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27 January 2014 @ 05:31 pm
Scrivener!  
I've owned Scrivener for a while, and dabbled around with using it - but only within the last couple of weeks has imbecamiel inspired me to really dig in and learn how to use it.

After going through their several-hour-long tutorial that teaches you the key features, I absolutely adore it, and I have been spending hours getting my dieselpunk/mafia story organized into it, along with a comprehensive list of characters and my resource/research links.

So, if you've been debating whether or not to try it, I would highly recommend at least giving the demo a chance. Especially if you have oodles and oodles of messy scraps/scenes/ideas to sort out, it can be incredibly helpful to have it all in one spot.

Aaand, while I'm on the subject, I'd love to know what some of my flists favorite writing resources are (I'm always on the lookout for such sites as this handy-dandy street/road name generator). I'm slowly sorting my way through my mess of writing bookmarks, but while I'm in the organizational mood it'd be neat to add some more links to Le Repertoire. ^^
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
cairistiona7: read any good books lately?cairistiona7 on January 28th, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
I really liked Scrivener... but I found it didn't play nicely with Word. :/ When I edited older files on it, ones I created on older programs and then opened those same files in Word, I discovered no end of coding errors. In fact, I'm currently retyping several chapters of my WIP that Scrivener messed up.

BUT... that said, I did like using Scrivener immensely. It has soooo many good features for writers. I just wish it used normal file formats like .doc or .rtf instead of .scriv.

Since I'm mostly writing fanfic at the moment, you probably already know about these, but I love the Sindarin Name Frame (http://elffetish.com/SindaFrame1.php) And I use Encyclopedia of Arda quite a bit. Oh, and this: http://ljkrakauer.com/accents.htm It's a chart that has the keyboard shortcuts for entering accented characters.
Nefhirielnefhiriel on January 29th, 2014 12:16 am (UTC)
Huh...that's odd (and too bad!) that you've had bugs like that. I haven't had any issues with exporting Scrivener files into .doc files/just copying and pasting text from the Scrivener pages, but I'll definitely have to keep an eye on things to make sure I have everything saved!

And thanks for the links! That keyboard shortcuts site looks like a fantastic time-saver. :D
(Anonymous) on January 29th, 2014 10:06 am (UTC)
Hello Both,

We're you compiling your Scrivener project into RTF, DOC or DOCX before opening in Word cairistiona7? It's very odd that you experienced any issues at all, as SCRIV files are essentially packages of RTF that almost all writing applications understand. Please contact the relevant support department at either windows.support@literatureandlatte.com or mac.support@literatureandlatte.com so we can appreciate what was going on in your instance.

Thank you for your post nefhiriel! Much appreciated.

All the best,
David
Scrivener, Literature & Latte
cairistiona7cairistiona7 on January 29th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
Wow, okay... didn't expect to hear from a Scrivener person, but thanks.

I think a major part of the problem was that I had imported old files that I created originally using WordPerfect 9. I converted them from .wpd to .RTF to work on them again, using WordPerfect 11. Then I imported them to Scrivener and then exported to Word 14 as a .doc file and... that was when I found all kinds of weird substitutions--@ instead of " etc. Somewhere along the convoluted path the files must have got corrupted. I don't have the files in question anymore (and I'm not even 100% sure that's the exact order of the different programs I used).

When I return to writing fic for publishing, I intend to try Scrivener again. If by some odd chance I have a similar issue, I'll contact the support desk. Thanks.
Nefhirielnefhiriel on January 30th, 2014 03:21 am (UTC)
It's a great program! I'm enjoying it a lot (and it's good to know that help for issues is readily available :)).
Zhakaisha on November 3rd, 2014 12:34 am (UTC)
Apropos of absolutely nothing, but I vaguely remembered Scrivener from this post from, yes, the beginning of the year and looked it up. I compared it to yWriter too. I'm way too late for NaNo but it seems like it can be a helpful tool if I ever want to start writing longer stuff (I swear I write short stuff now because I can't keep long stuff coherent).

I'm really really impressed by Scrivener, and things like split screens and snapshots and reference tagging are really awesome. I'm gonna give yWriter a go too, but I've the feeling I might try plotting out longer works on Scrivener.

The things fandom teaches me! :D
Nefhirielnefhiriel on November 4th, 2014 03:46 am (UTC)
"I swear I write short stuff now because I can't keep long stuff coherent"

I can relate to that statement to a truly depressing degree. Even on short stories sometimes, things just fall apart towards the end. I did technically finish a novel, though. It's just got this gaping hole at the end where a Clever Plot Twist was supposed to happen. XD

But you've reminded me that I do intend to organize it into Scrivener (hoping that Clever Plot Fixes will magically happen in the process). I still do really like the program - it's so good for gathering together scraps and resources into one place. (How did you find it compared to yWriter? Sounds familiar, but I can't remember if I checked that out thoroughly or not.) I'm too late for NaNo, too, but I'm enjoying cheering some other people on.

You making any progress on fics? Original stuff? Job stuff? I know I keep vanishing, but I love apropos-of-nothing kinds of conversations from friends I keep meaning to catch up with. :)
Zhakaisha on November 4th, 2014 06:01 am (UTC)
yWriter is another similar type of program in that it melds easy organization of ideas/storyboarding with actual writing, and breaks stories down into chapters and scenes for easy rearranging. It's free and has a MUCH smaller footprint than Scrivener. That said, I do like Scrivener better.

ywriter has a tabular GUI, which is very functional and organized but lacks aesthetic charm. It's very out of the way, and in fact I find it TOO out of the way; I have enough screen real-estate that I LIKE to have references and whatnot on the edge of the screen that I can refer to, whereas yWriter I have to tab over and switch back which irritates me.

