Since 1994, my main source of income has been writing, both as a journalist and as a filmmaker, now I’m writing comic book scripts. Over the years I’ve used many different software packages from WordStar and WordPerfect to the latest MS Word and Final Draft. Software has a very real and measurable impact on a writer’s productivity, a word processor with the right options for your workflow will increase your output and become one of the factors in avoiding writers block.
Now I’m going to tell you a well kept secret in the writing world, there’s a software package that is far superior to any other option and has become the weapon of choice of thousands of professional writers in the academic world, journalism, literature, script writing etc… It’s name is Scrivener and it’s by far the most useful investment you can make if you are a writer or want to become one. Before you ask, I’ve got no relation whatsoever with Scrivener, besides being a user and fan for many years.
What sets Scrivener apart from other word processors is the way you can organize your work in separate folders that nevertheless blend seamlessly on your screen. You can have an 800 page piece of writing, divided into any number of chapters and easily navigate to any point in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, the program’s interface allows you to edit your work without fuss, rearranging the order in almost anyway you want with drag and drop functionality. Besides this, Scrivener has a ton of useful features that you can employ or not, depending on your needs.
I have written dozens of film and TV scripts on it and when confronted with the comic book script writing challenge, I didn’t hesitate for a moment and chose to use Scrivener. After analyzing the different comic book script options and styles, I chose the one that felt most comfortable to me and setup a Scrivener template for it, which I have tweaked as I go along. The beauty of it is that once you have the software set as you like, you remove that aspect of the craft from the equation, you just don’t have to think about organization and formatting anymore and can concentrate strictly on the creative side.
If you haven’t tried Scrivener, do yourself a favor and go for it, they have a free trial version and if you like it, they sell the package for Mac or Windows at less than US $50 per license. I’ve been using Scrivener for years and wouldn’t embark on a writing project, including comic book or graphic novel script writing in any other software environment.