I am a German writer (although I’m living in France). I have published 14 books, mostly novels. My latest novel appeared two months ago and is currently among the top twenty of the bestseller list.
This is what happened to me:
I started using computers for writing in 1986, a PC with MS/DOS. I worked with a lot of different programs, but found none of them really suitable for the needs of a novel writer. They were all ment to write letters, not books - at least this was my impression. (I happened never to like neither MS-WORD for DOS nor WordStar which were both surely capable of handling complete books - but unfortunately I wasn’t able to handle them.)
In 1990 I finally decided - I was working as a software developer then - to create my own text processing software. Exactly the way I wanted it. It took some time (and was a fascinating experience), but in the end I had a program that worked. I wrote all my novels (except my first one) with it - with a DOS-program that knows only the colors black and white on screen!
But in the last years I felt more and more that there were limitations in this program that could not be fixed by adding some functionality (which I did often in the past - one of the luxuries you enjoy when you know every byte of your software personally). It was necessary to create something completely new, based on a completely different concept, regarding my experiences while writing more than a dozen novels.
I studied a lot of the “software for writers” available and scribbled now and then screens, menu trees, functionalities. I wasn’t in a hurry. In fact I was hesitating to start this kind of programming adventure again. But my concept - how a novel writing software should be and should work - grew.
A few months ago my PC started to make unhealthy noises. It was an old one, so okay, time for investment. But all you can get now is Vista - and has XP been already annoying, Vista horrified me completely. I came to the conclusion that I definitely didn’t want to have such a… thing on my desk.
I started to check the alternatives. Linux. Mac. I bought a Mac journal (a french one), and there was a long article about Scrivener. I studied it thoroughly and was stunned: This was my concept! The ideal writing software! Even more than that - Scrivener has some concepts I didn’t even think of yet!
This happend some weeks ago. Meanwhile, a wonderful and silent iMac sits on my desk, I have bought Scrivener and I am going to write my next novel with it. No need anymore to develop the perfect novelwriters software - it exists already!