New Lit&Lat writing app

It seems very quiet here given Keith’s announcement yesterday that Lit&Lat will be releasing a new writing app. Really looking forward to seeing this, and am very glad to see the reassurance that this is not a replacement for Scrivener. I’ve written five books with Scriv, but use only a small portion of its feature set. So this might be perfect for people like me. Then again, once I start using it, I might discover that I actually use far more of Scrivener than I think I do. Interesting times ahead, good luck to all at Lit&Lat with development (and release dates!)


That’s maybe because all of the interested users applied for the beta and took the “don’t talk about it” checkbox to heart. :see_no_evil:


Um, it’s a public announcement, posted on the website’s blog and I doubt the beta has even been distributed yet, so I thought there might be a little chatter about it. The description/mock ups posted by Keith are really interesting. Maybe I’ve got the etiquette wrong, and if so am more than happy for the mods to delete this thread.

Don’t worry (I think), I was just kidding. Should be fine to comment the announcement and speculate.


It might just be because we didn’t provide anywhere obvious to talk about it. :slight_smile: It’s not possible to reply to the Announcements thread, and comments are turned off on the blog. (This was all intentional as we don’t want to talk about it too much when we’re still many months away from a release.)

We have had a good uptake on the number of sign-ups so far, though (we’ll be going through them in a week or two, once we have some admin stuff sorted out, such as a place for bug reporting).

And yes, just to reiterate, Scrivener is here to stay - the new app will just sit alongside it. (And in fact the desktop versions of the new app can export to Scrivener format, allowing you to move to Scrivener if you need its wider array of tools. But now I’m talking about when I’m not meant to be!)


Thanks Keith. And you’ve answered the first question that came to mind when I read the blog, re interoperability :grinning:
Good luck with it!


Maybe, just maybe some are thinking what I am thinking.

I have no interest in a “more lightweight” Scrivener" that is not “Scrivener Lite”. I am interested in exactly the opposite. I want Scrivener to get better and more powerful. More features, more of everything. What else do I want? I don’t know. When I only ate apples, I didn’t know how good bananas are. So I have every reason to regret that L&L is investing energy in a project that is of absolutely no use to me. Probably it makes sense economically. That’s ok. I don’t have to approve it, nor do I have to understand it. I wish good luck. But I also wish that Scrivener is not neglected :grinning:

As long as the pricing stays notably south of the 40 to 50 bucks that certain unnamed competitors charge for “just writing” apps – I’d say there’s a sizable market for something like this.

(It’s not just about money, I think offering a very simple migration path if and when such customers need “more” is actually pretty smart.)

Scrivener has had quite a lot of updates recently - a whole spate to ensure Sonoma compatibility on macOS, for example - so it should be clear that it’s not being neglected. Just as we released Scapple a few years ago, and that didn’t prevent Scrivener from growing and becoming more powerful since.


From the support side of things, I can say that where you see “power,” many users see complexity.

I’m probably not the target market for the new application either. But I know plenty of writers who might be.


FWIW, listening only to existing users of mature products is a very well known trap for companies across a wide array of product domains. Market opportunities come from looking for people who aren’t using your existing product for whatever reason.


Additionally I’d say it’s a good way to gain expertise in different technologies, without experimenting with the main product, that may benefit also Scrivener in the long run (think: iCloud sync).

Exactly so. It’s good practice to make as much code as possible reusable. And given how stable and reliable Scrivener’s current saving routines are, if in some hypothetical future we were to rewrite them completely to support iCloud sync, I’m sure Scrivener’s hundreds of thousands of users would want to know the replacement code had been well tested and scaled as needed. :slight_smile:


I hang out on a number of writers’ forums, and my ears always perk up when Scrivener comes up in discussions. Here are the two most common things I hear:

  • From people who use Scrivener: “I only use a very small percent of Scrivener’s features.”
  • From people who have taken a look at Scrivener and decided against it: “Way to complicated. I want to write, not read a manual.”

If L&L wants to reach more (new) customers, their direction here is a sensible one. Based on their innovations with Scrivener, I expect this new app will be more than just another in the crop of minimalist Markdown apps (e.g., IA Writer, etc.).



@KB no one is asking the hard questions here: what kind of cake is powering the new text engine? Are we talking Tiramisu, Swartzwälde Kirschtorte, macaroons??? Come on, NDA be damned!


I’d add a third one: “Scrivener lost my work.” (Usually from people who just drop it into iCloud and expect that to “just work”.)


Absolutely. The sentence that really caught my eye in the blog post was this one:

Which is why I set about coding a new text system based on these ideas.



PS. It’s probably Cornish Saffron bun! :joy:


Okay, I admit it, it’s a marble cake with a butter cream filling and a chocolate topping.

That was a bit of a non-techie description. In terms of APIs, I’m still using TextKit under the hood - I didn’t build a new text system from CoreText up in the way that Apple did with Pages. However, it’s a different text system from a user perspective and in terms of how it works.


It’s going to be a fully modal Vim-replacement isn’t it?

No need for complicated menus and all that Wysiwyggery, just the standard Vim engine with a nice and simple new compile mode, together with options for the most common formats.

:compile if=% of=to-docx,a4paper,ms-courier,emphasis-underline

So much simpler… I knew Ioa would convince you in the end :grinning:.


As a a Windows/Android user, to be honest the announcement made me really sad. Yet another app I won’t be able to use unless I’m at my desk, which is increasingly less and less these days.

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