Author Topic: Is learning Scrivener worth the effort (for writing a novel)?  (Read 2942 times)  

Online 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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    Offline Doglover

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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.

    Online 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.


    Offline Gregg Bell

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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.

    Offline Gregg Bell

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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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    Offline Gregg Bell

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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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    Online 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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    Online 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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    Offline Doglover

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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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    Online 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.

    Offline Gregg Bell

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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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