“The key thing to appreciate is that Scrivener isn’t a word processor in the normal sense. Instead, it’s designed to let writers tackle larger projects, gathering multiple documents, notes and research materials all in one place and allowing you to rearrange them at will… Scrivener’s focus on helping writers work the way that comes naturally, from original concept through to end manuscript, is unique and unmatched. Producing a long-form project is neither an unstructured nor a linear process, but a constantly changing mix of the two; Scrivener’s genius is the way that it helps writers keep everything up in the air until it’s ready to fall into place.” (PC Pro)
I’ve been taking a course on Scrivener, a writing software program, from Gwen Hernandez. In the last week of formal classes we covered:
- taking snapshots (you even hear the camera) so that you can see what your screen looks like at any moment in time
- compiling presets and contents
- compiling options and saved settings
- creating templates
- and backups and getting help.
I know those topics sound complicated, but Gwen broke them down to bite size pieces and made them understandable. I don’t fully understand everything about Scrivener, but I have a good beginner’s working knowledge of it, and I’m finding it very helpful with my stories.
Today, as I promised, I’ll talk about what other people are saying about the software. I’m calling it: the good, the bad and the ugly, and I’ve kept it to three points for each.
- It’s easy to access notes, pictures, research files and links.
- You can compile your work into different formats (i.e., P.D.F., Word, RTF, Mobi, H.T.M.L…just to name a few). I read a lot of comments about how easy it is to compile a manuscript to Mobi and upload it to Amazon with no tweaking.
- Moving scenes around is easy.
- There’s no timeline option. “It just boggles my mind that a piece of writing software this sophisticated and innovative has no way to track chronology.” (Kiersi Burkhart, Prolific Novelista blog)
- It has a steep learning curve.
- Some complain that there are a lack of drawing tools.
The Ugly (but not really)
I’m using this section, for in-between comments:
- There’s a thirty day (non-consecutive) free trial.
- Having to learn yet-another piece of software can be time consuming.
- It’s new and different.
That brings me to the end of my posts on Learning Scrivener. I’ll continue to write about it as I use it.
Do I think it’s for everyone? Definitely not. We all have our own unique ways of pulling stories together.
There are lots of You Tube videos on the program. I thought I’d share this one to give you an example: