Author Topic: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?  (Read 2960 times)  

Offline Gregg Bell

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Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
« on: September 02, 2020, 07:01:21 pm »
I'm always looking for a better/faster way to write. I know a lot of you swear by Scrivener, but it just seems so complicated to me (starting with the two-hour 'get to know Scrivener' tutorial). All these notes and cork-boards and what have you seem like a pain to a former pantser like me. I used yWriter7 to write my last book and I am fairly satisfied with the results. (I'll soon see if the public agrees.) Anyway, I'm kind of feeling like I'm missing out on something by not using Scrivener. Am I? Is it really that great?

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    Offline alcyone

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #1 on: September 02, 2020, 07:44:51 pm »
    I think it really depends on you and how your brain works. We all create differently.

    I'm somewhere in the middle between pantser and plotter. I know how my story is going to begin and end, and I know what the theme is. I spend quite a bit of time figuring out my characters and getting them straight in my head. But I don't find I have trouble keeping my characters or the story organized. So, I prefer to just write in Word (or Apple Pages) because it's less cluttered and all I need is a word processor. I also sometimes get breaks at work where I can jump over and work on my fiction; my work computer doesn't have Scrivener, but it does have Word, so with saving to the cloud, I can jump over, grab my manuscript, and work on it without having to compile anything first or needing access to Scrivener.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #2 on: September 02, 2020, 07:53:28 pm »
    I love Scrivener. The cork board is great, and I love being able to drag and drop the scenes around in the binder. The thing with Scrivener is you don't need to use everything if you don't want to. You only have to use as much as you want to use.

    Since you like yWriter, you'd probably like Scrivener, too.
             

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #3 on: September 03, 2020, 02:23:06 am »
    I'm always looking for a better/faster way to write. I know a lot of you swear by Scrivener, but it just seems so complicated to me (starting with the two-hour 'get to know Scrivener' tutorial). All these notes and cork-boards and what have you seem like a pain to a former pantser like me. I used yWriter7 to write my last book and I am fairly satisfied with the results. (I'll soon see if the public agrees.) Anyway, I'm kind of feeling like I'm missing out on something by not using Scrivener. Am I? Is it really that great?

    As someone who is terrible on computers, I'm confused what you mean by complicated. The main useage of Scrivener is to have a single place where you can have many spearate chapter files and reference files all in one place. It's not complicated at all. You can then compile and export to the file type of choice, like Word or whatever you want to send your editor (or convert with Vellum). For trouble-shooting there are many free videos on Youtube that walk you through step by step on how to do things.

    I couldn't imagine writing a novel in Word again after using Scrivener.

    Offline Jeff Hughes

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #4 on: September 03, 2020, 02:36:12 am »
    For those of us who grew up writing on a typewriter, clacking keys an ever present accompaniment to those words being born, carbon paper and whiteout ever close at hand... word processing software is a Godsend.  Even the simple, monolithic word processors like Word and Pages are a remarkable gift.

    All of which is to say... we are so blessed to have the choices we do.  Scrivener is an elegant, beautiful, deep piece of software.  Like Shayne says, use as much of it, or as little, as you like.  There's nothing at all wrong with using it simply, directly - in which case you can be up and running in about ten minutes.  Knowing that it has all these other capabilities that you can discover when (if) you have the need.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #5 on: September 03, 2020, 03:25:01 am »
    I've tried a couple of times to see the benefit of Scrivener and to find out how the thing works. I don't see the point. I use Word, always have, and if I do need any notes or anything I just use a separate file in Word. I don't even know how all of that works, to be honest; I don't need more complications in my life.


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    Offline jvin248

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #6 on: September 03, 2020, 04:53:49 am »
    .

    I use mind mapping/brainstorming software for the cork-board work (Freeplane at the moment, https://www.freeplane.org/wiki/index.php/Home) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nterm2yTApM

    Then I use LibreOffice for the actual writing https://www.libreoffice.org/

    I will rearrange a finished brainstorming map into chapters inside Freeplane/etc and then output that organized outline to text that I bring into LibreOffice. Then I write to the outline, deleting the outline points as I go. Sometimes I have brainstormed topic bubbles that are filled with nearly complete dialog that I just fill in all the tags and actions and punctuation and maybe edit a few words but the content was created while brainstorming. So it's not a rigid sterile outline.

    .
    « Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 04:57:47 am by jvin248 »
           

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #7 on: September 03, 2020, 05:28:11 am »
    I have been using Scrivener for a few years now and I think i only went to the cork board by accident. I do write non fiction, so I mainly use scrivener a a massive outlining tool which will help me in keeping stuff in place. I am also highly proficient in word, have been teaching tools like this for decades (no, not kidding. ).
    The answer is - as always - it depends.

    What I see as a potential yes for you in scrivener is this: Setting all the bells and whistles aside, it is a good writing tool for writing fiction. It has some aspects which might help you in your production, especially the daily statistics. You mention you are a former pantser - I believe it works best when you can use it with story beats. Each of the folders or chapters in the binder can have their own completion status - that helps with f.e. working on different aspects. It produces a good and consistent epub output and helps a lot with that. Looking through the website of your writer, it has a lot of that as well.

    I tried out the free smartwriter and what brought me back to scrivener was the adaptable keyboard shortcuts. i am relying so much on them to quickly work instead of having to use the mouse all the time and that feature alone was worth it.

    So ask yourself: Did you miss something critical / was there something with your current software? If not, just write with it! ;)

    Offline jm2019

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #8 on: September 03, 2020, 06:55:14 am »
    Tried it, couldn't get used to it. Tried Ulysses, liked it, but abandoned it. Tried Word, too slow.

    I now write using Markdown with Visual Studio Code and use a beta tool to process it to word and ePub etc. This has been the least complex/fastest setup for me - VS code (free, from Microsoft, extremely popular among programmers) has many extensions that help you soup it up. And the fact that my entire manuscript is a simple text file on any folder I want, and not a proprietary format, makes it very portable.

