A follow-up on Scrivener


Not too long ago, I did a piece on alternative software to Word for the writer.  One of those was Scrivener, specifically, Scrivener 3.0.  Like many, I’d tried, and discarded, Scrivener before. It was too complicated, too distracting, just too much. But I was intrigued by the changes in the new version. So I decided to give it a try. In the almost two weeks since that post, I have continued using Scrivener and my appreciation for the program and the changes included in the update has grown.

First of all, the video tutorials offered by not only the developers of Scrivener but also by others on Youtube are awesome. That’s especially true for the 3.0 version. It is now much easier to get into the program than it used to be. That’s a good thing since I’d forgotten much of what I knew about the earlier version.

I’ve been writing “Rattling Chains” (or maybe “Rattle Them Chains”. I haven’t decided for sure yet on the title) on Scrivener. I’ve been using the character sheets, adding note files on events from other stories in the series, etc. I have even built a timeline, something I hadn’t done before now., one that includes not only events in the other stories but events referred to that happened before the stories.

Yesterday, I installed the updated iOS version of Scrivener on my iPad Pro and, omg, I think I’m in love. Yes, it is a “slim” version of the program. But it has most of the features. The full screen composition window doesn’t look that much different from any other word processing program. The only thing different is the “ribbon”.  Since I tend to ignore the ribbon, that doesn’t bother me one bit.

But what’s awesome about Scrivener 3.0 and the iOS version is how well they work together. All you have to do is link your Mac version of Scrivener to a dropbox account (PC users, this feature is coming. For now, you can use dropbox but it’s a bit more clunky.) Once you’ve linked your Mac version of Scrivener to dropbox, go to your iPad. Link to your dropbox app, answer the questions and you’re set. If you have a project already in dropbox, all you have to do is sync your iPad. You’ll be asked if you want to have it automatically sync on opening and closing and then you’re ready to go. If you answered “yes”, that’s all you have to do. Now you can work between the two systems pretty much seamlessly.

Will I permanently stick with Scrivener for all my writing projects?

I don’t know. I’m fickle that way. I will continue to use it as long as it does what I need it to do — and as long as my writing process doesn’t decide it needs something else. But, for now, if you write on a Mac and like taking your iPad with you instead of your laptop, consider trying out the new 3.0 version of Scrivener.

Oh, one last note. I have done an export to DOCX.  I need that sort of file for Vellum. While there were a couple of glitches, they were minor and easily fixed by tweaking the formatting. We’ll see what happens when I finish Chains and export the entire project.  I will report back then.

For now, color me a fan of at least the Mac version of Scrivener.


    1. I hope when 3.0 comes out for the PC, it includes all the bells and whistles the Windows version has lacked. I am really loving the Mac version.

        1. I picked a Macbook Air up off of ebay several years ago. Got a good buy on it and I haven’t regretted it. But I am still mainly a PC user. Even so, there are a couple of programs that are Mac only that have, imo, paid for the investment.

            1. It’s not difficult at all. With Word files, I simply save them out and then either load them onto Microsoft’s cloud or Dropbox or email them to myself — or all of the above. For images, I email them or load them into Dropbox.

  1. How well does it handle third party editing? Word has some powerful review features, including tracking changes, comparing/merging documents with changes marked, comments, etc. This makes it easy to ship your document to an editor, get it back with the editor’s changes clearly marked, and quickly accept or reject the changes.

    1. I haven’t used it for that yet and, to be honest, I would use the exported (or compiled) DOCX version. Scrivener is still mainly a composition and organizational piece of software, imo. Since I need the DOCX for converting and formatting in Vellum, I’m not doing away with Word. What I have found is I don’t have the weird crashes, losses of information, etc., that I sometimes have with Word.

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