Scrivener Really Is.
Scrivener lets your creative process express itself naturally.
Instead of conforming your process to a conventional word processor, Scrivener was designed to conform to how your brain works when you’re writing.
That means it’s designed to let you take all the ideas jumping around in your brain and put them into a format that actually makes sense.
So you can go from “work-in-progress” to “work-in-print” as painlessly as possible.
Scrivener: Designed To Help You Do What Most Writers Can’t.
Becoming a successful writer is much more about the desire burning inside you than any tool or program you use.
But if you’ve got that desire — why not give it the best tools to express itself?
Why not use everything at your disposal to get to that day where you write “the end?”
With features that conform to the way your creative process works, Scrivener was designed to help you do that thing writers seem to struggle with most:
Try Scrivener Free For 30 Days
Don’t put your creativity into a box any longer.
Your mind was designed to generate ideas. Scrivener is designed to capture those ideas so you can create something beautiful with them.
Try it free for 30 days to see what it feels like to work with your creative process — not against it.
[Try Scrivener Free for 30 Days]
I’m learning that how smoothly each letter goes depends on how much research I do the night before.
No research = A lot of pain the next day
A lot of research = Very little pain the next day
Today, I wrote about a writing tool called Scrivener. I’d worked on a blog post about Scrivener for a client before, so I was pretty familiar with it before starting the research last night, but it was fun to dig into customer reviews and learn more about the selling propositions of Scrivener instead of just its functionality.
Who is the Customer?
The customer is an aspiring author; in this case, a novelist. The customer isn’t a novice writer. They know their creative process works, and they’ve been writing long enough to know that they don’t exactly love conventional word processors.
When I was looking through Amazon reviews of Scrivener, I looked at the other reviews a few people had written (besides their Scrivener reviews), which was very helpful.
When writing about a product, I think there’s a tendency to overplay its importance in someone’s life and present whatever problem it solves as the only problem they’re experiencing, which isn’t always the case.
It was good to realize that these people were indeed 3-dimensional. They don’t just care about writing. They have other hobbies and passions, too.
Customer Level of Awareness & Sophistication
This customer is either unaware or problem-aware. I think the letter could potentially work in both cases.
For the unaware customer, it brings attention to the problem solved by Scrivener.
For the problem-aware customer, it validates that there is actually a problem and presents the solution.
Big Idea + Rationale
The big idea is that the creative process is messy and that conventional word processors aren’t designed to accommodate the messiness of creativity.
Big Promise + Rationale
The big promise is that Scrivener was created specifically to take the jumble of ideas in the customer’s brain and help organize them in a way that will actually lead to progress on their writing project.
Toward the end, most sales letter templates call for a description of “the consequences of not taking action” or something similar.
Today, I realized that I have a tough time doing that tactfully. It’s a tough thing to do without coming off as “preachy.”
I haven’t identified a perfect answer yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know.
On that note, presenting the consequences on inaction seems like an odd thing to do for a software product sales page. In general, they focus heavily on features, so getting into an emotional narrative feels a bit unnatural.
I’m sure there’s a way to do it tactfully, but again, I haven’t found that answer yet.
Additionally, I think there’s something I need to be asking myself more when I write these:
Am I convinced? Would I buy this?
Because Scrivener is a product that would absolutely be beneficial for me. I almost downloaded it last night after reading customer reviews. But I’m not sure the letter I wrote today would take me from “I’m interested” to “Sign me up!”