by Tiffany Smith, Age 17, United States
In a world of innovative technology and constantly changing trends, it’s difficult to choose things. Mac or PC? Coke or Pepsi? Chocolate or vanilla?
These days, most publishers and writing organizations prefer to receive submissions and manuscripts via the Internet because it’s more cost efficient and easier to organize. To keep up, many writers are using computers and are left with a challenging question: which writing program should I use?
With a seemingly infinite number of options, sometimes choosing the right writing program can be overwhelming. However, I wrote this article to help you narrow your choice down to two great programs: Literature and Latte’s award winning Scrivener and the popular Microsoft Word. The big question is, which one should you use?
I’ll admit, the day that I stumbled upon Scrivener was a great day. Scrivener is writing software specifically tailored for novelist, scriptwriters, or anyone who is working on large projects. Although you can use Scrivener for small projects, it was designed with the vision of keeping bigger projects organized. With Scrivener, you can separate project(s) into sub-documents and sections, and you can add folders to keep track of characters and locations. With Scrivener I can easily dissect my projects into manageable collections of chapters and scenes.
Another great feature of Scrivener is that it auto-saves and creates a special back-up within your computer. For me, that is major because I’ve lost projects on more than one occasion due to the fact that I’d forgotten to save it or my computer crashed. Scrivener makes writing first drafts much easier, and my stress while editing has been greatly reduced. Surprisingly, Scrivener is relatively inexpensive at $40 USD.
Before I discovered Scrivener, I was using Word for all of my writing projects. It quickly became a frustration when it came time to edit because it was a large, jumbled, 110,000 word mess. I constantly found myself making several documents for the same project, so going back to find or change something was time consuming and irritating. I wanted to be able to see my project in sections, not in one big blur.
You may now think that I dislike Word but I don’t. In fact, I use Word all the time for essays and reports. I’m even writing this article for jaBlog! with it. Word has some special features that Scrivener doesn’t have, such as the thesaurus on the sidebar, the capability to do more with fonts, and the ability to make different templates. When I’m writing in Scrivener, I always keep Word open so that I can conveniently use the thesaurus. Word also has a superior spell check and grammar check. As for price, Word is a bit more expensive than Scrivener, ranging from $80-$110 USD.
Scrivener vs Word: My Conclusion
If you can afford it, I highly recommend purchasing both writing programs. I use both Scrivener and Word daily and they each provide me with unique features. If you can only afford to buy one, and you frequently write large projects, I suggest purchasing Scrivener since you can create small and large projects alike, and it’s cheaper than Word.
Tiffany Smith is a 17-year-old writer from the United States. For her, writing is a safe place where she can freely reveal her feelings imperceptibly.