Writing a thesis is painful. And it should be. But the pain should rest in wrestling with ideas and data not with software. Scrivener takes the pain out of the software side and ensures that your attention is always in the right place.
I’ve been a fan of the writing program, Scrivener, for a number of years. I first used the Windows version back when it was in beta, but I then purchased the Mac version when I got a new computer. There’s so much you can do with Scrivener to help you organize and write–so much so, in fact, that managing screen real estate can become a real issue if you want to take advantage of more than just the basic features.
Therefore, I thought I’d show you how I use Scrivener on a small laptop–specifically, on an 11-inch MacBook Air.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m writing I’m forever changing things. When I’ve written a scene I don’t know if that’s the way it will stay or whether I’ll change it as I get further into the story. Nine times out of ten, I’ll change it, but that presents me with another problem.I’m scared of breaking something.I’m scared that my second version will be worse than my original, or that I’ll lose words that I really want back in my scene.Before Scrivener I had two choices: either leave the scene as it is, or make lots of different versions of the file. Trouble was, I ended up losing the files. No matter how organised and methodical I thought I was being, still snippets would vanish into the black hole that is the computer hard drive of a working writer.Scrivener solves the scene change problem with snapshots.
Over the years, I’ve talked a lot about how I use Scrivener to work on my manuscripts–the genesis of my Scrivener Tips page–but that was all fiction work. It’s been interesting working on the Scrivener For Dummies (SFD) book and finding that I use the software a bit differently for nonfiction.
Here’s a brief rundown of how I’m using Scrivener to write the book on it.
via The Edited Life.
Today’s Quick Tip is about a feature I never use, but probably should use. Snapshots.
Snapshots are a kind of like versioning, not a back up in the traditional sense. A software developer will write a piece of software and call it 0.1, then the next is 0.2, 0.3, so on and so on, until they reach a stable release of 1.0. You can do something similar in Scrivener with your Scenes. When you have a Scene that you’re thinking about changing up or rewriting in any way, you can take a Snapshot of the current version and reference it later, or even revert back to it.
Scrivener has tons of options and features and I’ve barely just scratched the surface of what it can do, but already, it’s been an incredible help in organizing my work and maintaining consistency throughout my novel.
For those of you who don’t know, Scrivener is a word processor that offers great tools and easy organization for some of the really messy bits of novel writing. I’m sure it’s perfect for other writing, but as I’ve only used it for writing novels, that’s all I know.
A couple weeks ago, Erin Bowman did a piece on Scrivener’s outlining features. Though while I add flourishes like articles, document, and pictures to mine, I happen to use the corkboard in much the same way as she does. I recommend you hop on over and watch her video, you just might find it helpful.
Now, let me tell you about what are presently two of my favourite Scrivener features: Snapshots and Setting Targets.