Scrivener — Writer’s Little Helper or Busy Work?

I recently discovered Scrivener, a software package that, from their website, is “a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.”

Scrivener; for Microsoft Windows

Here is a link to their website:

The cost is $40 for the Windows version, and I decided to give it a try.  I’m a few days into the 30-day trial period (which is 30 days of use, not 30 contiguous days).  So far, I love it.  I think it will be great for a project started from scratch. I plan to buy it soon.

At this point, I’ve imported my current manuscript, about 67k, and I’m working on a fairly substantial revision. I’ve found it helps me move between different chapters and scenes easily to edit where I need to edit. This is definitely easier for me than paginating through a 170-odd page Word document to find where I need to be.

However, having all of the scenes broken up is a double-edged sword for me, because I have lost all sense of the length, or the idea of a page. While I can certainly use word count to estimate length, and I can compile and print, I’m struggling with day to day editing knowing the size of a chapter or its composite scenes.

I wold love to hear from other Scrivener users out there who have found a solution to this issue.

So far, my review would be thumbs up with a definite plan to buy. I’m excited about learning more about the nuances of program. I took the tutorial, but I’m an experiential learner, so I can’t wait to get down and dirty with it.  I think in a new project the character templates would be helpful, but in this instance, I don’t have the time to do all of that.

Have you looked at it? What do you think?