Scrivener vs Microsoft Word

Natalie: We have a visitor at our humble blog today. Please welcome unicorn, my very good friend, and writer extraordinaire Aly to Writerly Conundrums!

Aly: *bows* Why, thank you ever so much! I’m happy to be here.

Natalie: Today, we’re going to be debating the merits of Microsoft Word versus Scrivener (which I can never spell correctly on the first try) as the ideal writing program. I’m defending Word, and Aly’s speaking for Scr—I can’t even be bothered to look up the right spelling. Because apparently, she likes complicated things no one can figure out.

Aly: Scrivener for life.

See, Microsoft is incredibly finnicky. It crashes, it dies, documents crash and burn and your life’s work disappears into a cloud before you can press CTRL+S.

Scrivener eliminates that problem by having an automatic back up and save system so your documents are always safe.

Natalie: Two words: Auto-save and Auto-recovery.

Aly: I have lost many a manuscript to Auto-save and Auto-recovery because it never saved my just-written pieces.

Scrivener saves and backs up every other word, so you don’t have that problem.

Natalie: Word Auto-saves every few minutes, so the most you’ll lose is a few sentences.

Plus, unlike Scrivener, it’s user-friendly. I downloaded the trial version a few months ago and spent ages looking for the ‘New Note’ button in the Characters tab. It’s too fiddly and unnecessary.

In Word, I simply add notes at the top/bottom of each chapter. Or paste sticky notes on my desktop.

Aly: That’s what’s so cool about it! Each project you start has one file, with character profiles, scenes, settings and backgrounds in one place so you can click back and forth easily. Unlike Word, where everything is separate and temperamental.

You don’t need to fork out hundreds of £££ to get the latest edition either. Scrivener is a one-off cost of $40 (half price if you complete NaNo) and it updates for FREE.

Natalie: But Word comes in a bundle with PowerPoint and Excel and other programs. Normally, people buy it WITH their computers as teenagers for essays and such, so you don’t have to spend money at all. It has five licenses, so it’s great for value. Why get a fancy program when you can open a new Word document for characters, places, etc?

Aly: Not EVERY laptop has that feature. Sometimes, you need to buy a cheap replacement and it doesn’t come with Word. Sometimes, you don’t have the cash to pay more for Word. With Scrivener, once you buy it, you can use the same licence on a number of different computers, as long as they run the same operating system.

I’d also like to mention that the more Word documents you create, the more space you consume on your computer. Scrivener doesn’t have that problem. So if you’re an avid gamer like myself, and want to buy the new edition of Skyrim, the last thing you want to do is have to shift some Word documents (or, gasp! delete them entirely) to make more space

Natalie: A 90k manuscript is at most 600+KB. A ten-second audio clip is larger than that.

Aly: Never say never. KBs add upAll it takes is 1000,000 Kbs to make a GB. On a Scrivener folder, you can also add a password to save it from viruses. Whoever tries to hack into your computer needs the password to get into the folder. 

It’s a fort.



Natalie: Pfft, Word comes with a password and read-only option, too. I like it because it’s minimalist. You can’t procrastinate by creating fancy folders and notes.

Aly: Actually, Scrivener is pretty minimalistic too. It offers you the option to create character profiles etc. but you don’t HAVE to do it. Also, Scrivener has a playlist option.

Natalie: Which means writers will waste time matching songs to their OTPs instead of, you know, writing.

Aly: NOPE. Because you do that before you start writing. As in, at the beginning of the novel. Before your baby becomes a baby and is only a writhing cell.

Scrivener has another really cool feature. A lot of writers set themselves goals. 1,000 words a day, 20,000 words a month, you name it. You tell Scrivener, and it’ll set you that goal you desperately want/need. You can then check your progress bar (red for ‘not yet’, yellow for ‘almost!’, green for ‘you did it!’) and it’s super motivational. Thanks to Scrivener, I once wrote 40,000 in two days.

Natalie: Okay, fine, I’ll admit that’s pretty cool. But ANOTHER motivator is the all-mighty refrigerator. I stuff myself with cheese sticks as a reward for completing my word count.

Aly: Scrivener keeps the weight off and the mind full. (You can quote me on that, guys.)

The only feature of Word I liked was how it would turn my novel into a book when I finished, so it made it easier to read through. But that’s it. Everything else was too fiddly and temperamental for me to even bother dealing with.

Scrivener is designed solely for writers and their novels. How cool is it that someone out there thought of a program like this? If you use the tutorial when you first download it, it’s quick and easy and you’ll be a pro in no time.

