For people who are deeply suspicious of Scrivener
I love Scrivener but, it can be intimidating at first especially if you consider compiling. If you have a large, long running project, it is definitely worth crunching through the learning curve. I always recommend that people considering Scrivener, take a portion of their project and use the tool to see if it meets their needs. Their free trial is very unique. You get the full product for 30 days of writing. This is not 30 calendar days, but 30 days of use. If you us the tool the 1 day, wait a week and start using it again, there are still 29 days left.
I agree that the more you use the tool, the more features you find. I used Scrivener for my book end to end. I used it the write the book and publish it to Amazon as a e-book and paperback. It is an amazing product, especially for the price.
Good thing you didn't go with "Three-World Problem" as I'm reading "The Three Body Problem" (first novel in a sci-fi series) by Liu Cixin. Wouldn't have been deliberate on your part, but you wouldn't want to be that close to the title of a Hugo-winner. I've considered Scrivener for years and jumped on v2 during a sale you told me of. Annoyingly, at that time with that version it tripped my virus scanners and my computer literally refused to install it. Maybe I'll try again with v3, cuz I have projects that are spread across so many single documents... I'll watch the video later today. Jankiest video ever? I dunno, man, I've seen your tutorials (joke, of course). Obviously this is one of the days Substack won't accept paragraph breaks.
I find this very scary and intimidating to approach. I know you said it isn't 😄 but it scared me. I've tried the free version at least twice, and each time, I'm like, Man alive! How do I even begin? I have the same issue with World Anvil sometimes, but that at least is a bit more intuitive for me. So. Any advice about how to make it less scary?
Looks like I need to up my game on Scrivener! I don't use half of these features. Thanks, Simon!
I use Scrivener in pretty much the same manner as you. Originally, it was more of a compile tool but these days I've moved on to Vellum, which is much easier. However, Scriv's ability to function as a useful writing tool is downright priceless. I use it for every long form project in draft mode, though I move to Word for final edits.
I’ve been using Scrivener for about ten or so years now and I won’t use anything else. I don’t use a lot of it’s features, but what I do use it for it’s integral for organizing everything. I like how I can have multiple versions of a novel in one file, and easily searchable. All my research can be I that single file. My chapters are easily accessible instead of one long scrolling document that I have to navigate. I love it.
I've been super reluctant to try Scrivener but this is making me rethink!
Fascinating! I always love peeking into other writers' file structure & worldbuilding notes.
I was a happy Scrivener user for many many years but fully switched to Obsidian last year, mainly for two reasons: 1) it's all markdown files instead of some proprietary file format which also means it can be easily synced across Windows & Android devices (Scrivener STILL has no Android app), 2) it allows me to link & reference notes across multiple projects. There's research & worldbuilding that I want to have on hand for multiple stories so that's important to me.
Other than that, I've found Obsidian can do a lot of what Scrivener does although the learning curve is quite steep as well.
I also love Scrivener and started about ten years ago like you. Such a great space for drafting and organising. I usually move to Word after a manuscript is ready for more coherence but that’s easy to do from there as well. Love the whole project feel and easy to keep a bunch of them going :)
Nice breakdown! I love the many tools and ways with which Scrivener allows a writer to tackle their story.
Scrivener is the one to rule them all and in a dark room bind them... no wait I mean it’s more like Galadriel in oldish UI clothes. Which may turn you off but don’t let looks fool you! There may be more slick-looking tools out there but Scrivener beats them all, and I have tried them all. All? Yes. All.
Still, Scrivener has some shortcomings on the cloud-based side which you can work around and then the learning curve may seem to be steep but really isn’t. You may not be using it to its fullest potential when starting out, checking for word frequencies or highlighting adverbs reading mode, you may not even use any of the research, location, character etc sections at first, but you will! Scrivener will be your companion, your aide, your accomplice and your memory as your project grows.