I used Scrivener as my editor for the recent NaNoWriMo. I’ve got to say that I found it very useful. I didn’t use all of the features that it has, but the ones that I did use fit my style very well.
The ability to place text into separate pieces and keep track (or move) them easily within the tool was very nice. For example, you can create a chapter and some scenes in that chapter all as different pieces. You can move the order of the scenes around as you wish.
You can mark the state of each of the separate pieces (first draft, note, …) and whether you want to include it into the actual text right now or not. The “compilation” phase lets you include exactly what you want in the format you want. If two editors demand different formatting, for submission it is easy to create a final version that fits their desires.
For each of the pieces, you can associate notes right with the piece and also keep whatever research you have done in the same project all nicely useable and consolidated.
For creating a new story where you are doing background material and research this makes things amazingly easy to use and keep track of. If you were doing a research document (like say a thesis or tech book) this would be fantastic. (The fantastic is opposed to something like Word where it isn’t easy to organize separate pieces of work into a single document.)
I used the Microsoft version of Scrivener and it did crash twice during the month. I didn’t lose any text as a result of either crash so it does a very good job of making sure things are saved.
For NaNoWriMo I used the free version they provided for the event, but I now plan on purchasing the real version. Since I finished NaNoWriMo, it will be half price but I see on their site that it is only $40 normally. It seems like quite a good deal.
For writing projects, Scrivener is now going to be my tool of choice.