If you haven’t used Scrivener (or special writing software – see our list here) and you’re still writing your novel in Word, you’re missing out. A document that’s tens of thousands of words long soon gets unwieldy to navigate, and it’s awkward dragging and scrolling and pasting when you want to move sections around.
That’s why an app like Scrivener is a joy to use. It’s also available for iOS/mobile, letting you work on your novel using your iPad (and sync back to your main computer if you want). Even its basic interface – there’s no need to ever learn its “advanced features” if you’re not a tech person – will make your life much easier. Here’s how.
If you want to quickly switch Chapters 3 and 4 around, or put a section of Chapter 1 later on, it’s simple. Just drag and drop the file and you can see where it has moved to. You can move it back just as easily.
Here’s the magic: when you finish your novel, you can join everything up in one big file. You can also change all your chapter heading styles: bold? ALL CAPS? Roman numerals XII?) with a single click. Chapter sections can also be joined up, or you can insert spaces or * * * between, them, whatever you like.
There are tonnes of other features that Scrivener offers, and over time you may want to dabble with them. I find the Name Generator (Edit->Writing Tools->Name Generator) great fun and very useful.