Media Request: How has Scrivener Changed the Way You Write?

For an article I’m writing, deadline Monday December 3 2012: Do you feel that Scrivener has changed the way you write? How?

  • Expansion of vision.
  • Creative process.
  • Efficient.
  • Non-linear.
  • Other?

Please explain - I’d like to quote you if possible, you can message me if you don’t want to reply publicly.

Thank you!

Carla King
Self-Publishing Boot Camp
PBS MediaShift

For me, the crucial feature of Scrivener is that it makes it easy to look at single paragraphs in isolation (I make pretty much every paragraph a separate document) and recombine “on the fly” to look at the whole piece. Then, if paragraphs need to be moved around into a different order, it is easy to achieve that. I write non-fiction (I work in psychology and history) and it is crucial that material is presented in the right order. If one wants to build an argument, or explain something complex, maintaining control of the flow of information or ideas is of fundamental importance. It can make the difference between clarity and mud. The fact that each document/paragraph needs its own name means that there is a powerful encouragement to work out what each paragraph is about, and limit the document/paragraph to that subject. Many a time I have looked at my writing and asked myself if the text actually matches the name of the paragraph/document. If it doesn’t, I know something is wrong, and that I may have to move some elements or split them up (something else that is very easy to do with Scrivener).

In short, I would say that Scrivener helps me to think in ways that other writing packages do not. It is much easier to clarify and marshal ideas in Scrivener than in a word processor.

Sorry this is rather brief, but I have a document to organise!

Martin BB.

Scrivener has changed the way I write, because it actually encourages me to write. Writing, of course, is a labor and will always be so, but with Scrivener I finally have a tool that lets me work the way I want to. I write software reviews (for Mac Appstorm) as a hobby. Scrivener takes the drudgery out of gathering the research and organizing my thoughts, and lets me concentrate on getting my words out and onto the “page.” I have also written a short book, a kind of a hybrid between a long personal essay and a history, about an historic site here in Vermont. I’d been working on bits and pieces of it for years, but it was always just that, a collection of unrelated bits. But with Scrivener, I was able to pull it together, find the right flow (using the outline, cork board and scrivenings views). I was able to add the transitions that made sense and finally self-published the book last year. It recently received a very complimentary review in the Vermont History journal.

If you want to ask me specific questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Good luck with your article.

How has Scrivener changed the way I write? Not hugely to tell the truth, except (crucially) in terms of efficiency. I was trained to believe that getting the flow right was paramount. In those days in TV rewinding was a chore; the viewer had to understand what you wrote first time round, or never. So “chunking” Scrivener-style and re-arranging thoughts multiple times to find the order for optimal communication were essential.

Long before Scrivener, my chunking tools consisted of paper, scissors and Pritt-Stick or Sellotape, and so I fell upon Scrivener as the expression of a long-held philosophy.