I used Scrivener to write most of "CHRONOS". It was the first major project that I had undertaken using this software and I come away very impressed with it.
Scrivener is a combined word processor and outliner. It has been designed with the entire writing workflow in mind, right from the point the author has just a couple of ideas written down on Post-It notes through to the point at which final proofs are being generated for ebook production or physical book printing.
I used the Mac OS X edition but there is one for Windows as well. The two historically have differed somewhat in function and look-and-feel, but I believe that they have been coming closer together in recent versions.
Scrivener makes it very easy to take single line summaries of chapters or scenes and flesh them out into full passages. Moving around is lightning quick, even when project files become large (at one stage, I had over half a million words in my project file - Scrivener didn't blink at this, even on my relatively low-powered MacBook Air laptop).
I found that I review text best when I'm sitting away from a computer display. For this purpose, I would generate an ePub version of my book and load it into the iBooks app on my iPad. That would then allow me to take my current work with me to the coffee shop or library and allow me to review the text in comfort. I would mark up the ePub version using iBooks' comment feature and then email the comments into Evernote for following up on later.
Scrivener takes data integrity very seriously. It is constantly auto-saving in order to avoid losing any writing. And you can save a full backup of the project when you quit the application. Individual chapters and scenes can be versioned, allowing the author to revert to a previous version if something goes hideously wrong (with the writing I mean!)
I'm publishing "CHRONOS" in multiple formats, both printed and ebook. Here again Scrivener has proved essential. It can generate a wide range of ebook formats (ePub, Mobi/Kindle, PDF, Word, OpenOffice, HTML and TXT to name just some) as well as producing the final file for sending off to the printers for the physical book. This allows me to have one single version of the novel's text that goes into all these different versions. This helped me immensely in the last few days, as I made lots of little changes and tweaks across the whole novel.
My only real complaint about Scrivener is to have a moan at its publisher, Literature and Latte, about what is happening with an iPad edition of the software. L&L first announced that an iPad version was under development back in December 2011. In March 2015 L&L said that the software was feature complete and that the product was now going through internal beta-testing. They then published a job posting for a second iOS developer last June, saying that they needed help in polishing up the software. In the five months since, we've heard nothing.
It's all very frustrating, particularly with the new iPad Pro being released this week, which should be an ideal device for Scrivener to run on. Being able to run Scrivener in split-screen mode, alongside apps like Evernote is pretty much my dream set-up for writing, especially if the project files can be shared with the copy of Scrivener running on my desktop Mac.
In the meantime, I'm casting envious glances across the border, into Windows land, and wondering whether a Microsoft Surface Book, running the Windows 10 version of Scrivener, might make for the best writing environment for my second novel. I'm resisting the Siren calls for now, but the longer we hear nothing more about iOS Scrivener, the more tempting this option will become.