My friend Laura suggested a product call Scrivner ( for organizing my novel, and I decided today to give it a try.  She made this suggestion about two years ago, but at that time, the product was only available for Macinstosh.

Like many writers, I've been using MS Word for writing my manuscript, and Excel for organizing it.  The MS Office suite is relatively inexpensive, many people use it, and the tools are nice.  However, I've found that I've been making huge changes to my book since July, and things have gotten a bit out of hand.  My spreadsheets are usually out of synch with whatever version of the book I am on, so I am constantly stopping to re-outline and update my notes.  I have even updated the wrong spreadsheet once or twice, which is maddening.

I am impressed with Scrivner so far.  My book is organized into a 'project', which consists of:
- chapters
- characters
- notes

The tool is very modular.  Each chapter is its own self-contained section, which can later be compiled into a complete work.  The body and notes can be moved from place to place, or even taken off line.

I am pleased so far, but I would be curious to know what tools other writers rely on.  MS Office?  Some other word processor? 

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