    If you're interested, I can share a post I wrote on medium on how to use VS code for writing novels.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #9 on: September 03, 2020, 07:13:32 am »
    I also use yWriter, and it works well for me. I export the semi-final version from there in RTF, then post-process to make some systemic fixes. I finish it off in Word after passes through the Word grammar machine and Grammarly.

    But there is a lot in Scrivener to recommend it and I might try it for book #4.  On the other hand, it is one more learning curve I'd have to climb and I'm not yet convinced that the difference between yWriter and Scrivener is worth it.

    I now write using Markdown with Visual Studio Code and use a beta tool to process it to word and ePub etc. This has been the least complex/fastest setup for me - VS code (free, from Microsoft, extremely popular among programmers) has many extensions that help you soup it up. And the fact that my entire manuscript is a simple text file on any folder I want, and not a proprietary format, makes it very portable.

    I used MSVS for years writing C and C#. Never thought about how it could be used for a novel. Interesting.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #10 on: September 03, 2020, 07:32:57 am »
    I also use yWriter, and it works well for me. I export the semi-final version from there in RTF, then post-process to make some systemic fixes. I finish it off in Word after passes through the Word grammar machine and Grammarly.

    But there is a lot in Scrivener to recommend it and I might try it for book #4.  On the other hand, it is one more learning curve I'd have to climb and I'm not yet convinced that the difference between yWriter and Scrivener is worth it.

    I used MSVS for years writing C and C#. Never thought about how it could be used for a novel. Interesting.

    What is this learning curve you speak of? I'm computer illiterate and navigate Scrivener no problem.

    Offline jm2019

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #11 on: September 03, 2020, 07:40:55 am »
    @Rock - VS code is not the same as the VS of older times - this is a light(er) version, free, and is very popular now. I don't write code (haven't written in a while) but you should give it a shot. It's really, really good. :) My last couple of books have been written entirely this way. The extensions are powerful and really handy.

    I also use yWriter, and it works well for me. I export the semi-final version from there in RTF, then post-process to make some systemic fixes. I finish it off in Word after passes through the Word grammar machine and Grammarly.

    But there is a lot in Scrivener to recommend it and I might try it for book #4.  On the other hand, it is one more learning curve I'd have to climb and I'm not yet convinced that the difference between yWriter and Scrivener is worth it.

    I used MSVS for years writing C and C#. Never thought about how it could be used for a novel. Interesting.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #12 on: September 03, 2020, 09:04:24 am »
    You aren't missing out. yWriter does a lot of what Scrivener does, just in slightly different ways.

    They both let you easily include extensive notes within the project, and flexibly organize projects in smaller chunks (chapters or scenes).

    The real leap is from office style word processors to either Scrivener or yWriter, and you've already made that transition. After that it's just whether your prefer bells or whistles.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #13 on: September 03, 2020, 09:16:08 am »
     The only thing Scrivener has that ywriter doesn't is the corkboard. At least that was the only element missing that I cared about. There are probably other small differences. I think Scrivener lets you export as epub and ywriter doesn't do that. But the two programs are very similar. I like ywriter because it's free. Although I never remember to use it.
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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #14 on: September 03, 2020, 09:33:48 am »
    What is this learning curve you speak of? I'm computer illiterate and navigate Scrivener no problem.

    I would take this as a huge compliment to Scrivener!

    To answer directly, I'm not sure. But I am entrenched/invested enough in what I'm currently using to question whether a switch is worth the price.

    I agree with J. Tanner - the big jump is from something like Word or OpenOffice or whatever to a chapter/scene organized product like yWriter or Scrivener. It's made a huge difference for me.





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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #15 on: September 03, 2020, 10:16:44 am »
    I think it really depends on you and how your brain works. We all create differently.

    I'm somewhere in the middle between pantser and plotter. I know how my story is going to begin and end, and I know what the theme is. I spend quite a bit of time figuring out my characters and getting them straight in my head. But I don't find I have trouble keeping my characters or the story organized. So, I prefer to just write in Word (or Apple Pages) because it's less cluttered and all I need is a word processor. I also sometimes get breaks at work where I can jump over and work on my fiction; my work computer doesn't have Scrivener, but it does have Word, so with saving to the cloud, I can jump over, grab my manuscript, and work on it without having to compile anything first or needing access to Scrivener.

    Thanks alcyone. Sounds like you've got the perfect method for your needs. I just need to determine what my needs are.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #16 on: September 03, 2020, 10:18:39 am »
    I love Scrivener. The cork board is great, and I love being able to drag and drop the scenes around in the binder. The thing with Scrivener is you don't need to use everything if you don't want to. You only have to use as much as you want to use.

    Since you like yWriter, you'd probably like Scrivener, too.

    Thanks Shayne. I think it's worth trying at least. I've already downloaded it but was psyched out by the 2-hour introduction. (I know there's a shorter introduction version.)

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #17 on: September 03, 2020, 10:22:58 am »
    As someone who is terrible on computers, I'm confused what you mean by complicated. The main useage of Scrivener is to have a single place where you can have many spearate chapter files and reference files all in one place. It's not complicated at all. You can then compile and export to the file type of choice, like Word or whatever you want to send your editor (or convert with Vellum). For trouble-shooting there are many free videos on Youtube that walk you through step by step on how to do things.

    I couldn't imagine writing a novel in Word again after using Scrivener.

    Thanks H.C.

    Quote
    I'm confused what you mean by complicated

    Well, when you're used to pantsing just on LibreOffice without switching scenes around or having notes on a corkboard, Scrivener seems complicated. Like, 'why do I need all that stuff?' But I guess I have the lingering suspicion that Scrivener will make me a better writer. (Maybe that's what I should've asked in the subject heading.)

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #18 on: September 03, 2020, 10:24:32 am »
    For those of us who grew up writing on a typewriter, clacking keys an ever present accompaniment to those words being born, carbon paper and whiteout ever close at hand... word processing software is a Godsend.  Even the simple, monolithic word processors like Word and Pages are a remarkable gift.

