Since then, I have downloaded this wonderful writing tool called Scrivener, and may I say... I'm in writing heaven. I have tested the Scrivener beta version for Windows before, but since I was always tempted by the Mac and could see from the Windows version how good it could be if I did have the Mac version, I just couldn't stop myself and went ahead and bought a Macbook Pro 13".
The reason I never had a Mac before was due to its cost. Plain and simple. However, for all those who are interested - Amazon sells both the Macbook White and the Macbook Pro 13" for over £100 cheaper than the RRP. Still a chunk of money to pay though. But then, I added up the amount I spent on Windows laptops over the last 5 years, and I realised that I could have bought about 3-4 Macbooks in that time. The reason being that all the machines had defects that started weeks after their warranties expired. The Sony Vaio's DVD player stopped working. The Compaq's hinge (the one that connects the keyboard with the monitor) broke. The seemingly fast and top-spec PC Specialist laptop was too high-spec for its own good: it would heat up to the point where the user (moi!) would almost get burned, and would subsequently crash - just one of the many, many problems it had. My Samsung netbook served me well. Ultra-portable, fantastic battery life... but its body did start to crack. I know. I'm a little clumsy. But it was also because I took the thing everywhere I went.
My proper excuse to buy a Mac though inevitably came from Marcus Sedgwick's talk at the SCBWI conference - he bought himself an Amstrad machine ages ago when he started out, so that he could feel more like a "proper writer". (That's when I thought he may actually be older than I thought him to be, because I had no recollection of those machines.) Anyway, my own version of Mr Sedgwick's story is finally getting a Mac and Scrivener.
I have now imported all my finished chapters, etc., and have worked nearly non-stop on my novel over the weekend. What makes Scrivener my choice of software for writing is that it simply makes my job easier. Not to mention that loads of successful authors out there use it, too. Gone are the days where I would have several Word documents open, cutting and pasting scenes that were out of order. In Scrivener, you can save scenes into different files (making them very movable) and yet you can read them all together as if they were one and the same document. It is also incredibly easy and quick to shift between chapters - all done within a fraction of a second, rather than the seconds of "Opening Document.." moments in Word. It is difficult to describe it really. I guess it is the way the "Master Document" should work in Word, but doesn't. Another way to describe it would be: a more modern, slick and easier to use version of PageFour.
You can save all your research in your Novel folder - again making it terribly easy to jump in and out of the material - whether they be pictures, texts... you can even import a website, should you wish to do so. Basically, I would need numerous software packages and several folders set up on a PC to be able to do what Scrivener does effortlessly. Without me having to ask and beg for it like I always felt I had to with any other software I used before. And that's why I feel like I'm in seventh heaven right now...