If you have ever spoken to anyone who uses Scrivener on a regular bases, they have most likely talked to you about their undying love for this software, and rightfully so. Scrivener gets so many things right that it’s hard not fall head over heels for it. It was designed primarily for writing novels, and in that particular task, it seems to be unsurpassed. Despite thinking primarily with the mind of a prose writer, Scrivener also sports a screenwriting functionality, with its usefulness partially powered by how well it communicates with Final Draft — formatting script files to the FD standard and importing and exporting .fdx files in a painlessly reliable fashion.

But where it becomes truly useful is outlining. If you’re a detailed outliner, Scrivener is worth the price of admission for its extensive functionality in this field alone. It features not one, but three different ways for you to organize your story structure. You have a standard “Outline View” a “Coarkboard View” of index cards laid out in order, or a “Freeform Coarkboard View” of loosely scattered index cards you can shuffle to your heart’s content until you’re ready to commit their order.


My New Whiteboard: Scapple

Scapple has been on my radar for a while but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to step in and give it a shot. It really was the product I was looking for: it’s both part mind-mapping and part free-form text editor. Everything is drag and droppable allowing for me to work quickly. I can get my ideas onto the screen, make connections between those ideas, and then step back and see the big picture. Here’s the first five chapters of my new unnamed project:

more here – My New Whiteboard: Scapple | I make stories..

Research Papers and Gourmet Cooking

Dear researchers and writers,

As you embark on your research paper for me, I’d like to offer a few thoughts and suggestions.Research can be incredibly fascinating, and it’s something I’ve much enjoyed since beginning high school debate, way back in the fall of 1982. Yes, the glory days—the days of Reagan, Rush, and Blade Runner. Indeed, research can open up entirely new worlds to you; I could only compare it to reading chapter books for the first time and entering the sub-created realms of the best authors. It many ways, though, it proves itself more fulfilling than reading the work of another. You hunt, find, and revel in the words of another, placing each piece of evidence into a larger puzzle, a puzzle that you ultimately build and solve. Research, when done well, increases your knowledge, your wisdom, and your vocabulary, and it gives you a certain gravitas in all areas of your life, professional and otherwise.

more here - Research Papers and Gourmet Cooking- The Imaginative Conservative.

Story Structure in Scrivener

…the programmer in me cringes every time I find myself repeating a certain action. I move something on the whiteboard, and then go into my writing software and move the scene. It violates the DRY principle: Don’t Repeat Yourself. I believe this holds up as well in writing as it does in programming. If you’re going to do something, do it once and only once. So I looked for a way to get my writing software (the fabulous Scrivener by Literature & Latte) to take the place of my equivalent of Emma Darwin’s novel-planning grid or Alex Sokoloff’s whiteboard and Post-it notes.

more here  » Story Structure in Scrivener AG Daws.

Writing Groups, Critiques, Scrivener, and Long Drives

I’m still on the fence about whether using Scrivener for rewrites is a good fit. (I do think the conversions would have been a little cleaner if I hadn’t already stripped formatting to import the document into Scrivener in the first place.)

HOWEVER, I also used Scrivener for brainstorming and outlining a set of concept albums I’m working on when I had to wait for new tires to be put on my car Friday morning (and thank goodness, because I needed those good tires to get me through Winter Storm Luna on my drive home last night). And I LOVED Scrivener’s features for this part of the creation process. I loved being able to create a notecard for each plot development, with the option to include as much or as little information about the scene as I wanted. And I love how easy it is to move ideas around and resort them as I develop the story around the music I’m using. This isn’t a writing project per se, in that the songs will tell the story and I”m just stringing them together, but it’s still too big for me to hold in my brain. And right now, Scrivener is holding all those details quite nicely, and making this step of the process very easy and energizing rather than overwhelming. Because the initial creation process is always the most daunting to me, Scrivener might be just what I need to get through it with less stress.

via Writing Groups, Critiques, Scrivener, and Long Drives – She Writes.

A Scrivener tutorial

A few weeks ago on twitter, Sarah Goldberg mentioned how she loves Scrivener but has trouble outlining in it, which made me want to share my personal approach to outlining with you.

After much screen-shotting and writing of instructions, I decided a video would be better; simpler to follow, more succinct, more fun. I scrapped the post and recorded a screen-capture instead. Enjoy!

via A Scrivener tutorial: outlining « E.M. Bowman