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 recently got a new text processing program called Scrivener. It’s oriented towards the writing process; you don’t use it to format text and produce final output. You use it to outline, shuffle, and put down words. I think it’s awesome for pen and paper gaming work, and I wanted to document my current workflow with an extended example.
So I want to slam together a quick dungeon for D&D 4e, henceforth known as the Descent Into The Doomful Depths. We’ll say it’s going to be a single level for now, and I’ll aim it at my current group, which just hit 4th level. I’ll grab a map from the great collection of dungeon maps at Paratime Design — let’s use this one.
more here - Population: One » Scrivener and RPG Writing.
At this point in my geek-evolution, I have managed to use just about every widget and tool around. Most of them I’ve concluded are like having a baby rattle on a pram. Ultimately you’re occupied, even happy, but someone is pushing you from A to B.
Now when it comes to creating a workflow for writing, it’s actually quite hard if you’ve been bashing the rattle as long as I have. Which tools to choose, which to ditch. So many choices, so many things I tried and abandoned. Worse still, so many things I used in a basic way, avoiding filling out the details. Live in the pram means wasting crazy amounts of time procrastinating, experimenting and avoiding commitment. A decade of using this stuff requires some degree of conscious remedial effort to get out the pram and walk around again.
more here - Academic writing workflow for geeks | Playable.
An interesting perspective on creativity that mentions Scrivener only incidentally
As a writer and game designer, I’ve spent a good chunk of the past 30 years trying to do various types of creative work while sitting, standing, or slouching at a computer keyboard (and, more recently, a touchscreen). The power of those devices has grown exponentially, enabling me with a tap or a keystroke to accomplish marvels that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago. (“Upload PDF to Dropbox”; “Open Scrivener file.”)
And yet I’ve been increasingly bemused to realize that by real-world measures of productivity — words written, problems solved, good ideas crystallized — my output has not only not multiplied along with the power of my tools, it hasn’t increased one bit.
more here - Why I Write Longhand | Jordan Mechner.
Maybe it’s that time of summer, but historians seem to be thinking about the tools they use to conduct research. The AHA has set up a Pinterest board called A Digital Tool Box for Historians, my new colleague Stephen Robertson has posted an essay about moving to digital sources, and Nate Kogan has written about his use of Zotero, Word, Scrivener, and Papers 2, though he tweets that I showed him something of Filemaker Pro back in the day.
I figure I’ll throw my hat in with a description of my current process, ugly as it is. I offer this information both to offer and seek help, since I think I am doing some things right but could be doing other things more efficiently.
Documenting an amateur radio station is very easy when you have one radio running barefoot (no amp or other gear), yet gets very complex quickly with each additional radio/operating station or accessory exponentially adding complexity to the documentation effort.
I am experimenting with using two writer’s tools to plan and document my station:
Scrivener – a multi-file cross-file editor and project writing system.
Scapple – a freeform graphical relationship editor.
It is possible to write an entire week’s worth of blog posts in just an hour. In fact, I just started my digital timer to prove the point. In this post I’m going to explain exactly how I accomplished this feat, and how you can too.
So much has changed in the last few decades, particularly in terms of digitization, in the ways historians access materials, the level and ease of access to those materials, and the methods of delivery for the work that comes from that access. But access is not the only thing that has changed. Working in the digital realm offers historians new tools with which to approach their task, the core of which remains unaffected by these developments. On that theme, I thought I would talk a little bit about my workflow and the tools that I use which allow the work to flow (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
much more here - Digital Workflow for Historians « The Junto.
Two weeks ago I blogged about how Scrivener was helping me to imagine all kinds of structural possibilities for my novel, because of the way it made setting up and manipulating the ordering of the scenes in my book so easy. This week, I’m going to cover off three other features of Scrivener that I love, and that are making me want to spend more and more time writing my book.
An interview with novelist Laura Sibson
El Space: What tools do you find helpful as you write?
Laura: I firmly believe that I would not have been able to create a novel-length manuscript without Scrivener. Did you ever hear the story of the five blind men and the elephant? The five blind men come upon an elephant, and each experiences the elephant as something completely different, because each is only touching one part of him. One thinks the elephant is like a wall (side), another a pillar (leg), a third a snake (trunk), and so on. That’s how I felt before I started using Scrivener. I would get lost in the sheer size of a novel in progress and become either lost in it or overwhelmed by it. Scrivener organizes my scenes in a visual way that makes sense to my wacky brain.
more here - Scrivener | El Space–The Blog of L. Marie.