Natalie: *strokes screen* Shh, baby, she just doesn’t understand you. 

I think we have to agree to disagree on this one. ALL HAIL BILL GATES.


Aly: I think so, too. I will never stop fighting for Scrivener rights hahaha.

Natalie: Thanks again for being here! (Even though our debate threatened to tear our friendship apart more than the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. #notreally)

Aly: Thank YOU for having me!


You can check out Aly’s writing on Wattpad: It’s dark, sexy, and poetic, and I have no idea why you’re still here reading this when you could be checking out Last Winter.


You Deserve Cake.

Vanilla. Red Velvet. Wedding Cake. Pound cake.

Heck. Even a German Chocolate cake sounds delightful even though I detest the stubborn little coconut pieces that stick in my teeth afterwards.

I digress.

I would like to dedicate this post….TO YOU, the writer/reader of this epical post. The fact that you’re even taking the time to read this means LOADS. You’re dedicated and you’re one of the few in the ENTRIE GALAXY that has the willpower/dedication/BRAVERY to venture out, be different-to write and be creative. That means LOADS. It also makes you my new favorite person. (Hence, the reason as to why you deserve cake.)

But as good as all that sounds, writing has its positives….and its negatives…

How many times throughout the day do you just want to rip out your hair from the roots, because one of your characters are “misbehaving?” Or they just won’t let you sleep at night because, pfft, they think they’re all that and deserve ALL THE TIME?


Yeah. Thought so.


Now, some of you may be wondering: Why write, if this is how it makes you feel? If you just want to crawl under your covers, stick your head in your pillow and ugly cry? WHY?

Simple Answer: Because you LOVE what you do. So why not do it?


I could talk all day about how many times I’ve entertained the thought of calling it quits. I literally sat in my bed one time and was all like:

“WHAT IS THE MEANING TO THE MADNESS??” (Because believe me, there was a lot of madness going around at this point.)

But I didn’t give up. And neither should you. Ever.

                                                                                  OVER TO YOU:

What do you guys do when you feel the stress of writing? Does it get to the point to where you’re questioning the reason you started doing this in the first place? What do you do to cope during these hard moments?


We Are All Nick Miller

This is Nick from New Girl. (Which by the way is an amazing show. It’s hilarious and flips the Maniac Pixie Dream Girl trope around.) He has… issues.

He also happens to be a writer.

He’s determined to finish his zombie novel.

He has writing idols, like we do.

He procrastinates.


He knows the pain of research.

He cheats on his word count.

He binge-writes.

And he understands that means a lot of typos and weird word choices.

He has the perfect response when people ask how your manuscript is going.

He knows what being a writer is all about.

In short, we are all Nick Miller.

I can’t Write to Save My Life.

I’m a decent editor. I can probably catch about 80% of your mistakes in one pass. What I don’t understand is how useless I tend to be when I edit my work. I mean, I could sit for days on a blog post, reading and re-reading until the cows come home and I would still miss a few mistakes until the post has been live for a week. It drives me crazy.

Now, I am not a perfectionist. But there is nothing worst than reading my own writing as if I was fall-down drunk when I wrote it. When I discovered Grammarly, I thought it was a gift from heaven. Because Grammarly, at least, catches all my stupid mistakes. But the problem with Grammarly is that it doesn’t help me construct my thoughts or ideas in a way that it would make sense.  It doesn’t catch the proper progression in which my ideas should flow. So even with proper grammar tools and knowledge, it does not help me become a better writer.

How does one become a better writer?

Beats me.

I am not a writer by any stretch of yours and mine’s imagination. And I’m not going to list all the things you can do to better yourself. I do find that the more I read, the better I become at writing. Herein lies the rub. When I’m in the reading zone, plot bunnies sprout in my head like — well, like bunnies. The problem is, the plots I come up with are rewrites of the plot of the book I’ve recently read or I’m currently reading. I don’t seem to have a single original thought to my head. This is why I can’t write a full novel. Because the ideas that I come up with are nothing but recycled storylines that I’ve read or heard in my day-to-day living. But then again, most of the books that I’ve come across with usually have regurgitated plot arches. The difference between those published writers and I is that they have the courage. They have discipline. They can see through their story from beginning to end. While, I, on the other hand, am on a constant battle against myself.

One of these days, I will defeat my enemy. I will ignore the self-doubt that continually plagues me.

Until then, I’ll be the owner of a million plot bunnies clamouring inside my head.

Poetry That Inspires Me

I believe poetry can inspire us. Just in the same way that novels do – it can teach us something about ourselves and bring something to light in our lives. But I have been on and on about that in my previous post which was all about the importance of poetry. Right now I wanted to share with you some poetry and poems that have moved me and effected me somewhat in my life. Maybe it can do the same for you as well.

