Sunday, 16 February 2014

So How Am I Getting On With Scrivener?


As you know, I downloaded the free 30 day Scrivener trial and followed the on-line tutorial, so the question is: What are my thoughts so far and have I actually used it for a project?

I found the tutorial really easy to understand and it is interactive so you can try things out as you learn - the only problem is a memory thing. Scrivener has so many features that it is impossible to remember them all. My view is that the ones that you do remember are the ones that will be of most use to you.

I decided that the only way I was going to test these features out properly, was to actually write something using Scrivener. I thought a short story would work well as a test - as I could write each part before a time break as a separate scene (like a mini novel).

I deliberately chose a story that needed research so that I could move everything I found into the 'Research' folder in the 'Binder' to the left of my word processing part of the screen. I also put web links into the 'Project' part of the 'Inspector' on the right hand side of the screen. I know this will mean nothing to you, if you don't have Scrivener but I'm just saying this to illustrate how easy it was to keep all my research to hand.

While I was writing, I played about with the word processing screen but at the moment, still prefer how it looks on Word - so will probably have to play about with it some more until I am comfortable with it.

Adding all my small scenes together was easy using the 'Scrivenings' button and it was great to move some of the scenes around to see if they worked better in different places (much easier than in Word.)

Unfortunately, I had big problems with the 'Compiling' part and sending it to Word for final editing. Scrivener automatically formats your text into Courier and indents beginning of scenes, which I didn't want. My clever husband had to sort it out for me as I found this part really complicated. I would recommend creating a template to use (once you've worked out how to make the changes). I've now done this (or rather my husband did) and so it compiles and sends to Word in the formatting I want.

What I would say to anyone learning to use this programme is take a look at this site: Everything Scrivener. I found it a couple of weeks ago and if you read through the posts, you'll find masses of useful information. I have found it really useful.

So will I be using Scrivener for the novel? Yes, I will but I know I won't be using it to it's full potential... and before anyone asks, no, I still haven't started it yet!

12 comments:

  1. I think I'd find it too complicated - plus, knowing me as well as I do, I'd end up using it as a tool for procrastination!

    I hope it helps you kick-start your novel though :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is, whenever I think about getting started another short story idea pops into my head or I get asked to write another instalment of the serial.

      Delete
  2. I've been using Scrivener for two years now ... and I would say I'm only just beginning to use it properly! However, having said that, I do think it's one of those programmes you should just use and then when you want to learn how to do something, then you investigate! I have one scrivener file for articles, one for short stories, one for blog postings, and one for each large project (such as a novel or a non-fiction book). I have one Scrivener file for all of my walking routes that I've written for Country Walking magazine. Being able to lick on any walking route I've written since 2004 in the same file I'm using now is amazing. Don't try to learn everything - just learn what you need and take it from there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting that you use it for writing short stories. Apart from the one I wrote that had a lot of research material, I still write my stories in word. Out of interest, do you use full screen when you write and then just click on the binder or inspector when you need them?

      Delete
  3. It was also recommended to me for play scripts, Wendy. After your teashop pitch I was all for trying it out, but I'm worried by your comments on formatting the word file. I may need another teacake chat on how you coped with that bit - or perhaps I can borrow your husband?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is always the option of sending it to word (which is very easy) and then doing all your formatting from there one it's finished, Tracy. I've probably made that part out to be more of a problem than it is.

      Delete
  4. I think I'd just get frustrated and end up writing less, not more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is actually easy to use if you stick with what is useful to you, Patsy. The good thing is being able to trial it for free.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing all that with us, Wendy - I think I'd need to give the free trial a go to see if it would be of use. Simon's comment is helpful too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Simon needs to be careful or we'll all be going to him for advice, Rosemary!

      Delete
  6. I have the full version for Mac, but got frustrated with it, as there is so much to learn. I did use it to do the firs draft of a novel, but really struggled afterwards. Thanks for the tip on Everything Scrivener, I'll definitely take a look and give it a go...

    I wish someone would start up a class on Scrivener for writers, that would be really useful.

    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree - that would be really useful, Maria.

      Delete