Author Topic: Why I've abandoned Scrivener  (Read 3997 times)  

Offline Eric Thomson

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2017, 09:08:31 AM »
That's the reason why my editors have to either type their comments into brackets in a .txt or .rtf file, or do the edit in red ink in an actual printout. I absolutely will not work with changes or comments in Word. Too many errors waiting to happen, too horrid a code salad at the end and never a clean file.
I never let editors work with a master file.  They get their own Word document, which is never used for any other purpose, and can make whatever comments they like.  When it's time for me to review the proposed edits, I open their file and my master copy side by side (I have a dual screen set-up - highly recommended!), then manually work my way through the master.


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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2017, 09:21:31 AM »
I love scrivener and even for someone like me who knows nothing about compiling, formatting, etc. it's been a dream come true. Word was a nightmare.

I like easy, streamlined, helpful, and simple.

Scrivener hits all of those out of the park.

I'd never go anywhere near word ever again.
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Offline Nic

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2017, 09:26:26 AM »
I never let editors work with a master file.  They get their own Word document, which is never used for any other purpose, and can make whatever comments they like.  When it's time for me to review the proposed edits, I open their file and my master copy side by side (I have a dual screen set-up - highly recommended!), then manually work my way through the master.

That still is far too fiddly for comfort. I've an old version of Word (2003), bad eyesight and I don't pay a lot of money to be routinely exasperated every other page by an edit/track change I either can't raise, can't read when raised, or have to minutely compare to the original file. When I still accepted track change edits, I can't count the times that I accepted the entire mess instead of opening or closing the various edits with the result that afterwards I couldn't find an option to change back to the status directly before I mass-accepted changes. Which, when you have worked through 250 pages of edits prior to that, means you lost hours if not days of work and time. Sure, the file still exists as I downloaded it, but I have then to look through every edit again.

So nope. Not interested in Word workarounds. There is a reason why print and handwriting still belong to the easiest to use means to transmit writing, and if I pay quite a bit of money for an edit, I expect to have it done in a way I can use and not one which has me tear out my last hair.

If a client sends me Word files to use on their sites, fine. It is easy enough to convert them to a .txt file and strip them of their unwanted code. That is the only reason I still use Word, for that and for contracts.

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2017, 09:34:50 AM »
I never let editors work with a master file.  They get their own Word document, which is never used for any other purpose, and can make whatever comments they like.  When it's time for me to review the proposed edits, I open their file and my master copy side by side (I have a dual screen set-up - highly recommended!), then manually work my way through the master.

This is what I do, sans dual screens. Have a big iMac.

And another vote for Scrivener love here.

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Offline Jack.Hardin

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2017, 10:42:24 AM »
I've written novels all in Google Docs.  Every few days I'll download them to my desktop so the files are in 2 locations.  Docs gives you the option to view and toggle back and forth between your outline/text.

I just bought Scrivener a couple days ago and like a lot of features about it. I may move to it eventually but the extra 20-30 minutes a day it would take to get comfortable with it is time I can be writing instead.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2017, 10:55:20 AM »
It's interesting how radically different people's experiences with the same software can be.

I used Scrivener for four years and never once had a syncing problem. Nor did I have any problem generating good ebook files from it.

That said, now that I've switched to Vellum for ebook formatting (and maybe print), I've returned to Word to do my writing. I've had a lot more experience with it than with Scrivener, and in any case I always had to adjust paperback formatting in it as well as dealing with editorial comments.


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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2017, 10:58:30 AM »
I too abandoned Scrivener a couple years ago. It's fragile database architecture and inadequate undo/redo feature were the main reasons. There were others similar to what has been mentioned here.

This subject comes up every now and then and the Scrivener wagons circle. The argument usually is, "I've used S for eons and never had that problem. It must be you." But many former S users report the same kinds of problems.

We have choices for writing and publishing. I've got a WIP that addresses the subject, but the landscape won't hold still long enough for me to finish the book, and its competition was in five digits last I looked, so I've given up on that project.

I can do everything the specialty tools do in OpenOffice and LibreOffice. I can't use Word (I like the 2016 UI) because its master document feature still doesn't work. We all find the tools that comfort us and use them. But don't turn it into Fords v. Chevies. I'm not threatened if you don't like WordStar. :D

Offline Get over yourselves

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2017, 11:02:10 AM »
You guys should really give Novlr a chance. It's just a wonderful program to work on. Simplified, streamlined, a beautiful UI. Only issue is that it costs you money (9.99 a month, I think).