    All of which is to say... we are so blessed to have the choices we do.  Scrivener is an elegant, beautiful, deep piece of software.  Like Shayne says, use as much of it, or as little, as you like.  There's nothing at all wrong with using it simply, directly - in which case you can be up and running in about ten minutes.  Knowing that it has all these other capabilities that you can discover when (if) you have the need.


    Thanks Jeff. That makes sense. And yeah, I started on a typewriter. Scratching stuff out. Whiteout gunking things up. LOL

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #19 on: September 03, 2020, 10:25:45 am »
    I've tried a couple of times to see the benefit of Scrivener and to find out how the thing works. I don't see the point. I use Word, always have, and if I do need any notes or anything I just use a separate file in Word. I don't even know how all of that works, to be honest; I don't need more complications in my life.

    Thanks Doglover. I'm pretty much with you. But for me, I'm wondering if Scrivener will improve my writing.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #20 on: September 03, 2020, 10:30:49 am »
    .

    I use mind mapping/brainstorming software for the cork-board work (Freeplane at the moment, https://www.freeplane.org/wiki/index.php/Home) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nterm2yTApM

    Then I use LibreOffice for the actual writing https://www.libreoffice.org/

    I will rearrange a finished brainstorming map into chapters inside Freeplane/etc and then output that organized outline to text that I bring into LibreOffice. Then I write to the outline, deleting the outline points as I go. Sometimes I have brainstormed topic bubbles that are filled with nearly complete dialog that I just fill in all the tags and actions and punctuation and maybe edit a few words but the content was created while brainstorming. So it's not a rigid sterile outline.

    .

    Thanks jvin. I looked at that Freeplane. Very interesting. Sounds like you've got a great process.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #21 on: September 03, 2020, 10:31:37 am »
    I've used both yWriter (6) and Scrivener and much prefer the former, although I currently use StoryBox.

    Pros and Cons:

    yWriter for better word count functionality, goal setting etc; ability to print out a scene list; moving scenes/chapters (Scriv tends to eat my scenes when I try to move them.)

    Scrivener for the corkboard which is miles better than yWriter's storyboard.

    Other than that, you take your pick. Good luck.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #22 on: September 03, 2020, 10:34:04 am »
    I have been using Scrivener for a few years now and I think i only went to the cork board by accident. I do write non fiction, so I mainly use scrivener a a massive outlining tool which will help me in keeping stuff in place. I am also highly proficient in word, have been teaching tools like this for decades (no, not kidding. ).
    The answer is - as always - it depends.

    What I see as a potential yes for you in scrivener is this: Setting all the bells and whistles aside, it is a good writing tool for writing fiction. It has some aspects which might help you in your production, especially the daily statistics. You mention you are a former pantser - I believe it works best when you can use it with story beats. Each of the folders or chapters in the binder can have their own completion status - that helps with f.e. working on different aspects. It produces a good and consistent epub output and helps a lot with that. Looking through the website of your writer, it has a lot of that as well.

    I tried out the free smartwriter and what brought me back to scrivener was the adaptable keyboard shortcuts. i am relying so much on them to quickly work instead of having to use the mouse all the time and that feature alone was worth it.

    So ask yourself: Did you miss something critical / was there something with your current software? If not, just write with it! ;)

    Thanks Nicole. I think I just don't know if I'm missing something or not. I downloaded Scrivener. People say it's better than Ywriter. I'll give it a try at least. Maybe I'll find the features to be so helpful like you did.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #23 on: September 03, 2020, 10:36:00 am »
    Tried it, couldn't get used to it. Tried Ulysses, liked it, but abandoned it. Tried Word, too slow.

    I now write using Markdown with Visual Studio Code and use a beta tool to process it to word and ePub etc. This has been the least complex/fastest setup for me - VS code (free, from Microsoft, extremely popular among programmers) has many extensions that help you soup it up. And the fact that my entire manuscript is a simple text file on any folder I want, and not a proprietary format, makes it very portable.

    If you're interested, I can share a post I wrote on medium on how to use VS code for writing novels.

    Thanks jm. I read one of your earlier posts about VS and checked it out. It looks so cool as an editor but I couldn't see writing on it. I'll probably download it anyway just to try it out.

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    Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
    « Reply #24 on: September 03, 2020, 10:38:19 am »
    You aren't missing out. yWriter does a lot of what Scrivener does, just in slightly different ways.

    They both let you easily include extensive notes within the project, and flexibly organize projects in smaller chunks (chapters or scenes).

    The real leap is from office style word processors to either Scrivener or yWriter, and you've already made that transition. After that it's just whether your prefer bells or whistles.


    Thanks J. Yeah, yWriter seemed manageable. I'd have trouble keeping track of a timeline while pantsing and yWriter solved that problem. Now I'm just kind of siren-like drawn to Scrivener it seems. I think I'll have to try it to get the jonesing out of my system.

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #25 on: September 03, 2020, 10:42:49 am »
      Try this: 

      https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/   

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #26 on: September 03, 2020, 10:45:27 am »
      Thanks Doglover. I'm pretty much with you. But for me, I'm wondering if Scrivener will improve my writing.
      I don't see how. It does nothing to help your writing, only your organisation if you have a problem with that. When I write I want to get lost in the tale, not wonder how I find a note that I posted up somewhere or other at some time or another.


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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #27 on: September 03, 2020, 11:14:09 am »
      But for me, I'm wondering if Scrivener will improve my writing.

      I don't know about making you a better writer, but I think there's a good possibility that it could help you improve your planning/plotting. The cork board is fantastic. It was the main reason that I moved from yWriter to Scrivener. Because yWriter is a really nice piece of software, and I liked it a lot. I just really wanted the cork board.
               

      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #28 on: September 03, 2020, 12:12:33 pm »
      I also use yWriter, and it works well for me. I export the semi-final version from there in RTF, then post-process to make some systemic fixes. I finish it off in Word after passes through the Word grammar machine and Grammarly.

      But there is a lot in Scrivener to recommend it and I might try it for book #4.  On the other hand, it is one more learning curve I'd have to climb and I'm not yet convinced that the difference between yWriter and Scrivener is worth it.


      Thanks Rock. We're in exactly the same spot. One more learning curve to climb.

