Resources

My Recommendations for Writers

I’m often asked for recommendations, so here they are! This page offers an ever-growing list of resources that I use and recommend to others. Those are the two qualifications. Everything here is something I use. If I stop using it, then I stop recommending it.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission from the sale. It costs me money to run this website, and eats up a lot of time, and I have decided to try to support the site through affiliate links rather than advertising. I routinely turn down requests to run advertising on this site, but I like the idea of affiliate commissions. Since I only recommend things I use and love, and since it doesn’t cost you anything extra (my commission comes out of the pockets of whoever I’m linking to, not your pocket), affiliate links seem like the obvious choice. So click away! Any of your purchases help to support the site, so thanks for your support.

Scrivener

I use Scrivener for all of my writing. I’m writing this in Scrivener. I could go on forever about how much I love Scrivener, and if you use the site’s search bar to look up “Scrivener” you can read me going on about it, forever. For the moment, here are my main reasons:

  • Scrivener lets me work and write non-linearly with ease. Whether I am working on a fragmentary project, or something that is fairly straightforward, I still want to work non-linearly so that I never get stuck. I want to skip around the project with ease.

  • Scrivener makes complex editing less complicated. I like to reorder scenes and reorganize parts of a draft, and do all sorts of complex structural tests when I edit. In the past, I used to have to do things like print out my whole poetry book and put each page on the floor and walk around reorganizing things to see how they read. Scrivener lets me do stuff like that on my laptop, so I don’t need to turn the house into a construction zone.

  • Scrivener makes my planning easier, because it has cool functions like word targets that I can set (and which adjust themselves to let me know how many words I have to write each day to reach a deadline), and because it has a great corkboard view where I can move around virtual index cards to make things like breaking story and outlining much, much easier.

  • Scrivener holds my research in the same file as my draft, so that I don’t need to leave the program to find something I need while I’m writing.

  • Scrivener can output ebooks. It takes some figuring out, but you can basically publish awesome, perfect ebooks directly from Scrivener, without having to mess around with some other program.

Scrivener is available for both Mac and Windows. The Mac version is more functional, but the Windows version is catching up. Here are the links:

Regular Pricing (Mac | Windows)

Educational Pricing (Mac | Windows)

Learn Scrivener Fast

There’s one problem with Scrivener: it’s difficult to learn. I found that, while I could use it right away and it was useful immediately, even in the trial version, it was frustrating to feel like it could do WAY more for me, if I could just master its ins and outs.

Thankfully, there is a wonderful online video course called Learn Scrivener Fast. Yes, both Scrivener and this course are investments in time and money, but if you are serious about writing then you should already be in the habit of investing your time and money to become a better writer.

Scrivener is powerful and has amazing potential to revolutionize your way of working, but you need to spend some time learning it. At the same time, you don’t want to waste your time learning it. That’s why I recommend (and loved) Learn Scrivener Fast.

The course has a money-back guarantee, if you don’t feel it was worth it. I didn’t ask for my money back. It was worth it. But it’s nice to have the money-back guarantee in place.