But it does so much for you as a writer. I believe they give everybody a free trial, so there's no reason not to check it out. I used to work with just Google Docs...but then I came across Novlr and realized that it's a much better system. They track your daily stats, show you your word count averages, and let you organize everything in an easy way. It's the exact opposite of the headache that is known as Scrivener.

Oh yeah, and they actively listen to their users on the platform and constantly renovate and add more content. It's quite cool, actually. A lot of people still "sleep" on them.

Offline Laura Rae Amos

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2017, 11:19:05 AM »
Google Docs has really come a long way in the past few years. I use it a lot for drafting and proofreading (on my phone while I'm walking), and I just bought a Chromebook exclusively for writing (no games allowed!), so I imagine I'll use it even more.

When I need to send something to an editor or beta reader who wants a .doc and to use track changes, I use Open Office. It's just as crashy as Word, but I've never had any formatting problems with it.

But my master document (and all notes and planning files) are always kept in Scrivener. And after I've drafted or edited a piece of something in Google Docs, I move it to its place in my Scrivener setup. (I highlight my changes in GDocs so I can just copy/paste what was added or changed). Same with edits and feedback, if I choose to accept, I very carefully copy the text over to my Scrivener file ("paste and match style" so it doesn't bring along anything funky).

I love love love the file binder and all the ways you can configure it, the color coding, the icons. I love being able to sort a giant work into all those little pieces. I know it's more basic than Vellum (which I can't afford), but I do all of my ebook formatting with Scrivener too. They come out exactly as I expect them to, and I've never had a problem. *shrugs*

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Offline hankgarner

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2017, 11:21:50 AM »
I love that every writer is different and that we all have our own quirky ways of doing things. :)

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Offline Anne R. Tan

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2017, 11:24:34 AM »
But my master document (and all notes and planning files) are always kept in Scrivener. And after I've drafted or edited a piece of something in Google Docs, I move it to its place in my Scrivener setup. (I highlight my changes in GDocs so I can just copy/paste what was added or changed). Same with edits and feedback, if I choose to accept, I very carefully copy the text over to my Scrivener file ("paste and match style" so it doesn't bring along anything funky).

I love love love the file binder and all the ways you can configure it, the color coding, the icons. I love being able to sort a giant work into all those little pieces.

I also use Scrivener mainly for organization, but use other tools for drafting, outlining, and note making.

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2017, 12:07:04 PM »
Google Docs has really come a long way in the past few years. I use it a lot for drafting and proofreading (on my phone while I'm walking), and I just bought a Chromebook exclusively for writing (no games allowed!), so I imagine I'll use it even more.

When I need to send something to an editor or beta reader who wants a .doc and to use track changes:


Google Docs has "Track Changes":

Quote
To make tracked edits in Google Docs, pop open the 'Editing' menu at the top right hand corner of your document. Your Google Doc now functions exactly as a Word Doc when you turn on 'Track Changes' You can see who made the change, when they made it and what the change was, just as you can in Word





Offline PaulineMRoss

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2017, 12:53:49 PM »
I use Scrivener for all my writing, and I use Dropbox for backup, but I'd never, ever keep a live project in Dropbox. The Scrivener manual has something like two and a half pages explaining in exhaustive detail what you have to do to use Dropbox safely with a Scrivener project. Anything more than 'yes, it's safe' is a great big warning sign, to my mind. So at the end of every day, I COPY my live project into Dropbox, as backup. I copy to a thumb drive, too, but I would never, ever risk the sole version in Dropbox.

But here's the thing about Scrivener: it backs up all the time. A few months ago, my tablet ate my entire wip. Some combination of clicks and drags just vanished it, and no amount of searching could find it. But Scrivener had saved a backup, and I didn't lose a single full stop.

So I'm a dedicated Scrivener user. And when it has to go to my proofreader, I export to Word format and work with that, and that's what gets uploaded when the book goes live.
   

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Offline Laura Rae Amos

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2017, 12:57:10 PM »
Google Docs has "Track Changes":

Yes, I noticed! I would love to try that with my editor and/or betas. When I get to that stage on my next project, I'll certainly suggest it. But it would require that they have a Google account and want to use it.