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      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #29 on: September 03, 2020, 12:15:25 pm »
      The only thing Scrivener has that ywriter doesn't is the corkboard.

      Thanks K'Sennia. And I can't see using that corkboard. I don't know how people switch scenes and chapters and stuff. My writing I guess is very linear.

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #30 on: September 03, 2020, 12:21:38 pm »
      I've used both yWriter (6) and Scrivener and much prefer the former, although I currently use StoryBox.

      Pros and Cons:

      yWriter for better word count functionality, goal setting etc; ability to print out a scene list; moving scenes/chapters (Scriv tends to eat my scenes when I try to move them.)

      Scrivener for the corkboard which is miles better than yWriter's storyboard.

      Other than that, you take your pick. Good luck.

      Thanks Lynda. Despite using yWriter I didn't even know it had a storyboard.

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      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #31 on: September 03, 2020, 12:25:57 pm »
      Try this: 

      https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/   

      It's a lightsaber, so you'll have to become a Jedi to use it properly, but once you do, you'll be more powerful than they can possibly imagine. 



      Thanks Shane. Wow, that looks like one powerful editor.

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      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #32 on: September 03, 2020, 12:28:21 pm »
      I don't see how. It does nothing to help your writing, only your organisation if you have a problem with that. When I write I want to get lost in the tale, not wonder how I find a note that I posted up somewhere or other at some time or another.

      I hear you. Just organizing at all seems foreign to me. But it does seem to bring a richer story somehow. I'm really just experimenting, the never-ending search for a more effective process.

      "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #33 on: September 03, 2020, 12:29:20 pm »
      I don't know about making you a better writer, but I think there's a good possibility that it could help you improve your planning/plotting. The cork board is fantastic. It was the main reason that I moved from yWriter to Scrivener. Because yWriter is a really nice piece of software, and I liked it a lot. I just really wanted the cork board.

      Thanks Shayne. I'm gonna have to try that corkboard.

      "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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      Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #34 on: September 03, 2020, 03:10:18 pm »
      Scrivener is very easy to use. Wrapping your head around the concept of how Scrivener works is the hard part. It's not a word processor. It's more of an organizational tool with a built in text editor. I had a hard time, but once I "got it" (and as Lo Pan reminds us, we were not brought upon this earth to "get it") everything fell into place and it's become invaluable for longer projects.

      Offline vagabond.voyager

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #35 on: September 03, 2020, 03:10:36 pm »
      I'm always looking for a better/faster way to write. I know a lot of you swear by Scrivener, but it just seems so complicated to me (starting with the two-hour 'get to know Scrivener' tutorial). All these notes and cork-boards and what have you seem like a pain to a former pantser like me. I used yWriter7 to write my last book and I am fairly satisfied with the results. (I'll soon see if the public agrees.) Anyway, I'm kind of feeling like I'm missing out on something by not using Scrivener. Am I? Is it really that great?
      Yes. Learning to use Scrivener is well worth the small effort involved. I have no idea why, but many people regard it as very complex. It is very simple. What it does is automate the writing practices used by a great many writers. I have used it since its Beta days. It was useful to me within less than an hour of installing it. If your writing process doesn't use all of Scrivener's features, it is not an issue. Just ignore functions that you do not use. You will probably find that as you become familiar with the software, the features it offers that you have not used become a valuable aid to improving your writing.
      « Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 06:52:35 pm by vagabond.voyager »

      Offline Maura

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #36 on: September 03, 2020, 07:56:27 pm »
      Scrivener isn't hard to learn if you remember there are no Scrivener police to force you to use all the features. I skimmed through their Tutorial, only actually read those things I needed to get started, and then put an old 3-chapter short in it and played around a bit. Then, after my first three books in WordPerfect (yes, I'm a dinosaur and never going to use Word willingly), wrote my fourth in Scrivener and have used it ever since. When I want to do something less basic and have a vague recollection Scriv will do that, I look it up and adopt it.

      How you use it is up to you. I'm still a pretty basic user, before Scriv, I'd have a printed outline and it would get so crossed out and revised I'd have to print it again and again as I went along. Now I change my outline as I go along and have new/better ideas. Same for character lists. I never figured out why some people think us outliners engrave the things in stone and never deviate. I use Scriv's Outliner feature, but the Corkboard doesn't work for me, and I never even call it up. Tried it with that fourth book and all that happened was I wasted a lot of time fiddling with it.

      The reason I looked into Scriv in the first place was posts right here where people posted screenshots of their setup and said how they used it. My romances have dual POV for H/h, and I'd just finished revisions on that fourth book where I needed to soften the H's entire character. What I had* to do to separate out all his scenes and revise and make sure they still showed him as a consistent person was really burdensome. Looking at those screenshots and people's posts, I could see how easy it would have been to do what I found necessary in Scrivener. That lured me to the switch, even though I've never had that particular problem again.

      I get the impression from the Literature & Latte forums that the hard part of Scrivener is compiling a publication-ready book. Maybe that's why I don't think it's hard - all I need to do is get my book out of Scriv. I did compile to mobi for beta readers a couple of times, but of course that doesn't need to be as perfect as for pub. Nowadays it Vellum for me, and because I hate Word, I kick the project out of Scriv in rtf, print, proofread and do some last picky revisions there, and then save to docx for Vellum.

      *Okay, you could argue I didn't "have" to do it that way, but I wanted to and was determined to and did, albeit with much cursing and muttering.

      Offline Will Write for Gruel

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #37 on: September 03, 2020, 09:25:06 pm »
      New here. There's a free tool, Wavemaker, that's a lot like Scrivener.

      https://wavemaker.cards/

      It offers cards, which is like the corkboard. It supports the snowflake method of outlining, but you don't need to use that. It has a planning board, grid planner, mind maps, etc.

      It syncs with Google drive.

      It's free and it works on all platforms, including your phone. While I like Scrivener, to move to a different PC you need to export. With Wavemaker your files are saved to Google drive, so as long as you have an internet connection you can use Wavemaker on any device. This is handy if you normally work on a PC but, say, have lightweight Chromebook you want to use in a cafe or on the road.

