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.