It’s here! Scrivener for iOS arrived earlier this month, and I’ve been out vacationing and reading and finishing up another successful year at the Cole SUmmer Writers Institute, so I missed it. But today I rectified that mistake, and I’m really glad I did.
I don’t often do reviews here, but this is very cool software for writers, so I had to break the trend and actually write a brief review. So, to start, I came upon Scrivener at my favorite geek site, Lockergnome (http://www.lockergnome.com/), where it was on sale for twenty bucks (normally $45). I downloaded it and let it sit for a bit, favoring Microsoft Word and Google Docs for word processing, the former out of habit and the latter out of a need to utilize Google’s awesome collaboration tools with my students). When I did finally get around to using the app, I found it confusing because I was entrenched in the single document paradigm that Microsoft Word operates off of. But I persevered, and soon I was won over by Scrivener’s powerful set of features, notably its ability to store research documents right within the binder (Scrivener’s paradigm is like that of a giant Trapper Keeper where writers can keep drafts, pics, websites, and documents together- oh, and outlines, too). I liked it so much that I wrote my last published story, “Pillow Talk” on the app, then ported the nearly final draft over to MS Word for the final edits and formatting. I was smitten.
What Scrivener was lacking, though, was a cross-platform component that would allow writers to research, outline, generate, and edit text on their Macs, iPds, and iPhones (gotta love the ecosystem). That is no longer a problem. Scrivener for iOS allows me to do all of that. I can write text on my iPad, which I do by means of a Bluetooth keyboard (I still can’t do virtual keyboards), edit on my phone, and finish up on the MacBook Air. The app accomplishes this by syncing files to DropBox, which I love, although I’m hoping that in an upcoming release they will add compatibility with other online storage sites like Box and, especially, Google Drive. I’ve had the app less than twelve hours and I’m already feeling the seismic like shifts in how I approach my writing.
Will I still use MS Word and Google Docs? Most certainly. Both of those word processors have strengths. But this app is really cool, and well worth the twenty dollar tag in the App Store. For small flash fictions and poetry, to longer novels, screenplays, and even dissertations, this is an indispensable writing partner. I’m psyched to get working on a few stories yet while the summer still holds and I have the time, and I will be using Scrivener for iOS to write them!
© 2016, Brian Stumbaugh. All rights reserved.