      You can even open up your work on your phone and use Google's voice to text feature to dictate your writing. It's surprisingly accurate for a free feature.

      I'm not saying it's the best, but free is free and it's cool that you can move effortlessly from device to device without having to export your work. 

      Offline Markham Correct

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #38 on: September 04, 2020, 04:50:12 am »
      Definitely worth at least getting your feet wet and giving it a try. A huge percentage of my authors swear by Scrivener, and I use it myself for various projects.
      It's awkward at first, but can save you a huge amount of time in the long run.
      The only downside to it I'm aware of is that it's not great for editing - "Write in Scrivener, edit in Word" is something I hear all the time.

      Offline scott.marmorstein

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #39 on: September 04, 2020, 07:04:01 am »
      I've sometimes had the dream of Scrivener being entirely web/cloud based. Then I wake up and realize it would never really work well. As a program on a computer (or even an ipad) it really is wonderful and makes all the difference a difference can make. I love the full screen distraction free mode. You can change the colors of the text, the background (can make the background of your full screen experience unique with an image), you can drag and drop chapters wherever you need them to be instead of them being stuck in a specific order. The side notes are amazing and there's just so much that can keep you on track with whatever you've been thinking about for your book. I even use it on my iphone when I'm away from my computer to make quick updates to passages, and because of Dropbox it syncs automatically so when I get home and pull it up on my computer the changes are all there.

      Scrivener is pretty great once you get used to its versatility and useful options (there's plenty it does that I'd never bother with.)

      Offline Brevoort

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #40 on: September 04, 2020, 08:08:29 am »
      It's not a word processor. It's more of an organizational tool with a built in text editor.

      That also was the key insight for me. Once I realized the benefits of keeping everything, draft, research, notes to self, pictures, deleted scenes, etc and etc in one place where nothing can get lost (use the backup and snapshot features) I really took off with Scrivener. I also very much like the distraction free feature which I have modified to show yellow text on a deep blue background, reminiscent of the old Word and WordPerfect screens.

      It can't be simpler. Open a project, create a new text, and just start writing. All else that you might like to do can be learned as you go. It's about as complicated at that stage as using a pointy stick on a lump of wet clay. That's how the Gilgamesh Epic was written and that was 4 thousand years ago.


      In the early years, before it sank in, I had more than one crusty, raw, loud, and probably alcoholic, editor say stuff along the lines of . . .




      "If you are fussing over finding the right typewriter, the right pen, the right chair and desk, and the right place to write, just realize that what you are really doing is running away from writing.
      You are hiding.
      Stop messing about and write."




      Such sentiments would usually be delivered in a voice used by mad colonels and drill sergeants and well peppered with epithets.


      I try very hard to remember what they used to yell when I catch myself doing something stupid like trying to find a better keyboard online, or wasting time looking for a bigger, better, faster computer which I do not need. Any old computer can emulate that lump of clay if I just stop hiding and get writing.


      Rick Grant
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      Offline Will Write for Gruel

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #41 on: September 04, 2020, 08:37:47 am »
      I've sometimes had the dream of Scrivener being entirely web/cloud based. Then I wake up and realize it would never really work well. As a program on a computer (or even an ipad) it really is wonderful and makes all the difference a difference can make. I love the full screen distraction free mode.

      Why couldn't it be web-based? Instead of saving everything locally it could save to the cloud. That's what is cool about Wavemaker. Wavemaker also offers the distraction free mode.

      I am not really pushing Wavemaker. I have no stake in it. It's just that I do think it can be a useful tool that does a lot of what Scrivener does, and most people seem to not have heard of it. It's worth looking at if someone is thinking of going to a new writing tool.

      Offline scott.marmorstein

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #42 on: September 04, 2020, 08:59:43 am »
      Why couldn't it be web-based? Instead of saving everything locally it could save to the cloud. That's what is cool about Wavemaker. Wavemaker also offers the distraction free mode.

      I am not really pushing Wavemaker. I have no stake in it. It's just that I do think it can be a useful tool that does a lot of what Scrivener does, and most people seem to not have heard of it. It's worth looking at if someone is thinking of going to a new writing tool.

      The paranoid part of me worries: what if I can't connect to the internet for days at a time? What if servers all around the world got destroyed in some kind of freakish hack? All those stories I've been writing--I'd at least have my latest on my computer!

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #43 on: September 04, 2020, 10:24:56 am »

      It's awkward at first, but can save you a huge amount of time in the long run.

      How? How can it save me time? As it is, I open a new file in Word, set up the formatting, and write. Any notes I need are put into another file with a similar name. That's it. How can Scrivener do any better than that?


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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #44 on: September 04, 2020, 11:15:41 am »
      How? How can it save me time? As it is, I open a new file in Word, set up the formatting, and write. Any notes I need are put into another file with a similar name. That's it. How can Scrivener do any better than that?

      It keeps all the notes in the same file. You can move from manuscript to notes with a single mouse click. All the scenes are shown in a section on the left side, called The Binder, and you can drag and drop scenes wherever you want, which makes restructuring the plot much easier if you have to do it. It also makes things much easier if you need to go back and consult an earlier scene to check a detail. In Word, you have to scroll up however far you need to go. In Scrivener, you just click to the scene you want, get what you need, and then click back to the scene you were in. On the right side, you can have a thing called The Inspector, which is basically a section for adding notes to each scene, and short scene synopsis. The notes stay attached to their scene, so you're not scrolling around looking for stuff. Everything is right there when you need it, right in the same file, neatly organized.
               

      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #45 on: September 04, 2020, 11:49:25 am »
      Scrivener is very easy to use. Wrapping your head around the concept of how Scrivener works is the hard part. It's not a word processor. It's more of an organizational tool with a built in text editor. I had a hard time, but once I "got it" (and as Lo Pan reminds us, we were not brought upon this earth to "get it") everything fell into place and it's become invaluable for longer projects.
      Thanks Speaker. The last time I looked at the intro I was getting more comfortable with it already.

