Writing a book is hard work. Writing a good book is even harder. And with the advent of digital publishing and self-publishing, more people than ever before are sitting to task and writing their novels, knowing that there are viable publishing opportunities that didn’t exist only a matter of years ago.


But there are many technological woes that can stop a dedicated author in his tracks, not the least of which is the fear of losing his work to the gone-vortex of a crashed computer. Add to that fear the day-to-day writing, editing, and publishing hurdles, and there are more unfinished novels stored on flash drives than completed, published works.

That could be why Scrivener has become such a valuable tool in the writing community. With more features than most authors will ever need, the software is a powerful combination of writer’s notebook, editors’ tools, and formatting guideline.

First, the work of writing a book begins with an idea, and the software offers users a ton of pre-writing tools. One of the most popular is the Corkboard, a visual and virtual corkboard that lets authors write notecards, stick them in place, and then rearrange them as they need to. The Outliner mode gives “traditional” writers an easy to see outline that is fully adjustable and can be updated as the process moves along.

Scrivener offers style formatting for every type of writing–not just novel writing–from screenplays to non-fiction. Writing your content with your end-result format already queued on your screen saves a lot of time and effort at the end of the project. Of course, it doesn’t matter what you plan to write if you don’t sit and actually write it, and Scrivener helps authors with a stats box and a target-setting option.

One of the most “fun” features of the software has to be the name generator. While its intended purpose may originally have been to help non-fiction authors create pseudonyms for their anonymous sources, fiction writers will enjoy the ability to play with the autogenerate feature for their cast of characters.

The best news of all is that Scrivener is on sale from StackSocial for less than half price by using the coupon code included in this article from CNET’s Rick Broida.