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Scrivener?

(16 Posts)
Errata Tue 10-May-16 10:18:06

I had two novelists telling me Scrivener had transformed their writing at the weekend - one in particular, whose latest novel featured five different voices, said she would never have been able to write it without it.

So, short of signing up for a free trial, which I'm not going to do in mid-novel, could someone tell me a bit more about what the major differences are between working in, say, Word and working in Scrivener?

VocationalGoat Tue 10-May-16 10:19:00

Place marking.

Errata Tue 10-May-16 10:21:26

Huh, I thought you were going to give me the complete lowdown! grin

VocationalGoat Tue 10-May-16 10:58:11

I'm sorry! Don't you hate posters like me? I do! grin An enlightened soul will pop up soon.

Errata Tue 10-May-16 11:02:00

I suspect I just need to do a free trial, but I'm not doing it in the middle of a book.

HildurOdegard Tue 10-May-16 11:05:08

It's not just a word processor - but automatically formats in book style and converts to ereader types.

It also collated info rather like Evernote if you've ever come across that.

Somerville Tue 10-May-16 11:09:06

I use Scrivener. It really is ace, especially if you're on a mac, which it was designed for. There is now a PC version, but I don't think it has quite as much functionality - though that might be old information, perhaps it now does.

It's not just for writing novels, BTW, but script writing and academic writing, all sorts of things.

I'd start it with a new project, unless it's something you're completely stuck on and want to break into new chunks anyway.

Also, if you already write professionally, check whether any associations you're a member of gives you a discount. And sometimes they run special offers - a novelist friend got 50% for completing NaNoWriMo one year.

Somerville Tue 10-May-16 11:14:55

Realised I didn't answer your question how it differs from a WP.

It's vastly different, though can also be used in different ways by different people, and even for different projects.

Right now I have it set up as a cork board for each project I'm working on. And virtual-note cards with a sentence on of what will go in each section. (Each note card would represent a scene or a chapter, depending how I'd set it up, if my project were a novel.) Then I can click on each notecard and work on that chunk of text. There is also an index on the side for quickly getting to the section I want.

Personally I export it all into Word at a late stage. I don't think it gets quite as polished a final look from in Scrivener itself.

I know it's possible to publish straight to e-book from within it, but this is not related to my field, so I know nothing about the details of that.

Errata Tue 10-May-16 11:49:29

I'd forgotten it was originally Mac. Thanks, Hildur and Somerville. I'm just at the stage of thinking, OK, I get Scrivener, I open it the first day, what can it do that I can't do on Word? (It won't surprise anyone that I am an academic who doesn't use OneNote, either... I'm pretty antediluvian, come to think of it.)

Somerville Tue 10-May-16 11:55:25

I open it the first day, what can it do that I can't do on Word?

Managing your project, in whatever way works for you, alongside the actual word processing, is the simple answer. For me that's virtual index cards on a cork board.

I think what finally persuaded me was typing Scrivener into google image search, and seeing all the different screen grabs of the varying ways people use it.

lexy444 Tue 10-May-16 18:23:52

There are 10 min intro tutorial videos to using it on you tube. I watched one of these and could immediately see the benefit for a long form piece of writing. Recommend you have a look.

I am writing a memoir and started using Scrivenor last month. It's been amazing. I have pasted in all my chapters and now can flip between them quickly whereas in one long word document it take forever to scroll up and down to locate things. You can also do a side by side thing where it opens old version of a chapter v a revised one for example and it's so easy to add new pieces of writing and move around chapters and the order of segments. I was recommend it by another friend writing a chapter book and a third member of our writing group who writes shorter essays also tested it recently and is now converted. Definitely take a look a one of the youtube tutorials, that is what initially persuaded me to do the free trial.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 10-May-16 19:19:20

I very much like having the ability to have a notes window for each document/scene - I write historical so managing my research is critical.
Dunno what Word can do these days though, so I can't really tell you how it differs.

Kai1977 Tue 10-May-16 20:36:47

It's really good. It just makes it much easier to manage your work because of the way you can keep a corkboard and link it up to your chapters/research.

It does take a bit of getting used to but their virtual tutorial plus the trial clinched it for me and once you've done a bit of practice it is the same as anything else.

I don't know how I would have got through just with Word.

Errata Wed 11-May-16 10:42:37

Thanks, everyone. Sounds overwhelmingly positive. I'll try a trial!

BurningTheToast Thu 09-Jun-16 17:33:35

I love Scrivener for organising my chapters, research notes, character notes etc. It's all on the left side in what they call the binder and I can skip to anywhere in a second or rearrange things easily.

However, I hate it for actually writing in. Editing is fine but I find it a bit glitchy for writing - I'm using the PC version so that might be why but I dunno. It has the most horrible spellcheck facility I've ever come across. Thus, I write in Word, spellcheck etc and then cut-n-paste it over. It's an extra step but saves me lots of stress and shouting.

By the way, set it up so that it syncs to a Dropbox folder and then even if something calamitous happens to your computer, your manuscript will still be safe. It syncs automatically and can be a lifesaver.

mummytime Thu 09-Jun-16 17:52:58

For academic writing it would be really useful, as you can arrange your notes. It's like having a card file, and a word processor, and cork board, and.... It is multi media too, so you can save video clips that you might want to refer to. And then you can move stuff around quite easily (for example if you are writing a novel you don't write one document for the whole of one chapter, but can write it in little bits - you can also write character bios to help you keep track).

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