What is Scrivener?
For those who are saying, “what the heck is ‘Scrivener?'” here’s what it is, in brief.
For those of you who are saying “Isn’t that what Bartelby was?” your English Lit teacher is smiling in heaven, or in the teacher’s lounge with the burned coffee and permanently stained carpet.
Scrivener is a program, very reasonably priced, I might add, that helps writers of all kinds organize their files however they like.
What’s Cool About Scrivener?
It has various kind of templates, for instance, one for novels. It has a template tailor-made for NaNoWriMo.
If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, then click any one of my links herein. NaNoWriMo is a magical internet land that encourages anyone and everyone to buckle down and write the novel that is aching to be born straight from the head of Zeus and begin slouching toward Jerusalem. It is, in short, a wonder of the modern age.
What’s Cool About Scrivener: Take 2
But back to Scrivener. The program has all kinds of useful templates for writing projects, for research papers, for scripts of various stripes and flavors.
The beauty of it is that it helps you organize your book the way you probably think about your book, that is, in scenes, chapters, and parts. And it’s wildly customizable. You can put all kinds of metadata in there. You can tag chapters and scenes with neat codes, notes to self about them, the which you can search later, when your buzz has worn off. You can import entire webpage contents to your research folders. You can color code the crap out of your text with custom highlighting colors. There’s a template for characters, for places, and you can design your own templates.
I love being able to drag scenes from chapter to chapter, willy nilly. I love that each chapter gets its own little index card on which you can put its synopsis. Love, love, love all of this.
Here’s a picture of the interface:
|Scrivener Interface, and yes, that is the prologue of my novel Guardian of the Chalice, as it stands today
What’s Sucky About Scrivener?
But the hate starts when I try to sync it with my iPad. It doesn’t yet have its own iPad app, and the folks at Literature and Latte, who designed scrivener, have been promising and promising that the app will be here, any second.
But it’s not here yet. Oh, this novelist is getting so tired of waiting for it. When they finally deliver said app, they might do well to name it ‘Godot.’ Because, damn!
And don’t get me started on the Compile feature. I don’t understand why it’s even in there. Too customizable, and in a way that makes no sense to little ole me. Say I just want to export my Scrivener file of my novel just to a simple Word doc. Oh, the bewildering options that come up when I click ‘Compile,’ none of which work the way I would anticipate. To me, it seems somehow easier to have Scrivener translate my novel into Sanskrit than just to output it with some simple formatting, a page break in between chapters, sequentially numbered chapters, a header with, oh, I don’t know, my name and my book’s title upon it. Woe, woe to Compile. Fie upon it!
I got started, but now I’m stopping. Because I’ve decided to do a fast on complaining to clear my psychic space, if you know what I mean. And this sister from New Jersey, she can do her some complaining! Oh it is a major vice of mine.
There’s the Rub
In any event, I love Scrivener’s computer self so much that I can’t give it up, even though I want open a can o whup ass on its mobile “features” and its “Compile” excrementiness. Am I in a shame spiral? Possibly. Send your dollars today.
Any-hoo, below is a post I placed upon the Literature and Latte forum in which they innocently asked for feedback on the Mac version. I don’t think they saw me coming, do you?
Do you use Scrivener to work on your writerly stuff? If not, what do you use?
Please do scroll down and tell me all about your travails, and the little moments of your process, won’t you?
Thanks for visiting my blog. Comments more than welcome, if that’s possible in this space-time continuum.
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