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      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #46 on: September 04, 2020, 11:52:08 am »
      Scrivener isn't hard to learn if you remember there are no Scrivener police to force you to use all the features. I skimmed through their Tutorial, only actually read those things I needed to get started, and then put an old 3-chapter short in it and played around a bit. Then, after my first three books in WordPerfect (yes, I'm a dinosaur and never going to use Word willingly), wrote my fourth in Scrivener and have used it ever since. When I want to do something less basic and have a vague recollection Scriv will do that, I look it up and adopt it.

      How you use it is up to you. I'm still a pretty basic user, before Scriv, I'd have a printed outline and it would get so crossed out and revised I'd have to print it again and again as I went along. Now I change my outline as I go along and have new/better ideas. Same for character lists. I never figured out why some people think us outliners engrave the things in stone and never deviate. I use Scriv's Outliner feature, but the Corkboard doesn't work for me, and I never even call it up. Tried it with that fourth book and all that happened was I wasted a lot of time fiddling with it.

      The reason I looked into Scriv in the first place was posts right here where people posted screenshots of their setup and said how they used it. My romances have dual POV for H/h, and I'd just finished revisions on that fourth book where I needed to soften the H's entire character. What I had* to do to separate out all his scenes and revise and make sure they still showed him as a consistent person was really burdensome. Looking at those screenshots and people's posts, I could see how easy it would have been to do what I found necessary in Scrivener. That lured me to the switch, even though I've never had that particular problem again.

      I get the impression from the Literature & Latte forums that the hard part of Scrivener is compiling a publication-ready book. Maybe that's why I don't think it's hard - all I need to do is get my book out of Scriv. I did compile to mobi for beta readers a couple of times, but of course that doesn't need to be as perfect as for pub. Nowadays it Vellum for me, and because I hate Word, I kick the project out of Scriv in rtf, print, proofread and do some last picky revisions there, and then save to docx for Vellum.

      *Okay, you could argue I didn't "have" to do it that way, but I wanted to and was determined to and did, albeit with much cursing and muttering.
      Thanks Maura. I dictated my last book and then made the final epub in Sigil, so I was just looking at Scrivener for it's organizational capabilities. (And thanks for the warning about avoiding the Scrivener police.)

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      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #47 on: September 04, 2020, 11:53:33 am »
      New here. There's a free tool, Wavemaker, that's a lot like Scrivener.

      https://wavemaker.cards/

      It offers cards, which is like the corkboard. It supports the snowflake method of outlining, but you don't need to use that. It has a planning board, grid planner, mind maps, etc.

      It syncs with Google drive.

      It's free and it works on all platforms, including your phone. While I like Scrivener, to move to a different PC you need to export. With Wavemaker your files are saved to Google drive, so as long as you have an internet connection you can use Wavemaker on any device. This is handy if you normally work on a PC but, say, have lightweight Chromebook you want to use in a cafe or on the road.

      You can even open up your work on your phone and use Google's voice to text feature to dictate your writing. It's surprisingly accurate for a free feature.

      I'm not saying it's the best, but free is free and it's cool that you can move effortlessly from device to device without having to export your work. 

      Thanks Will. I looked at it and it looks really cool. Really clean look for the actual composing.

      "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #48 on: September 04, 2020, 11:54:24 am »
      Definitely worth at least getting your feet wet and giving it a try. A huge percentage of my authors swear by Scrivener, and I use it myself for various projects.
      It's awkward at first, but can save you a huge amount of time in the long run.
      The only downside to it I'm aware of is that it's not great for editing - "Write in Scrivener, edit in Word" is something I hear all the time.

      Thanks Markham. Yeah, I gotta at least try it.

      "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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      Offline Gregg Bell

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      Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
      « Reply #49 on: September 04, 2020, 11:57:20 am »
      That also was the key insight for me. Once I realized the benefits of keeping everything, draft, research, notes to self, pictures, deleted scenes, etc and etc in one place where nothing can get lost (use the backup and snapshot features) I really took off with Scrivener. I also very much like the distraction free feature which I have modified to show yellow text on a deep blue background, reminiscent of the old Word and WordPerfect screens.

      It can't be simpler. Open a project, create a new text, and just start writing. All else that you might like to do can be learned as you go. It's about as complicated at that stage as using a pointy stick on a lump of wet clay. That's how the Gilgamesh Epic was written and that was 4 thousand years ago.


      In the early years, before it sank in, I had more than one crusty, raw, loud, and probably alcoholic, editor say stuff along the lines of . . .




      "If you are fussing over finding the right typewriter, the right pen, the right chair and desk, and the right place to write, just realize that what you are really doing is running away from writing.
      You are hiding.
      Stop messing about and write."




      Such sentiments would usually be delivered in a voice used by mad colonels and drill sergeants and well peppered with epithets.


      I try very hard to remember what they used to yell when I catch myself doing something stupid like trying to find a better keyboard online, or wasting time looking for a bigger, better, faster computer which I do not need. Any old computer can emulate that lump of clay if I just stop hiding and get writing.




      Thanks Brevoort. I noticed the snapshot feature and yeah, it looks really sweet.

      Quote
      I try very hard to remember what they used to yell when I catch myself doing something stupid like trying to find a better keyboard online, or wasting time looking for a bigger, better, faster computer which I do not need. Any old computer can emulate that lump of clay if I just stop hiding and get writing.

      Yup. Needed to hear that. Thanks.

      "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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        Offline Maura

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #50 on: September 04, 2020, 01:31:16 pm »
        How? How can it save me time? As it is, I open a new file in Word, set up the formatting, and write. Any notes I need are put into another file with a similar name. That's it. How can Scrivener do any better than that?
        Like everything else in writing, it depends on the individual, and for those who are happy with something else, it's one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it things." It's like for me when people talk about timeline software or mind-mapping software, I think, huh? Those things hold no appeal whatsoever. I do keep a timeline, but it's just a document, and I think whatever the other does, I do it in my very own mind. I never used index cards, and for me Scrivener's corkboard feature, which so many love, was just a waste of time. Since my initial experiments with it, I've never bother looking at it.

