Scrivener

Scrivener

Scrivener is a writing studio that claims to provide all the tools you need to take a manuscript from concept to completion. Created by writers for writers, Scrivener's modular take on document management adapts to virtually any style of writing and provides many of the organizational tools missing from conventional word processing applications.

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Features of Scrivener
  • Need notes? No problem.
  • Document notes, project notes, scratch pad, corkboard notecards — Scrivener boasts an impressive number of ways to keep track of every detail so that you can stay focused on the bigger picture.
  • Scrivener's corkboard and outliner views present you with a rearrangeable overview of project sections where you can view each section synopsis, set and view wordcount targets, keep track of process status, and add customizable labels.
  • With Scrivener's automatic backups, your writing is always safe from the unknown.
  • In the event that those major revisions don't work out, you can rest assured your manuscript is safe from yourself as well with Scrivener's snapshot version control.
Pros of Scrivener
  • Scrivener's customizable full-screen editor mode allows for a distraction-free writing area that can be tailored to your tastes.
  • The binder, outliner, and corkboard offer a valuable hierarchical overview of project sections and statuses so you can easily see exactly what you've got and where it's at in the creative process.
  • Scrivener makes it easy to create your own workflow. Edit multiple documents in a split-screen environment while keeping a side of notes and inspirational imagery, or, if things get too busy, all those extra bits can be hidden to leave you with a clean editing interface.
Cons of Scrivener
  • OS Support — Development prioritizes macOS above all, meaning some features — or even versions, as is currently the case — may be very delayed making it to Windows or iOS. There is currently no Android app available, and Linux support has been discontinued.
  • Book Export — Scrivener can export a manuscript to several popular eBook formats such as EPUB or MOBI, but the resulting code is, quite honestly, a hot mess. Evidence suggests that tidy HTML may play a role in how some retailers' algorithms process eBooks. Its exports fall a bit short in the visual formatting category as well, with some file formats not displaying typography or margins as expected.
  • Feature Overload — The sheer number of features that are present within Scrivener can overwhelm and exhaust a user who just wants to get some writing done. Scrivener doesn't do anything to gently introduce you to its many aspects. That said, fiction writers may feel it's lacking in formal methods for handling things such as characters, locations, or timelines.
Scrivener Reviews

Scrivener is one of the most powerful organizational tools a writer can add to their arsenal. With a customizable interface that can be catered to your workflow, Scrivener allows you to compile all of your project research and notes in a single place that can then be viewed from numerous perspectives. Scrivener makes it easy to cross-reference your notes, outlines, and draft sections from a single window or split screen, and its full-screen editor switches off the distractions so you can focus on what's most important.

It's a cute program if you spend 90% of your time playing around with how it looks, but the PC version is hot garbage when it comes to using it for actual and serious writing. Most editors won't touch a scrivener file, meaning you have to export your draft for your editor, and then manually enter all their edits because, unlike Word or other software (most editors still want .docx), you can't track changes or accept all or read the notes your editor left you. Want to format a book? Better be prepared to watch a few hours (at least) of tutorial videos for what should be a fairly simple process. And seriously, all those great writers who came before the Scrivener era? They didn't use a damned corkboard or character profile sheet-- they sat down at their word processors or typewriters and wrote. Some even did their first drafts by hand. This is a program for wanna-be writers who are trying to impress everyone with "look at my fancy real novelist software!" No thanks. Uninstalled.

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