Au revoir from Everything Scrivener

When I began this blog two years ago, Scrivener was still a little-known writing program. Users had few resources to guide them beyond the Scrivener manual itself and the tips offered freely on the public forum at Literature and Latte. And if you didn’t write on a Mac, you couldn’t benefit from this wonderful program at all.

Things have changed.

It is now rare for a day to go by without someone, somewhere, writing a useful post about their experience with the program. Everything Scrivener receives visitors from every corner of the globe, every day, as users search for helpful hints and solutions to common problems. We Scrivener users have developed from a small group of advocates for better writing tools into a world-wide community united behind the best of those tools.

The availability of Scrivener on the Windows platform has added greatly to the size of the community, and the forthcoming release of an iOS version will undoubtedly boost the number of users yet again.

Scrivener’s popularity and success means that it is no longer difficult to find useful information about the program. As a result, I have decided to stop curating Everything Scrivener. The change will take effect on May 1st. While I will stop curating posts immediately, I will keep the site active for the next two weeks so that you can search for information or revisit your favourite posts if you wish.

As many of you know, there are now excellent user guides to Scrivener. My personal favourite is Scrivener for Dummies, by Gwen Hernandez, and the Literature and Latte site actively maintains a list of others. You can also stay on top of Scrivener developments and user tips by following Literature and Latte on Twitter (@ScrivenerApp) and on Facebook.

In closing, I must acknowledge the many Scrivener users who have unselfishly shared their knowledge and experience via the Everything Scrivener blog over the years. I have greatly appreciated your support of my modest curatorial efforts. I know I speak for many users when I say that we are more productive and efficient writers for your insights and generous contributions. Thank you all.



The Motivator

There are many motivations people have for sitting down to write: to express frustration, to describe something beautiful, to record ideas and concepts for posterity. I made a short video a while back entitled Fiction as Light which touched on some of the reasons why I write. But as far as the day to day motivation, sometimes the big picture is hard to see and you have to find practical, nose-to-the-grindstone reasons for hacking out another thousand words or editing and re-working that chapter for the fifth time.

Right now I’m knee deep in the first draft of my next book. And for me, writing as I do using the software program “Scrivener” (which I wrote about in this post), one of my secret weapons in the battle to stay motivated and to soldier on is the “Project Target” window, but which for me might be more aptly called “The Motivator”. It looks like this:

more here - The Motivator |

How to Order Thoughts From Chaos to Masterpiece

When an idea hits you, it’s never in an organized way. This idea, then another, then something unrelated! The mind just does not always follow a logical order. That’s where Scapple comes in handy. Scapple will help you take this chaos to be your next masterpiece.

more here - How to Order Thoughts From Chaos to Masterpiece – Tuts+ Mac Computer Skills Tutorial.

How I Use Scrivener to Write, Work, and Blog

Sometimes I think there are two types of writers in this world: those who have discovered Scrivener and those who still write on papyrus. Just kidding; I am no writing snob. I’m definitely attached to my notebook and pen, but there’s no doubt that Scrivener has changed the way I work and write.

more here - How I Use Scrivener to Write, Work, and Blog – The Dalaga Project.

A Scrivener/Evernote Collaboration

I’m in the research stage for an update to my Researcher’s Digital Toolbox book and have been putting Evernote to work to help me capture interesting tidbits I find here and there. I especially appreciate Evernote’s simplified article capture which just gives me the article content minus all the surrounding site design, ads, etc. But, while it makes good sense to capture and organize those notes in Evernote, I’ll want to have many of them in my Scrivener workspace for easy reference as I work on the manuscript.

more here - A Scrivener/Evernote Collaboration | Moultrie Creek Gazette.

Ruminations on the idea of a spark file

Thanks to a post over on David Pottinger’s blog, Steps & Leaps,* I was reminded of the concept of the spark file, the invention of writer Steven Johnson. As Johnson describes it, the spark file is “a single document where I keep all my hunches: ideas for articles, speeches, software features, startups, ways of framing a chapter I know I’m going to write, even whole books…. There’s no organizing principle to it, no taxonomy–just a chronological list of semi-random ideas that I’ve managed to capture before I forgot them.”

The key to the effectiveness of this exercise, according to Johnson, is periodically reading the spark file from start to finish.

“I end up seeing new connections that hadn’t occurred to me the first (or fifth) time around,” he writes. “Sure, I end up reading over many hunches that never went anywhere, but there are almost always little sparks that I’d forgotten that suddenly seem more promising. And it’s always encouraging to see the hunches that turned into fully-realized projects or even entire books.”

This is a tantalizing idea, not unlike the bullet journal in some ways. It’s a single place to record data. In the bullet journal you rapid log events, tasks and random information. In the spark file you keep ideas that you don’t want to forget, at least not now. To get the most out of either system, you need to review the contents on a regular basis, the bullet journal probably more frequently than the spark file.

But there are also crucial differences in the two systems.

more here - Ruminations on the idea of a spark file | Welcome to Sherwood.

Undecided about Scrivener? 4 Advantages and a Big Question

Scrivener is not a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get — pronounced Wizziwig) word processor. I am old enough to remember how exciting it was to actually get a WYSIWYG word processor, to have the ability to SEE what your document would look like. In that respect, Scrivener is a throw-back to a time when typewriters were the only way to get your story on paper and then you left it to a printer to actually typeset a page. Let me quickly say, Scrivener is anything but a throwback in any other respect; it’s a complex program with many features.

But let’s discuss the WYSIWYG question. Do you want to SEE what your words will look like when typeset/printed as you create the story?

more here - Undecied about Scrivener? 4 Advantages and a Big Question.