Scrivener also has functions like stitching sections together on the fly and previewing them (the Scrivenings view I think it's called), which I find SO useful to figure out how scenes/chapters/sentences should be arranged optimally. And I love that Scrivenger can locally store references right into the project and split-view the screen to refer to it instantly. I think yWriter can only store external references that you have to switch to browsers or other views. It's not a HUGE deal, but I like to keep it all together when I can. It really is like a huge binder where I can tag anything relevant I want, rather than just links externally when I have to dig it up all over again.

I love the snapshot function in Scrivener too. Yes there always is copy/paste, but being able to "delete" the offending section lets me rewrite more freely without the old one hanging there interfering with my thought processes, but it's nice to be able to recover instantly too.

yWriter does have better character/location labelling (in that it's coded natively into the program) and will run statistics on it (Character X has shown up in Y number of scenes!); I can manage the character sheets if I create sheets in Scrivener and code in keywords, but it is extra work and I can't do the statistics. But the ability to snapshot, references, nicer aesthetics...I just plain like Scrivener more, and I can afford it, so I will buy it once NaNo is over :) I'm not REALLY writing a novel, but I'm using it as motivation to write more short fic.

Fic progress is slow (mostly writing Animorphs...though I'm participating in an Animorphs secret santa to try to give myself inspiration). I've never written original stuff and probably won't start... and heh, job hunt is nil. Sigh. Being an adult is hard.

What's new with you? I feel like I haven't been on Skype in forever :)
Nefhirielnefhiriel on November 5th, 2014 05:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm pretty sold on Scrivener, too. :) They seem to have figured out the right balance of keeping tools handy, without them getting in the way of functionality.

Being an adult is so very hard. Thankfully, this has been the best year of freelance graphic design work I've ever had (just...really nice clients, and, overall, smooth projects that turned out satisfactorily for me and them). I've also finally gotten into a more disciplined rhythm with my writing, dragging myself out of bed early to write a couple hundred words every day.

So, yeah, not mind-blowing accomplishments, but little moments of satisfaction, nonetheless. I try to hold on to those things when being an adult gets to be MEH, as it so often does. :P

Gah, I'm sorry about the job hunt coming up nil. That's tough. :/ Glad you're still writing, though! I love fanfiction. It's my happy place, where writing it almost always just fun. And you never know what'll come of it. The story I'm working on now was a fic-turned-AU-turned-original-series. It happens. :D

(I understand switching around from fandom to fandom, too. But don't think I've forgotten about that angsteh Cap fic, though. *puppy-dog eyes* Do give me a poke if you post more and I don't see it - I haven't been following anything on LJ, really.)

Edited at 2014-11-05 05:14 pm (UTC)
Zhakaisha on November 6th, 2014 06:12 am (UTC)
Ahahaha, if you actually forgot about angsty Steve fic I'd think the world was ending. ;P

Although...I have to say I've been toying with the idea of (unofficially) retiring from MCU. It's not something I'd really make an announcement for or anything (I don't really have a big enough fanbase to care...I really go on LJ to talk to Cami and you, that's it), so I could always come back if I feel like it, but... I guess the MCU universe is expanding so quickly that it's really hard for me to keep up. I don't have cable to watch Agents of SHIELD, and I'm still pretty skeptical of the Peggy Carter series, and now there's Captain Marvel and Black Panther and all that stuff coming out...and they're not optional either, in the sense that they have important plot twists and character and character development that is all considered part of MCU canon. It's just...so much. Part of the reason I liked MCU was that it was self-contained and pretty short/easy to get through; now, not so much.

I mean, it's great for the fandom and Marvel, don't get me wrong. It's just getting really hard to keep up. I'll probably still watch the movies coming out (I shamefully haven't watched Thor 2 yet), but with so much stuff it's feeling like too much effort to keep up--especially since the installments are so far apart!

I'm hoping Scrivener gives me enough organizational clout so I can finish that Steve fic first at least, but...I dunno, I've been feeling very meh on MCU for the last while.
Nefhirielnefhiriel on November 11th, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I definitely hear you about the MCU. You kind of actually put words to the factors I didn't even realize were part of what's made me wary. Mostly...I just still really love Steve and the team as they were written directly after the first Avengers movie.

I've also got one story I should really wrap up before I stop writing for the fandom (but I just haven't had the energy to go back and finish, because I've had too many other projects going). So I can hardly point a finger at anyone else for not finishing something. But I do want to read the rest of the story, so I'm not above begging. :D
Zhakaisha on December 15th, 2014 05:24 am (UTC)
So hey, I bought Scrivener for myself finally and it's been a godsend for fic writing. (Still haven't looked at MCU in a while though.) :P

I'm still not sure if I'll go back to Cold, Cold Heart, but I am contemplating maybe picking up some of the old prompts that I bookmarked and swore I was going to write something for. XD So thanks again for the product rec, it's been amazing. My "weekly writing goal" is really just "weekly playing with Scrivener goal" but hey, whatever works, right?

Btw, I changed Skype screennames and I sent both you & Cami an invite. I know you two are super busy and likely you haven't been online in a while, but if you see a strange person inviting you, that'd likely be me! (I'm pretty sure I sent an intro message. Pretty sure...)
Nefhirielnefhiriel on December 15th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm so glad it's working well for you! There's something magical about getting your story all neatly sorted out. :)

Hey, like I've said before, I'm not one to judge others for reading to skip around from story to story - and I'd love to read any 'Venger prompts you filled!

I'll let Cami know about the Skyp invites! We've both wrapped up some jobs lately, so we've got more time to chat for now. Although I'm always forgetting to sign in to Skype - but I'll have to remember to do that. :)