        For me the big time-saver is probably that I don't have pieces of paper floating all around until they're so coffee-stained with words and phrases scratched out and almost unreadable additions here and there I had to go back, revise the original outline or character list and print again. I want to be able to see those things as I go, and while with Scrivener I can't see the equivalent of an 8 x 11 paper, I can see enough of those things as I write to keep me happy - no coffee stains. Moving scenes is also notably easier for me, but probably some others don't do that as much as I do.

        I also went through one memorable hour of tearing my house apart when I couldn't find the research notes I'd made from a book already returned to the library. That stuff all goes in Scriv now. The experience would probably have made me more careful even when I was still writing with WP but since it happened with my last WP-written book, I can't say for sure.

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #51 on: September 04, 2020, 11:17:22 pm »
        It keeps all the notes in the same file. You can move from manuscript to notes with a single mouse click. All the scenes are shown in a section on the left side, called The Binder, and you can drag and drop scenes wherever you want, which makes restructuring the plot much easier if you have to do it. It also makes things much easier if you need to go back and consult an earlier scene to check a detail. In Word, you have to scroll up however far you need to go. In Scrivener, you just click to the scene you want, get what you need, and then click back to the scene you were in. On the right side, you can have a thing called The Inspector, which is basically a section for adding notes to each scene, and short scene synopsis. The notes stay attached to their scene, so you're not scrolling around looking for stuff. Everything is right there when you need it, right in the same file, neatly organized.
        I have both Word files open so I can click from one to the other. I can call up an earlier scene by simply doing a find on one or two words. I don't outline and I don't do synopses of anything. I'm sure it works for some, but it's definitely not going to appeal to me.

        Perhaps because I am a naturally disorganised slob in my everyday life!


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        Offline unkownwriter

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #52 on: September 05, 2020, 09:15:59 am »
        I'm a pantser and I like writing with Scrivener. I mainly got it for the compile, and the promise that the PC version would sync with the Mac soon (at this point, it's never going to happen). Before that, I used yWriter, which is simple and easy, and worked with my brain. I like to have things in one file, rather than endless Word docs that I never could keep up with.

        You don't have to learn all the bells and whistles. I sure don't. I use it to write, and to keep notes and research, and then compile when I'm done. I don't do PDF, as I don't like how the program formats them (I don't like how D2D does, either), so I do that by hand. Urgh.

        Offline AdalynMacAdams

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #53 on: September 05, 2020, 01:16:43 pm »
        I've used both Scrivener and yWriter6 for a long while, they are both great tools. For me, it just depends on whether I want to draft my novel on a PC or a Mac, really. Usually it's the Mac that wins out, so therefore I write on Scrivener. But it sounds like you're comfortable with yWriter, so I'd say there's no real compelling reason to change over. (If you were using any other software besides yWriter I might encourage you otherwise.)

        If you want to try Scrivener, you don't have to use all the nifty tools, just start writing your scenes to get comfortable with it. Eventually you might want to try some of the other features, but I haven't bothered yet because I'm happy with just drafting my scenes. If I get stuck on working out the plot I usually just go old-school and write out ideas for awhile longhand.

        Whenever a yWriter comes out for Mac I might switch over to it. I do prefer a simpler interface that's just focused on distraction-free drafting (too many bells & whistles on Scrivener). It all comes down to personal preference: use whichever tool you feel most comfortable with.

        Offline ShawnaReads

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #54 on: September 05, 2020, 01:39:54 pm »
        I find Scrivener to be extremely helpful. I don't write in it (I write the actual manuscript in LibreOffice Writer), but I use Scrivener for everything else (notes, story bible, character histories, outlining, etc.). Before Scrivener, I used some combination of handwritten notes and Word document files, which were not nearly as organized as I needed to be. I've found Scrivener to be much better. And I don't use the corkboard feature. I use the program more like an extremely organized binder that lets me flip between sections and add things as I need to without getting everything else out of order.

        Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #55 on: September 06, 2020, 02:44:15 pm »
        Quote
        Wavemaker also offers the distraction free mode.

        Scrivener has this.

        Offline vagabond.voyager

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #56 on: September 06, 2020, 06:59:34 pm »
        I'm always looking for a better/faster way to write. I know a lot of you swear by Scrivener, but it just seems so complicated to me (starting with the two-hour 'get to know Scrivener' tutorial). All these notes and cork-boards and what have you seem like a pain to a former pantser like me. I used yWriter7 to write my last book and I am fairly satisfied with the results. (I'll soon see if the public agrees.) Anyway, I'm kind of feeling like I'm missing out on something by not using Scrivener. Am I? Is it really that great?
        The only advice that counted was: "Change to ribbon before it gets too faint to be legible."

        Offline Corvid

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #57 on: September 06, 2020, 09:12:26 pm »
        I like Scrivener, but my old laptop is a goner and my new one is a Chromebook and I don't think you can use Scrivener on a Chromebook without being well-versed in tech and capable of doing work-arounds that, if you're not careful, could cause problems for said Chromebook. I'm definitely not tech-y enough to risk that.

        Would love to be corrected on this if wrong.


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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #58 on: September 08, 2020, 04:48:34 pm »
        I'm a pantser and I like writing with Scrivener. I mainly got it for the compile, and the promise that the PC version would sync with the Mac soon (at this point, it's never going to happen). Before that, I used yWriter, which is simple and easy, and worked with my brain. I like to have things in one file, rather than endless Word docs that I never could keep up with.

        You don't have to learn all the bells and whistles. I sure don't. I use it to write, and to keep notes and research, and then compile when I'm done. I don't do PDF, as I don't like how the program formats them (I don't like how D2D does, either), so I do that by hand. Urgh.

        Thanks writer. I like the simplicity of yWriter. I also found that some of the tutorials are only for Mac. The praise of other writers and the corkboard are why I'm giving Scrivener it a try.

