Well worth the expense!
So, I am writing this review in Scrivener, which is fitting. I haven’t used Scrivener in years, as I have chosen to move on to a minimalist editor named Ulysses. I never used more than the basic features of Scrivener (in particular, the Binder and Compile features are Scrivener’s primary strengths, in my opinion), and its lack of an iOS version made the choice of transition easier.
When Scrivener Superpowers came to my attention, it seemed like a fine time to revisit the tool, and see what M.G. Herron has to say.
Writing is a journey, and finding the right writing tool is part of that. Is Scrivener the right tool for you? That is a question that you will have to answer for yourself. Download a demo of the software. Open it up. Go through the interactive tutorial. Write something.
And then read Scrivener Superpowers. Herron will hold your hand through this part of the journey.
You’ll meet friends along the way, and they will tell you of their trials and tribulations. You get to read a half-dozen stories of their heroic journeys. Even better, there is a link to interviews with each author, so you can see and hear them express their love of Scrivener.
Herron then walks you through the pertinent parts of the user interface. Given the depth of Scrivener, this is a real boon. You get a no-nonsense tour of what you need to know. Screenshots are included, and they will help you find your way.
He then dives into advice on how to structure your story. This is where Scrivener Superpowers shines. He breaks down the sections that you will pour your words, scenes, characters, settings and research into. This is serious information for writers that will take their writing seriously. There is even a link to his template, which you can download and use in Scrivener. For the aspiring student, the template is worth more than the price of the book.
Storyboards, drafts and targets are covered next. These are followed up by meta-data, revisions and compiling. There is just enough substance here to keep you informed, but not so much that you get lost in technical details.
Herron closes with tips for pros and additional resources. Although brief, they are valuable.
Scrivener Superpowers is a fine book to read as you explore Scrivener. It will help you, it will move you into action and, at times, it will inspire you. If you have an interest in Scrivener, Herron’s book is well worth your attention.
Here is a method for writing right, made into a rite.
Schedule a time to write every day.
Make the time short, so that it is easy to commit to. For me, fifteen minutes is good.
Then, at that time, sit down and write.
If you don’t know what to write, think about what you want to write.
If you know what you want to write, think about what you want to say.
If the words don’t come, simply sit and stare at the blank page. For every one of those scheduled minutes.
When the words come, write them. Don’t edit. Don’t correct. Just pour them onto the page.
You can always go back and edit them before you hit the publish button. And in today’s digital age, you can even fix errors post-publication.
The idea is to get comfortable with writing at a regular time.
Get comfortable with creating.
Get comfortable with that glaringly white page.
Make the practice into a rite to help you write right.