I am an Indie Author. Everyone in the writing group I run are writers, some Indie Authors as well, and most of us already use Scrivener, but for those who don’t, they know about Scrivener because I can’t stop telling them about it. I love the program! But if there could be one wish I could have in the software, it would be a powerful Novel Editor!

I’m not talking about the spell checker and slightly aggravating grammar underliner that is there now, I’m talking about a separate section used once you are ready to edit your work. I don’t want to see my mistakes while I’m writing. When I’m ready to go from rough to polished and published, then have something either in the software, or in another program outside of it, that’s so powerful it would put Grammarly to shame. Wait! Also include genre specific thesaurus accounts that link to my software so when repeated words are found, replacement choices pop up.

I am an Indie Author, and like any other writer, I need an editor to help me see the forest through the trees. It would be awesome to finally have that as my new companion to count on within my Scrivener software. I don’t doubt that day will come, it’s just a matter of when. Until then, I will continue to love Scrivener and pass out links to every writer I see. Scrivener on! You have a loyal base with me and my group! LM Fields (Author & Artist)

Novel Editor Program Specifics: LM Fields

  1. Genre Specific Thesaurus (Words Pertain to Specific Genre)
  2. Thesaurus (All Words)
  3. Dialogue Checker
  4. Contextual Spell Checker
  5. Grammar Catcher
  6. Grammar Tutor (Learn Common Grammar Mistakes from Examples)
  7. Repetition Checker (Finds Repetitive Words/Offers Replacement Options)
  8. Creative Dictionary (Author Can Create His/Her Own Dictionary & Print It)
  9. Consistency Editor (Author Creates Key Points Editor Checks Document for Consistency)
  10. Search & Rescue (Author Types in Word or Phrase to Do Edits Wherever It May Show)

I don’t think that all the technology necessary is available. I’m not sure about one or two items on your list (Consistency Editor? OK at a simple level, but my brain can handle that, much more difficult with more complex items where my brain is also fallible.) But the real gotcha is with item 5, the Grammar Catcher. Every single grammar checker I’ve come across on both Windows and the Mac delivers far too many ‘false corrections’. There are other challenges: would Scrivener have to provide such a feature for every language its purchasers use?

I’ve acted as editor for all sorts of long-form documents, my own and other people’s. It’s a fiendish job. I used to liken it to combing fleas out of dogs’ coats. It’s tiresome and takes hours - and there’s always one you miss, usually as the printer starts up. (And then you wake up in the middle of the night, thinking about it, your whole view of the document coloured by that one mistake.) So I can see why one might want to devolve responsibility to a machine.

Yet to replicate the human role to the point where the machine can be trusted - that’s a big ask. Grammar checkers are certainly not there yet; one day they will be, but not yet.

That is quite a list.

But item 7 is partly do-able with Marked, an app which – among many useful things – can give you a preview of your Scrivener project with repeated words highlighted. You can set it to catch repetition through the whole document or just in paragraphs.

You can never depend on the machine alone to solve what humans can do; depending soley on the machine is fool hardy, but every writer, even your best selling authors, will tell you they need someone else to double check their work.

Unfortunately, most writers can’t afford editors or another set of eyes to see what they are missing. The saying, “seeing the forest through the trees”, couldn’t be more true and realized for the novelist. We must read, re-read, and read yet again, our work until we have it memorized, and still it doesn’t mean it’s free of mistakes, it only means our brains conveniently and politely correct our issues without telling us so the errors never get corrected.

Editing software can at least jolt us into a new perspective and place of awareness. I love Scrivener and love to support excellence for which the creators of this software have consistently shown. Why not offer up this wish list and let them shoot for whatever they feel they can achieve? If they have the courage and know-how to go after it then nothing is impossible. Just this morning I found 3 online editing programs alone, one of which I have signed up for and will use called AutoCrit Editing Wizard. Would I still transfer over and use a Scrivener Editing Program if it was offered? Of course I would! But I had to have something while I waited. I need my options.

I don’t blindly use editing programs and auto correct on command. Spell checker highlights all kinds of words, and for this SciFi-Horror writer, that doesn’t mean my words will be incorrect. I have a unique writing style that is often frowned upon and pops up all kinds of flags in a grammar checker but it’s a style I’m very happy with and I will not change it just because a program says to. I am not a slave to the machine but I have learned how to use it as the tool like any other instrument including the computer I am using to type this post. It’s my assistant and at times, my tutor and aid.

I do not doubt the creative possibilities for the makers of Scrivener. I have seen what is available in other software and I have seen what is in Scrivener now. If others can produce these wonders then there is nothing Scrivener can’t do and have better if they wanted. I only offered up an idea and left it on the table for consideration. I believe in creativity and the possibilities it opens for others. The makers of Scrivener are in the same club or else Scrivener would not exist today.