First of all, I would like to thank everyone for Scrivener, because after using it for one day, I am madly in love.
Secondly, before I go on to explaining in great detail how well Scrivener works and how well it’s designed and how much I love it, I’m going to quickly say that I’m an 18-year old girl with no experience whatsoever in computer programming. I quite frequently annoy my friends who do know about computers with calls like, “So Windows Explorer crashed again and now my taskbar disappeared. What do I…oh wait. There. It restarted itself.”
Thirdly, I’m running this on Windows7. My friend that I call to ask him what to do whenever my computer does something strange said that I should tell y’all that.
When I saw the add on the NaNoWriMo site that said, “Now for Windows,” I did happy dance around the room and squee a little bit before heading to the website to see if I could download a free trial. When I saw the words “public beta” there was another squee and another bit of happy dance about not having to spend my food money on computer programs again.
On to my actual thoughts on the program:
The tutorial was very clear and really helpful. There were a few spots where I got lost, but I assumed that it was only because I hadn’t read the directions carefully enough and I usually understood it if I’d read them again.
The one place where I really got lost was figuring out how to use the snapshot tool. The oranged-out comment about the lock button confused me, because the camera icon really looked like a lock, so I assumed that the lock button was there and just didn’t do anything. I ended up figuring it out by just clicking the buttons and seeing what happened, though.
So after I finished the tutorial, I imported my current project, which was of course my NaNoWriMo10. I was really surprised that Scrivener didn’t even threaten to crash when I copypasted all 22,354 words in and imported all of my research pictures and character sketches (and there are a lot of them). Microsoft Word threatened to crash when I just copied the entire document, and has crashed on me at least once every couple of days after my NaNo grew to over 10 pages long, but Scrivener handled it without a problem.
Chopping my NaNo into scenes was a little bit tougher than I would have liked, because there is a lack of keyboard shortcuts for splitting a scene. However, despite the fact that I had to go into the Documents menu every time that I wanted to chop up a scene, it still didn’t take more than an hour to cut it up and add a synopsis for every card (and I’m not suggesting that you add keyboard shortcuts now, it’s just something that I would like to see eventually, at some point in the future). I adored the labels that you can put on the cards, and I did have a bit too much fun with those. Several of my index cards now say things like, “Delete this!” and “ANGST!!” for scenes that are just super-angsty.
Another thing that I’d eventually see is the ability to assign different colors to the labels (I know that there’s the the little colored corner thingy, but I’d really like to be able to see at a glance which of my cards is labeled “First Draft” and which one is labeled “ANGST!!” without having to take the time to actually read the labels. Again, this is an ‘eventually like to see’ thing and not a ‘fix it NOW!’ thing.
Writing is also super-fun. I love the automatically updated word count, and I also love the fullscreen, “Don’t bug me, I’m writing” mode. Unfortunately, I can’t use don’t-bug-me-I’m-writing mode very much because the text is waay down at the bottom of the page. With the little bar at the bottom popping up over the writing every time that I try to click down there, navigation is pretty much restricted to the arrow keys. However, I did see in the tutorial that you’re going to be adding a keep-my-text-in-the-middle-of-the-screen mode, which I am eagerly awaiting the release of.
I didn’t really use the outline mode much yesterday, because the corkboard is just so efficient.
And Autosave! OH MY GOODNESS AUTOSAVE! Especially with my computer, on which everything crashes sooner or later, I cannot explain how amazing it is to have an autosave feature, and I never noticed it hindering my writing. I still hit CTRL+S out of habit before I leave the computer or stop to think for too long (too many years of loosing essays has trained me well).
After only one day, I am madly in love with Scrivener. Everything that I used was really well designed, I couldn’t make it crash though I admit that I didn’t really try, and everything that I would like to see implemented is a very small, minor change that I can totally live without.