Scrivener: anyone tried it?

J-WO

Author of 'Pennyblade' and 'Feral Space'
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I'm thinking Santa might get me this. Should he bother?

Thought I'd ask you guys before I tried the thirty day free trial so I can get the best out of it. It seems ideal for me, given I make a lot of notes but I'm always a little doubtful of these software packages; can they really make a difference?
 

TheTomG

Thomas M. Grimes
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Still testing it, still liking it. Neat, focused, intuitive, runs fine on a Netbook, is being a help with my current WIP. Suggest you download 30 day demo and test it, and compare it with the free yWriter (which seems to offer more specific data fields built in, is free, but is less intuitive and more complex.)
 

Anne Lyle

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I think Scrivener is awesome. It's not a "fill in the boxes" application, just a way of organising your writing project to make it easier to manage than one humungous Word document. For example I can colour-code the scene icons according to point of view, mark the completion status of each scene as I edit, keep a synopsis of each scene or chapter alongside (but separate from) the narrative itself, and so on.

I recommend working through the tutorial - the program is really easy to use once you find your way around, but it can be a bit daunting at first. There are lots of features that I rarely touch, but others I rely on to make my life easier.
 
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There's lots of free software out there. Celtx, Writers Room....just choose one that suits you and stick with it.
 

Fedos

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I just started using this from a recommendation on this site and am finding it to be very helpful. I have documents separated (like character profiles, myth and history, and a general document housing my fantasy series). It's proving beneficial to be able to call up or import these documents into my prime writing preparatory document. I think it's a given once this free trial runs out I'll be buying this.
 

Wanted Hero

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I know this is an old post--but if anyone is thinking of buying Scrivener, do.

I've had it for nearly 3 years now and I use it every day. Saves me time, money and if you're self-publishing to .mobi and .epub, the formatting features can save you a few hundred $$$ a pop.

Best investment I ever made, next to my Mac.
 

AMB

Advanced Muddle Brain
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Am I the only person who thinks creating epub files completely by hand is easy?

I own the linux version of Scrivener and I almost never use it. Doesn't really gel with my particular workflow. But then, everyone is different.
 

Anne Lyle

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Am I the only person who thinks creating epub files completely by hand is easy?

Yes :)

Seriously, though, I'm a web developer by trade, so the thought of handcrafting epubs is too much of a busman's holiday to contemplate!

I'll second what Wanted Hero said, though - I've been using Scrivener since 2007, and I don't know what I'd do without it. Though I don't self-publish, I've used the epub feature to create quick'n'dirty eARCs for beta-readers and potential blurb-writers (those nice authors who write endorsements to put on your cover).

I can't wait for the iOS version, which is due out...well, sometime in the next 12 months (their iOS developer had to cut back on her hours, but they have a replacement at last).
 

Wanted Hero

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I used to do the formatting by hand, but no stinking way do I want to do it when all I have to do is set a few buttons and it comes out perfect every time. I actually get formatting compliments from reviewers, which tickles me.

@Anne Lyle -- I originally bought it to help me organize my research at work, but when I used it for a short story--I was "HOLY COW". BTW--I just picked up Scapple too---perfect for my non-linear thinking.

Have to love the right tools. Tip my hat AMB, but I'm not interested in spending the time on code when I can be writing or doing illustrations.
 

Anne Lyle

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I've got the trial version of Scapple, but I've never found mind-mapping to be of much use to me - I prefer writing out my thoughts & ideas longhand as a kind of stream-of-consciousness discussion with myself :)

What I can recommend is Aeon Timeline - I found it invaluable for my alternate history novel. You can even create custom fantasy (or SF) calendars in it, which I'll probably have to do for my new series!
 

Gumboot

lorcutus.tolere
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Another vote for Scrivener. It has revolutionised my writing. I'd say it's a must for anyone who writes complexly structured narratives. My only complaint is that the Windows version is so behind the Mac version in terms of features, as many of them (such as custom Metadata) would be hugely useful to me.
 

Dozmonic

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I am envious of some of the features my dad has on the mac that I don't on the PC - but the fundamentals are there and it works well
 

Glisterspeck

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I've shucked Scrivener so much around here, I'm starting to feel like I should get a commission. It is awesome. Scapple isn't hitting the same spot for me, but I do like Aeon Timeline. You can make up your own calendar's, which helps with fantasy.

And I'm starting to get a Duke Nukem Forever feeling about Scrivener for iPad. Right now, I use index cards (I think that's the name of the app) to sync back and forth when writing on my iPad.
 

Wanted Hero

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I've got the trial version of Scapple, but I've never found mind-mapping to be of much use to me - I prefer writing out my thoughts & ideas longhand as a kind of stream-of-consciousness discussion with myself :)

What I can recommend is Aeon Timeline - I found it invaluable for my alternate history novel. You can even create custom fantasy (or SF) calendars in it, which I'll probably have to do for my new series!

Love Scapple, BUT I totally agree about a sweet piece of paper and a pen--longhand rocks. However, I just bought Aeon Timeline and LOVE IT! Been working on inputing my universe all day---ohhhhh, so much to put it, but the power of having all the events and relationships to those conflicts at my fingertips...don't think it gets much better than this.

:D
 

alex_riveiro

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Right. So, for those of us that have been working several years on creating a universe (so we have our own calendar, planets, and so) what would you suggest then? Aeon Timeline or Scrivener? I was under the assumption Scrivener allowed you store all that information (such as calendars) as well, am I wrong?
 

Wanted Hero

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Right. So, for those of us that have been working several years on creating a universe (so we have our own calendar, planets, and so) what would you suggest then? Aeon Timeline or Scrivener? I was under the assumption Scrivener allowed you store all that information (such as calendars) as well, am I wrong?

Actually Scrivener can synch to Aeon...and if you put in the info as you go, can populate the timeline :D.

But you don't do one or the other. Ok, you can...but I'd take Scrivener over Aeon any day. Aeon is an extension, but not the other way around.
 

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