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Scrivener Software: to use or not?

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by Masronyx, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. James G Pearson

    James G Pearson Scribe

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    Wow, I seem totally old fashioned. Here I am using Open Office and writing down all my notes as a hard copy. Just a book full of everything and another for character bios and personalities.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Nah. I hand-write my notes and initial drafts in a bound leather journal with a fountain pen. That's old fashioned :)
     
  3. James G Pearson

    James G Pearson Scribe

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    What, no quill and ink well?
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I actually had a dipping pen and ink well at one point, but dipping the pen every so often was too much of a pain, so I allowed myself to be dragged into the 19th century and bought a fountain pen.
     
  5. James G Pearson

    James G Pearson Scribe

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    I can see how that would be annoying. I'm working on a ten year old laptop, so I can't say anything really.
     
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    There are guide books for Scrivener, but I think I see a special niche: Scrivener for Worldbuilders. I would aim it at fantasy as well as SF writers. It would have templates. And magic spells, but you'd have to find the keyboard combinations on your own.

    For those of you who have mentioned it, you are wise to wait for a new project. I wouldn't recommend switching midstream. This is more than just picking up a different word processor, it's picking up a different approach.
     
  7. Hagan

    Hagan Dreamer

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    I've been using the Windows version of the Scrivener program for over a year now (fact check, my receipt says November 2011.. wow, that long) and I can't go back to using MS Word now. I'm hooked. I'll only use Word to check formatting etc on files compiled in Scrivener, but other than that it collects digital dust on my hard drive.

    Its less a word processor and more a full project binder, white board, research folder and more. It takes some getting used too (hence the free trial) but I found its well worth having, just so you can see how far along your stories come once you start writing in earnest. For short stories its useful to help organise your work, for novella and book length projects, it makes what looks like a daunting task in Word a breeze to search, arrange and organise without a great deal of mucking about.

    Well worth your time to learn, love and switch too.
     
  8. Ginger Bee

    Ginger Bee Scribe

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    I tried several writing programs before deciding on Liquid Story Binder. Fortunately, most of these programs allow a free trial period, so you can see how they suit you. Some are pretty easy to use but less adaptable, and others (like LSB) have a bigger learning curve but more adaptability. Clearly, I went the way of adaptability, but I recommend trying out programs with the free trial before choosing one.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I like LSB well enough. The problem is, I don't think Jesse is developing it any more, so the project is basically in limbo. It's a workable piece of software, but I'd like to use something that is in active development, particularly as fast a computing is changing these days.
     
  10. JadedSidhe

    JadedSidhe Minstrel

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    I'm a member of one of the LSB yahoo groups. One of the members posted a response from Jesse when asked about future updates:

    > At this time LSBXE is no longer under development. I've long since
    > come the the conclusion that LSBXE needs to be completely re-written
    > in order to make any further significant updates.
    >
    > That being said, LSBXE is still actively supported. I'm always here to answer your questions.
     
  11. GroundedTraveler

    GroundedTraveler Scribe

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    Scrivener is a great program. It has a lot of power and with that power comes the learning curve to use it. I have been using it actively for writing for a little over a year and finally feeling comfortable with it. I really like that I can write scenes and cut them and reorder them without doing cut and paste style things. There are highlighters, that even seem to emulate that sickly green=yellow of a real highlighter. I use them for POV checks within scenes.

    The biggest feature for me that I haven't seen mentioned in the thread yet is the export features. The button is called Compile, but has tons of settings on how to compile it. You can tell it that your folders are chapters and subfolders are sections and get it then to add chapter and section headings or whatever. I am going the self-pub route and love that it exports directly to epub format that will transform into Kindle quite easily.

    Also note they have a "family license". According to their site, ifyou buy a license, your immediate family can use a copy on that license.

    The one downfall I see with Scrivener is if you use Windows. It is still a wonderful program and has a lot of features, but that particular version is not as far along as the Mac. The features are minor in places, but still missing. The twitter account says they are working on getting the Windows uptodate this year. Here's hoping.
     
  12. AnomanderRake

    AnomanderRake Dreamer

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    I have been using Scrivener for the past two months and I absolutely love it. It gives you a lot of options and doesn't force you to follow its template or whatever, like other programs.
    It has the option of split panes, with which you can be looking at your reference material at the same time you are writing your story, which I really like.
    There are a multitude of other features such as corkboard view and Scrivener view which gives the ability to combine any different random scenes together and edit them.
    There is an hour long tutorial go through at first, but its worth it IMHO.
     
  13. BrokenFiction

    BrokenFiction Acolyte

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    I've tried twice to use Scrivener and something about it doesn't click with me. Maybe I'm fighting the UI too much, and the tutorial is a beast. I like Google Docs for portability, but in general any word processor will work for me. I might give yWriter a try though, as I'm a sucker for new toys.
     
  14. AWAbooks

    AWAbooks Dreamer

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    J. S. Elliot likes this.
  15. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I currently use Wikipad. It's a nice program with a easy learning curve. I use it to organize my ideas before I transfer them into scrivener and start writing.

    I've also used yWriter for a few years before I started using Scrivener. yWriter is basically no frills Scrivener. It's programmed by one guy so it's not as refined as Scrivener. Scrivener replaced the combo of yWriter and Word for me. I didn't actually write in yWriter. I would write in Word and transfer into yWriter to organize my novel.
     
    AWAbooks likes this.
  16. writeshiek33

    writeshiek33 Sage

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    i am trying it but one thing trying to figure if it has is a way to input character to character relationships that one feature i would find useful
     
  17. solas

    solas Scribe

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    I purchased Scivener a while back but got rid of it as I thought it was screwing up my laptop....I wish I could give you better feedback but if you like it, then stick with it. I purchased Whitesmoke but found a better program and ditched it.
     
  18. e r i

    e r i Scribe

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    I downloaded the free trial to see if it was any good for organising world-building information. I found having multiple word files for different aspects of my world building frustrating. With Scrivener I could organise and access my stuff much more quickly, look up the info that I wanted without having to individually open any relevant looking word document. I'm not using Scrivener at the moment because the trail has expired, but I'm pretty sure I'll go back to it in the near future.
     
  19. Wormtongue

    Wormtongue Minstrel

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    Add me to the list of Scrivener fans. I recently moved my wip into scrivener after using Word for years. Within a few minutes I was better organized than I had ever been in Word. And as I explore new features I only like it better.
     
  20. Rorick

    Rorick Scribe

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    I use Scrivener almost as a final markup tool. I find everything distracting when I write, red wiggly lines, menus, the dog, coffee... So I tend to bang everything into a plain text editor like Notepad or gEdit. That then gets uploaded to Dropbox. Notes etc. and worldbuilding goes on a self-hosted wiki powered by MediaWiki on a server at home. This gives you basically a custom Wikipedia for your own stuff. Insanely useful for linking stuff together. (Anyone interested on how this works hit me up).

    I then use Word to tighten up the spelling and grammar and track all my changes. I tend to use one file per chapter.

    Then I use Scrivener to tie it all together. The utility of it for me really comes at this point as you can then easily drag scenes and chapters around and mark stuff to not compile in the final MS if you want to keep a scene on the "maybe" pile for example.

    TL;DR: I use it in conjunction with other tools to edit and compile at the end.
     
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