Quite some time ago I mentioned that I was going to give Scrivener a good try by using it to write Peacekeeper. I used to use OpenOffice primarily because it could output directly to PDF, it was free, and it always returned me to where I was working in the document when I last closed it. I also had a tiny netbook that ran Linux and OpenOffice ran on it quite nicely. Now I have all Windows machines and I recently switched to using Word. There are advantages to that program as well: it highlights possible grammatical errors, everyone can read the files it produces, and all my publishers require it for submissions.
But I kept hearing such good things about Scrivener - so good I had to give it a try. My initial response was "this won't work for me". It lacks some essential features (I'm using the Windows version - the Mac version is an entire version number ahead). It won't do mirror margins, page numbering and header/footer formatting are tricky, and the native file format is incompatible with every other word processor out there. Despite these issues, I went ahead and started using it for Peacekeeper. I'm now a fan!
Scrivener has some unique features that I've come to love. The ability to keep notes for each chapter as well as for the document as a whole is the one I love the best. I also use the dual editor feature which allows me to keep all of my reference material handy at the bottom of my screen. I have reference documents for characters, general notes, alien life forms, and planets. The program also keeps track of where I was in each document (chapter or reference document in my case) so when I reopen it I just start typing. It's a VERY handy program. I accidentally left Scrivener open on my desktop last day when I went to the bookstore. I added 4 chapters and edited another one while there. I was surprised to find that Scrivener didn't complain and the changes were picked up without issue on the desktop machine. There is a warning in the manual not to do this sort of thing but the program handled it without any problems.
So what about the issues I mentioned? No problem. After compiling the final document (Scrivener's word for generating a final output file) in Word format, I can open it in Word and do my final editing, pagination, margination, and all that stuff. But, for actually writing - Scrivener is now my chosen application. It's inexpensive too and the owner is very receptive to feedback. If you're interested you can try the program for free. Their website is: http://literatureandlatte.com/trial.php
Peacekeeper is being written by scavenging chapters from an unpublished novel I wrote back in the 80's titled "The Elite of the Alliance". This should make writing the story faster than generating it from scratch. Still, there's a lot of editing to be done. So, if you see a quote like I made above that said I added 4 chapters in a single day, that does not mean I actually wrote them. I moved them into the book and they need to be edited. Still working on the issue of the AOH but I think I'm closing in on a possible solution or two. In the meantime - the writing continues.