For several years now, Mac users had the ability to use Scrivener and Windows users were left to fret and be jealous, and organize their stuff as best they could. Until now!!!
Literature & Latte has officially announced on its web site that the Windows version of Scrivener will be available in November 2010 in its beta version (in time for NaNoWriMo) and the full-fledged, official version will be available in Winter 2011.
What is Scrivener?
It's an award-winning program for writers - providing online tools to help writers write. It's not an alternative to Word (which editors prefer - editing with their authors via Track Changes), but a way to organize and structure your work in process. For many, it is a beloved part of their routine (check out the New York Times review here).
How? Scrivener is a software package that (1) breaks down big documents into bits, so they are easier to manage, while also (2) giving you an outlining tool and (3) a corkboard, both for purposes of outlining your work -- and (4) enabling you to tag it with your research (images, PDFs) for crossreferencing. Once you've got the book written, or the thesis complete, Scrivener lets you pull it all together into a single file or document, which you can export into Word.
According to the Scrivener website, look for the beta to be available around October 25, 2010. The site promises free copies for those willing to work in beta, helping flush out the last few bugs in the system. Once it's finalized, Scrivener for Windows will cost $40 and it will work on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Also, if you have the guts and energy to have a validated 50,000 word count at NaNoWriMo this year, Scirvener will offered to you at half-price: Literature & Latte is promising a 50% discount coupon for its new Windows version as a NaNoWriMo incentive. Cool, right?
Check It Out For Yourself
The web site has a video (5 minutes of your time) that goes over the basics. For an example of how an award-winning, multipublished author uses Scrvener, check out Robin Lee Hatcher's description of her process here.
How I'm Going to Use Scriviner
I'm ghostwriting a book (again - I've got to stop doing this, and get my name out there!) that requires lots of intensive research, much of it dealing with the law -- statutes and cases from both federal and state sources. This, in addtion to news stories, various opinion pieces, etc. In other words, a nonfiction work that needs lots of supporting documentation.
I'm hoping that Scrivener is going to enable me to write the draft with the crossreferencing that's necessary for both footnoting as well as the index much more smoothly than Microsoft Word was going to provide. We'll see soon enough, right?