When you’re writing a book, the sheer size of the project becomes a bit overwhelming. At first I had no trouble keeping up with the various scenes and bits of chapters, but it didn’t take long for my baby to become a little monster. I created folders for each chapter in Word, but I was frustrated by the inability to see the entire project as a whole and get a sense of its identity.

Imagine you’re pregnant and you have a sonogram done so you can see what the baby looks like and whether it is healthy. But instead of one picture of the baby, you have a stack of snapshots, each snapshot being of one small part of the baby: a left hand, a right kneecap, the top of the head. And you cannot look at all the snapshots at the same time. You have to look one at a time. You have to pull one snapshot out, look at it, and put it back before you can pull another snapshot out to examine the details.

This is what it felt like working with the book project in Word.

I thought maybe Scrivener might work better but I’ve found this application intimidating and complicated in the past. I pulled it up again, purchased some training, and climbed over the learning curve. I’m so glad I did. Scrivener “holds” the work better, showing me the project as a whole while still keeping scenes and chapters separated. It is a powerful program with lots of added features that make it the perfect tool for writing a book.

If you’ve hesitated to take the leap with Scrivener, go ahead and jump. It’s worth it.

Written by Tina Gasperson

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