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Offline EvanPickering

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2017, 01:31:06 PM »
Are you saying the formatting errors from accepting so many different Track Changes and revisions from editing, or other formatting errors like the Styles and trying to prep it for publishing? (I know that I've had issues at the Day Job with accepting multiple edits on lengthy documents and the document blacking out as a result.)

To the topic, Chris Fox had a video on "Why I'm Abandoning Scrivener", though I've not listened to it yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNnNgCxP7Ww

A friend of mine uses Scrivener. It looks very, very cool, but I think I have too much Shiny Object Syndrome to use it at this time. So much Shiny Object Syndrome that I'm best off right now writing on the Neo and uploading to Word from there, which is what I did with my last book. Still open to other ideas and approaches, though. I do like that Scrivener is one-stop-shopping, but I think I'd just be fiddling with the features so much that it'd be an uphill battle to get anything meaningful done!

Now I just have to save up for Vellum and Mac in Cloud for formatting...

From doing track changes with my editor and just general en mass changes on my end the whole file was a "code salad" as someone so eloquently put lol.

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2017, 01:36:01 PM »
Horses for courses as they say.

I use Scrivener, and I check the Literature & Latte forums every once in a while to see what's going on. It's my impression that most Scrivener problems come from using it on several computers with Dropbox, synching, etc. I have both the Windows and Mac versions so check both forums and it seems to me there have been problems with Sierra because of the automatic iCloud thing, but except for Vellum I never use the Mac. I didn't see anything in the Mac version of Scrivener enticing enough to give up my familiar Windows version and was penny-wise and pound-foolish when I got the Mac and got a 13". My Windows laptop is 15" which is a big factor in my preferring it.

So while I've never had Scrivener problems, I only use it on one laptop. If the OP's abandonment had to do with multi-device problems, which was my interpretation, he fits right in with all the problems I see in the L&L forums over it, although obviously a lot of people don't have those problems. I hate Word. If Scrivener ever stops suiting me or gives me problems, I'll search for something else, but it won't be Word.

Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2017, 01:46:01 PM »
I have rarely ever used Scrivener although I tried it out a few times as my first NaNo meetup group (in Seattle's Elliot Bay Books Cafe) worshipped the ground it was coded on. It seemed like an outliner's dream so useless to a think best as I write person like me. I do my notes in OneNote, but notes for me means snippets of the novel. I understand the Scrivener love it's just not the way my brain works.

The dropbox (or any cloud sync service) problem is very real for Scrivener. I use Jutoh and it will throw up a warning if I try to save a project to or open a project from a cloud sync service. It allows you to set an option to always create a temporary file that is only written to Dropbox (etc) once you close the file in Jutoh. The reason for potential lost work (Jutoh) or corruption (Scrivener) is likely similar but I only know Jutoh well enough to comment on it. The database in Jutoh is noted as having been changed every time you so much as open the file (this is very bad practice in database design). This means that if you do a lot of work on your Jutoh project in your desktop when its internet connection is dropped and although you save everything you will lose all that work if you open your project in a wifi connected laptop. Even if you remember immediately that the desktop is offline and close Jutoh it is too late. Simply opening the project gives the laptop version a more recent date than the desktop version in the cloud location. You can't fix this by going online with the desktop because as soon as do it updates the project to the laptop version and you have lost all your extra work. Of course if you know what you've changed on the desktop project you can copy that section before going online and paste it back in after going online. Something similar is almost certainly going on with Scrivener.


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Offline Joe Trent

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2017, 03:05:57 PM »
I had to abandon Scrivener too. If I was only using one device, I'd probably still be using it. But, I collect all things Apple and have a couple of PC's too, I need something to play nice across all of them. Which I have yet to find. I really loved Scrivner on my iPad, but the syncing to Dropbox wasn't bullet proof. Or in my case, idiot proof. Somehow I managed to overwrite the new file I had just added a lot of words to with the old file. I simply don't have time to think about stuff like that. I  just need it to work. Everytime. Perfectly. 

So, back to Ulysses I went. It updates through iCloud without any effort on my part. And has been bullet proof so far. Unlike Scrivener. But, it's Mac only. Ultimately I'd like to be able to access my story tool through a simple login on one website. Like one of them mentioned earlier. But I don't want to pay monthly. One and done. One payment and I own it. That's what I want.  The Novel Factory is coming out mid July with something that may finally be the solution for me. We'll see. 

