A New Toy or the Answer?


I saw on The Passive Voice that there was a Windows copy of Scrivener.

Scrivener is a database for word processing documents. It files and stores relevant fragments, discarded darlings, photos, character sheets, chapters, scenes and more.

While it may not be the answer to Life, the Univers and Everything (42) – I’ve found it interesting and affordable to play with. I’m thinking of different ways I can use it.

A file for advertising – with blurbs, cover art, and URLs stored for all my stories. AND the same documents in the book files.

A way to sort Mom’s files and put them into volumes. That one would be a HUGE headache saver. This should tax the software to it’s limits. We’ll see if I can crash it. LOL

As a storage place for my notes and various discarded darlings – this may be the best way to get the old stuff out into the world.

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13 thoughts on “A New Toy or the Answer?

  1. Catana says:

    I’ve been using Scrivener for several years, and this is the first time I’ve seen it referred to as a database. Although it can serve that purpose (I have one Scrivener project called A Common Book to collect research articles and snippets), ‘database’ is misleading for anyone who’s not familiar with it. It’s a writing program, first and foremost. It can also be an organizer, if you want to use it that way.

    The important thing is that it’s incredibly flexible, but also very easy to learn if you just want to start with a basic writing program. I do all my fiction writing in Scrivener, but I’m also finding new ways to use it. Go ahead and play, I doubt that you can crash it. Of course, the Windows version is brand new, so it might not be as stable as the Mac version yet. Hope you grow to love it the way I do.

    • K. A. Jordan says:

      I’ve been playing – made up a collection of advertising URLs, blurbs and cover art last night. Took very little time – then the laptop battery ran out – but the program managed to save all the data. That is truely impressive!

      I’m also looking forward to ‘printing’ documents as e-Pub files and RTF files.

      Then there are the hundreds of short stories my Mom wrote – all of which need to be translated, reformatted and put into books. This is something the Import feature appears to do seamlessly.

      That alone could save me weeks of editing time.

  2. Madison says:

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been wondering how this program works.

  3. K. A. Jordan says:

    Another use for scrivener – an Advertising file, with a folder for EACH e-book, with a list of URLs, the cover art and banners, copies of the reviews – with name, date, location and number of stars!

    • Catana says:

      Fantastic idea. Not that I have that many books to keep track of yet, but I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to organize all those annoying bits that I don’t want to lose. Right now, they’re scattered all over my hard drive. It wouldn’t be specificlly an advertising project. I’d probably also use it keep track of sales, when and where published, etc.

      Why didn’t I think of that myself?

      • K. A. Jordan says:

        So far, it’s worked nicely.

        I’ve got a folder for each (6 e-books, total) URLs for Smashwords, B&N and each Amazon: US, UK, DE, FR.

        The banner ads, blurbs, cover art and URLs are under each e-books name.

        I also have a Blank Short Story project with front matter, backmatter, bio and author photo.

        Something I picked up from April L. Hamilton was to have my writing projects organised into a ‘Books’ folder with sub-folders: Advertising, Published, WIP and Manuscripts – which ended up a Misc file. Under ‘Published’ I have a folder with the e-book name, the Master document, blurb, cover art, and sub-folders for Amazon, B&N and Smashwords.

        This works fairly well for Word. I can at least find what I want on an e-book by e-book basis.

        Scrivener seems to fit into this, so far. I may not needs as many sub-folders.

        Time will tell.

  4. Catana says:

    I’m planning to get my scattered stuff organized in Scrivener, starting next month, but I have a feeling, I’m going to drive myself crazy before I figure out what works best. I’m still going through that with my Stories project. It contains ideas for short stories, with subfolders for the ones I’ve actually made a start on, even if it’s only notes. I’m trying to decide whether I want to set up active WIPs in their own projects or just keep everything together in the Stories project. What I’m trying to avoid is too many subfolders. It should be fun. At least organizing is a great distraction from writing.

    • K. A. Jordan says:

      I actually crashed the poor thing once by putting all kinds of junk in one project file.

      It was fun.

      I’ve got about 8 project files with about 20 years of bits in them. I’ve still got a lot of bits to file, but so far it’s working very well.

  5. Catana says:

    I’m amazed that you did crash it, but as I said, the Windows version may not be completely stable yet. I have some huge projects that just keep getting bigger, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  6. K. A. Jordan says:

    I was dumping a lot of old files in it.

  7. Catana says:

    Indigestion. 🙂

  8. I’d never heard of scrivener, so will have to check it out. At first my eyes read “screwdriver.”

    • K. A. Jordan says:

      LOL – it’s a tool – or a tool box if you use it the way I’m using it. Kinda like a filing cabinet.

      I’m not sure I’m going to use it for every book – but it is working well for Mom’s short stories.

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