IF – Rudyard Kipling

Kipling is someone you might know as the author of the Jungle Book – and in that retrospect you would be perfectly correct. What a lot of people don’t know is that he also wrote rhyming, meaningful poetry. He manages to keep a light tone to things while still giving a valuable moral message. I love his poem If just for that reason – it’s all about how life will try to change you. But if you can stay true to yourself, then that is being you and being human. I love the message, I love the literary poetry techniques used and I think it is a poem everyone should read at least once in their life. 9cd965c1bc9758616de8581b2e2a6dfb

Daddy and Three Women – Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was a women who had a lot going on in her life, and she struggled with depression quite a lot. I think that her life is incredibly interesting, but more so than her life would be her poetry. Although her initial poetry seems very tame and simple, when we get into her later stuff we can start to see the emotion so clearly and cleverly worded in poetry. The poem Daddy is an incredibly dark and dangerous one – one she wrote close to her suicide date and really shows her emotions and thoughts on the world. It’s incredibly interesting to study. When you read a poem with that kind of weight, it always makes me wonder if people didn’t question Plath’s health more when she was still alive. And when it comes to the poem Three Women, I like how it shows three different perspectives on the same matter (pregnancy).


Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep – Mary Elizabeth Frye

This poem has helped me through my life twice when it came to both passings of my grandfathers. It is never easy to lose someone, and grief can really overtake you. But this poem – although it doesn’t make everything better – did help to put things into perspective for me. Especially as, being a Christian, I do not believe one person remains in their grave forever but is freed from it eventually. Although short, this poem reminds me that there is more to death then a dead, stale body.


Still I Rise – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is a genius poet. She works well with rhythm and especially with meaning. I have known this poem for a long time and can admire the way the repetition and the rhyme works well to reflect its meaning. No matter what people do or say, remember you can rise. And you will rise, far above them all. Don’t let anyone hold you down.


I hope these poems will or might already mean something to you as they already for me!

Olivia-Savannah x

The Importance of Poetry

Hello everyone!

Just a quick note! We have a new member to our team! Please join me in welcoming Ely to our ranks 🙂

This month you’ll be seeing a few more poetry related posts popping up as it is our theme for the month. Poetry is something many people love or hate. Everyone’s forced to study it at school and try to grasp meaning to the complicated words and determine the rhyming pattern. Some people love the rhyming, some people much prefer free verse. A lot of people would like to scrap poetry all together. I, for one, love poetry, and I want to tell you why it is so important.

But before I begin, I should first begin by telling you the tale of how poetry begun. poetry-sm

Once upon a time, most people couldn’t be bothered with writing (well, didn’t have the tools for writing). So instead of recording everything in words, they did so with their voices. They would sing the tales of events to their children, who would then sing it to theirs, and so on, and so on. Many people in the present day would argue that this was the first ever form of poetry, while many would say it was the first form of song, and that song isn’t poetry. That’s up for you to decide.

Poetry can be closely related to music. Sometimes a rap in a song sounds more like spoken poetry than anything else, but with music to it. Sometimes a ballad can be counted as poetry as well, when sung around a campfire. There’s written poetry, modern poetry, classic poetry, spoken poetry – just as I believe there is a novel out there for everyone, I do believe there is a poem out there for everyone too.

But why should we even bother with poetry?

Emotions: Do you ever get that feeling when you are in a certain mood and there is just one song that you want to listen to on repeat? The same happens with poetry. A poem can sometimes speak your own thoughts louder than words and can perfectly represent your feelings. As well as that, writing one can help you understand your own emotions better as well. large

Admiration: This is often the kind of poetry you end up studying at some point in school. When you admire something/someone, you can show your love in a poem. It seems like a lot of people seem pretty appreciate of nature, doesn’t it…


Understanding and relating: Again, this is just like how it is when you read a book. Your getting into another persona’s mind and seeing their thoughts and feelings. It might be worded differently than in a book, but you are still feeling empathy.


Current events and history: Poetry is often used as a commenting method on current events and of history. There are many world war poems, satirical poems, political poems… all sorts. You can learn so much from them!13a4bb8f00a140b7

Remembering: One of the key things about poetry is that it helps you remember. This relates to all the points I have already mentioned. It’s a recording of emotions and happenings that will help you remember the emotions of your past, the moment you admired something, your understanding, events and so much more. Poetry is full of endless possibilities.


Do you read poetry?

Olivia-Savannah x