Offline Tulonsae

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2017, 03:20:33 PM »
I use multiple devices, but they're all Apple, so Ulysses works well for me.

I do also have Scrivener because it does some things that Ulysses doesn't. But I haven't waded through the 2 pages of how to properly sync my iPad to my Mac yet. So, I haven't tried that yet. And since I mostly write on my iPad, that means the Scrivener doesn't get much use yet.

Google Docs is good for collaboration. We use it at my work. You can always retrieve stuff with revision history in case of error. And you can download as Word or as PDF (although there are some oddities with the PDF export). The biggest problem I find is that Google changes things, without notice, a lot. And sometimes it seriously breaks what I'm doing. And then I have to spend extra time, usually against a deadline, to figure out how to do what I want (again).

Offline Susannah Nix

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2017, 04:40:22 PM »
I love that every writer is different and that we all have our own quirky ways of doing things. :)

Me too! It's interesting to hear all the different systems we've all evolved. When you're trying to hit your daily word count, mastering/fighting with unfamiliar software can be a huge time suck, so we've all got our makeshift solutions that we've evolved on the fly.

The software environment I'm working in can have a huge impact on my productivity. Sometimes, if I get stuck on a project, copying some of the text in into another program--or even just changing the font & formatting--can often jar something lose in my brain. Similarly, if I'm on a roll, any deviation from the norm can bring my productivity to a dead stop.

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2017, 04:46:43 PM »
I gave up on Scrivener months after purchasing it. Honestly, what a waste of money for me. Jutoh is simpler and just as effective. I don't need or understand Scrivener. It was much too complicated and I have books to write.
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Offline JustinBell1974

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2017, 04:47:58 PM »
Scrivener is still my go too writing tool and I don't anticipate that changing soon.  Yes there are some wrinkles to deal with when generating docs for the editor and then pulling them back in for further work, but I do a lot of series work and being able to move the static people/places/references from one project to the next is something I cannot give up.

I use a combination of local files and Google Drive for cloud-based backup and work on the files with three different computers and so far no corruption.  I'm happy.
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Offline Doglover

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #47 on: June 25, 2017, 11:49:18 PM »
I can't abandon Scrivener, because I never did fully adopt it. I played with it, bought it, worked with it, then finally put it out of my mind. I always felt much like a lesser being for my failure to adopt. But the thing is, I am comfortable with Word. It's like a pair of warm socks. I know it and it knows me. We're a team. I work in the cloud and mess around between my Surface and my trusty Samsung laptop. All good. And all I need. I think if I had a lot of projects going at one time, revisiting Scriv might be on my agenda, but I don't. So there is that.  :-[

You, Hank, sound as if you've got a LOT of computer gear. I'll be thinking about that as I read Bloom, which, oddly, I just purchased on amz.ca before I read your post.
This indeed. I have tried three times to get to grips with Scrivener and I can see nothing that I cannot do with Word. I back up to the cloud, but I don't use it otherwise. I found it was stealing stuff and floating it about in the cloud, instead of backing up. I don't want that; I've had to open new folders on the hard drive itself to stop it.


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Offline NeilMosspark

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #48 on: June 26, 2017, 04:54:44 AM »
I have found some success writing individual chapters each in a Google Doc for my writing and Storyshop.io for my world building/bible. I own scrivener, but I was a bit turned off by its 'I do everything' look. Its powerful, but I just need a place to write. I will likely do what Laura Rae has done and switch to a chromebook completely.

 

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Offline Alan Petersen

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Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2017, 12:37:57 PM »
I never let editors work with a master file.  They get their own Word document, which is never used for any other purpose, and can make whatever comments they like.  When it's time for me to review the proposed edits, I open their file and my master copy side by side (I have a dual screen set-up - highly recommended!), then manually work my way through the master.

This is what I do, sans dual screens. Have a big iMac.

And another vote for Scrivener love here.

I'm liking your process. Between the editor and proofreaders, I end up with multiple file versions and it gets whacked to keep track.

The way I do it now is that once I'm done writing, I compile the MS into a word doc and then I stay in Word during the editing/revision stage which I then eventually upload to Vellum for formatting. I'm curious, as you go through the edits side-by-side with your master file, is that file another word doc or is your master file in Scrivener?