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        Offline Gregg Bell

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #59 on: September 08, 2020, 04:49:53 pm »
        I've used both Scrivener and yWriter6 for a long while, they are both great tools. For me, it just depends on whether I want to draft my novel on a PC or a Mac, really. Usually it's the Mac that wins out, so therefore I write on Scrivener. But it sounds like you're comfortable with yWriter, so I'd say there's no real compelling reason to change over. (If you were using any other software besides yWriter I might encourage you otherwise.)

        If you want to try Scrivener, you don't have to use all the nifty tools, just start writing your scenes to get comfortable with it. Eventually you might want to try some of the other features, but I haven't bothered yet because I'm happy with just drafting my scenes. If I get stuck on working out the plot I usually just go old-school and write out ideas for awhile longhand.

        Whenever a yWriter comes out for Mac I might switch over to it. I do prefer a simpler interface that's just focused on distraction-free drafting (too many bells & whistles on Scrivener). It all comes down to personal preference: use whichever tool you feel most comfortable with.

        Thanks Adalyn. Good advice. I think if yWriter had a corkboard I'd be happy with it. It is MUCH simpler.

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        Offline Gregg Bell

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #60 on: September 08, 2020, 04:51:50 pm »
        I find Scrivener to be extremely helpful. I don't write in it (I write the actual manuscript in LibreOffice Writer), but I use Scrivener for everything else (notes, story bible, character histories, outlining, etc.). Before Scrivener, I used some combination of handwritten notes and Word document files, which were not nearly as organized as I needed to be. I've found Scrivener to be much better. And I don't use the corkboard feature. I use the program more like an extremely organized binder that lets me flip between sections and add things as I need to without getting everything else out of order.
        Thanks Shawna. Scrivener is a good place for sticking stuff.

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        Offline Gregg Bell

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #61 on: September 08, 2020, 04:52:22 pm »
        The only advice that counted was: "Change to ribbon before it gets too faint to be legible."
        Or you run out of Whiteout.

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        Offline Crystal_

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #62 on: September 08, 2020, 07:10:10 pm »
        I don't find Scrivener complicated at all. I simply ignore features I don't need. I use it 99% for the binder. It's much easier to keep track of my novel with everything broken into folders (chapters) and scenes.

        I can very easily jump to my desired chapter & I can see a bird's eye view of my novel.

        Word and other software is fine for shorter works, but I find it very slow and laggy with longer files.

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #63 on: September 09, 2020, 10:40:12 am »
        I don't find Scrivener complicated at all. I simply ignore features I don't need. I use it 99% for the binder. It's much easier to keep track of my novel with everything broken into folders (chapters) and scenes.

        I can very easily jump to my desired chapter & I can see a bird's eye view of my novel.

        Word and other software is fine for shorter works, but I find it very slow and laggy with longer files.

        Thanks Crystal

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        Offline DCRWrites

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #64 on: September 10, 2020, 09:24:38 am »
        I'm another who's written novels in both Scrivener and yWriter--I use Scrivener now because I do most of my writing these days on Mac--I would say the switch is pretty easy because both work very similarly. As far as I'm concerned, the choice comes down to your preference in platform and which one feels better to you.

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #65 on: September 10, 2020, 10:51:16 am »
        I'm another who's written novels in both Scrivener and yWriter--I use Scrivener now because I do most of my writing these days on Mac--I would say the switch is pretty easy because both work very similarly. As far as I'm concerned, the choice comes down to your preference in platform and which one feels better to you.


        Thanks DCR. I've got both too (well, the Scrivener free trial) and I'm really leaning toward yWriter.

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        Offline Decon

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #66 on: September 10, 2020, 11:05:53 am »
        Just downloaded the scrivenger trial for Windows, but it says it's not as functional as the mac version 3. Not sure what the difference is. Anyway, I'll take a look and see if it's of use. I outline already, but do it manually in Word which is maybe not as accessible to outline notes in separate files.


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        Offline Decon

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #67 on: September 10, 2020, 12:58:28 pm »
        Just downloaded the scrivenger trial for Windows, but it says it's not as functional as the mac version 3. Not sure what the difference is. Anyway, I'll take a look and see if it's of use. I outline already, but do it manually in Word which is maybe not as accessible to outline notes in separate files.

        Well, that didn't take long, I've uninstalled it . I must be too old to learn new tricks. I'll stick to my own Word outline file template that covers everything I need and I'll  have both the MS and outline file open when writing.


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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #68 on: September 10, 2020, 11:06:39 pm »
        Well, that didn't take long, I've uninstalled it . I must be too old to learn new tricks. I'll stick to my own Word outline file template that covers everything I need and I'll  have both the MS and outline file open when writing.
        Precisely what I do, except I don't outline, but I do have timelines and names to remember.


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        Offline Decon

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #69 on: September 11, 2020, 05:13:20 pm »
        Precisely what I do, except I don't outline, but I do have timelines and names to remember.

        My Word template is a full outline, starting with the blurb, then the world, maps, character arcs, motivations, and backgrounds, chapter notes, plot points, research, etc  and apart from timeline it was fine. I've  recently added Timeline to the template as I'd finished a WIP only to read it and discover everything happened too quickly over the first 20 chapters which would have been a plot hole. Anyway, I've rectified it now.
        « Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 05:18:57 pm by Decon »


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        Offline RedAlert

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #70 on: September 11, 2020, 07:04:01 pm »
        If you do decide to buy Scrivener, make sure you get a discount coupon from the Internet to reduce your cost.

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #71 on: September 15, 2020, 02:57:17 pm »
        If you do decide to buy Scrivener, make sure you get a discount coupon from the Internet to reduce your cost.

        Thanks Red

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        Offline MalcolmJWardlaw

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        Re: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?
        « Reply #72 on: September 19, 2020, 05:31:06 am »
        As someone who is terrible on computers, I'm confused what you mean by complicated. The main useage of Scrivener is to have a single place where you can have many spearate chapter files and reference files all in one place. It's not complicated at all. You can then compile and export to the file type of choice, like Word or whatever you want to send your editor (or convert with Vellum). For trouble-shooting there are many free videos on Youtube that walk you through step by step on how to do things.

        I couldn't imagine writing a novel in Word again after using Scrivener.

        What novels have you written?






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