Writing Software: Scrivener

Hex

Write, monkey, write
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Oh fantastic. I was waiting for Scrivener to come out for Windows. Thanks very much for the information.
 

TheTomG

Thomas M. Grimes
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Oh cool, I had heard good things about this, but had not read any further than the fact it was Mac only.

I haven't yet dived too deeply into yWriter, so I will try the demo of this and see if I want to make the switch before I become habituated :)

Thanks for sharing the news!
 

TheTomG

Thomas M. Grimes
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So far experience is positive. yWriter offered a few extras, like having preset fields for the date / time that an event was occurring etc and not found anything similar in Scrivener, however you can just add notes on the cards on the corkboard and achieve the same.

I do find this extra simplicity in Scrivener, where everything seems to be the same (character descriptions, place descriptions, just raw text files under a folder) is actually an advantage - yWriter puzzled me with a few things and was not intuitive, and the simplicity in Scrivener means you really can just dive in.

I think in the end I will go the Scrivener route - plus I am still learning so there could be more goodies in there. I'll try and do a more full-featured write up on those two software products, but that's my thoughts so far. And yes, it has helped me start to move forward on a novel where I was a little stuck, so hurrah for that!
 

Anne Lyle

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So far experience is positive. yWriter offered a few extras, like having preset fields for the date / time that an event was occurring etc and not found anything similar in Scrivener, however you can just add notes on the cards on the corkboard and achieve the same.

Scrivener for Mac allows you to add custom metadata fields - so hopefully that will make it into the Windows version, given time!
 

TheTomG

Thomas M. Grimes
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For all I know it might be there already :) Still exploring!
 

Dozmonic

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I'm using Scrivener at the moment for writing a book with my dad, works well for collaborative projects. I would use yWriter as I find it to be better and clearer, but I'm on winblows and he' on a mac and not had any luck with yWriter working on that sadly. We also looked at CeltX but I really wasn't keen on that, it didn't offer any basic functionality above what the others did far better and felt more like an mmorpg with microtransactions to enable all its tools :)
 

AMB

Advanced Muddle Brain
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Does anyone know of a similar program for linux?
 

Dozmonic

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yWriter5 should run on linux just fine: http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5_Linux.html

Anne. We're not working simultaneously on the document. I'll do a few scenes, adjust some notes etc and, leave a handover note annotated with thoughts on what's to follow. Then I'll zip the project and email it over. He'll unzip, do his work, update notes and leave a new handover note within the program. Zip it up, send it back over. We've only just started using it, but had no issues as of yet.

The way I've got the work structured makes it easy to see if anything's missing as I know what I've done and what state is was when I sent it over. Usually we're only adding 2-4k words at a time before sending it back and each of us will have the version of what was sent before, so it'll be easy to fix anything that does get corrupted :)
 

Hex

Write, monkey, write
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I only just started using Scrivener and I have no idea what most of it does (I'm not good at tutorials, but I will go back and work through it, almost certainly). BUT: I don't write in standard manuscript format and I've been dreading the process of formatting my whole document. Scrivener just did it in seconds. I love it.

(also, clearly I am meant to buy Scrivener. I just got paid for a story (woo hoo!). It's not very much, but it's exactly the right amount to buy Scrivener -- see? Fate).
 

Mouse

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Congrats, Hex!

I tried yWriter briefly, but found the trouble was that I spent more time filling in all the bits and pieces rather than actually getting on with writing anything. Also, there didn't seem to be any sort of grammar/spell checker.

Is Scrivener the same? I heard it had some sort of timeline thing (does it?) which would be really handy for my WiP.
 

TheTomG

Thomas M. Grimes
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Fate indeed! Congratulations on being paid for the story! My free time with Scrivener will be coming to an end soon, but I'll be going ahead and purchasing it. Maybe I'll have some "reverse fate" and get paid for a story BECAUSE I purchased it, heh!
 

Anne Lyle

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Congrats, Hex!

I tried yWriter briefly, but found the trouble was that I spent more time filling in all the bits and pieces rather than actually getting on with writing anything. Also, there didn't seem to be any sort of grammar/spell checker.

Is Scrivener the same? I heard it had some sort of timeline thing (does it?) which would be really handy for my WiP.

I haven't tried yWriter, as it's Windows software and I've been pretty much Mac-only since about 2005. Looking at the screenshots, Scrivener has a similar document list down the left-hand side (though it allows you to create nested folders if you want them), but in the default layout the main focus is on the actual text you are writing rather than the peripheral information about the document.

When I'm working, I hide the "Inspector" (the right hand panel that contains the synopsis panel, notes, etc) so that it looks kind of like this:

796px-Scrivener_main_window.png


You can even run it completely full-screen if you prefer minimal distraction, but I find this pared-down layout to be a happy medium.

Scrivener for Mac uses the built-in OSX spellchecking tools - I don't know how Windows does it. I do know that if you want to spellcheck the entire manuscript, you have to select all the documents in the Binder (left panel), then click on the "Scrivenings" button. This gives you a sort of temporary single document that you can work on as a whole.

One thing Scrivener doesn't have is a timeline. I use Aeon Timeline, which is designed to complement Scrivener's functionality, but it's OSX only.
 

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