Scrivener or Word???

I’m currently writing my first draft of my novel on MS Word, but the subscription runs out in a couple of months which also happens to be the time I expect to complete my first draft.

Is it worth switching to Scrivener as I’ve heard its a popular writing program.

Note I use a Windows laptop, but my other devices are Android. I like to do readthroughs and small edits on these devices when I’m out and about through the Word app. Is there a way I can still do that if I use Scrivener? I use the text to speech function on Word too - are there any decent alternatives?

If your Android devices are a key part of your workflow, I would hold off on making the switch to Scrivener at this time with your current project. Scrivener is not native for Android, although there are announced plans to make it so once the Windows version 3.0 has been released (no timeline, though, as L&L does not provide timelines). There are various workarounds and things you can do to export pieces of your work to Android and import them back in, but you may find that it feels very kludgey.

However, Scrivener for Windows 3.x is currently in beta (as version 2.9.x) and you can download the betas and start playing with it to see how you like it. Once it is released as 3.0, L&L has a very nice trial policy – you can use the trial for 30 days. That’s 30 actual days of use, not 30 consecutive days on the calendar. So if you play with it once every 3 days, it would only count the actual days you launch it. Between the current beta period and the release trial period, you should have enough time to set up a sample project, work through the tutorial, and figure out if Scrivener has a place in your workflow before it comes to Android in the future.

I wouldn’t put off using Scrivener Win just because your mobile device is Android. When you trial Scrivener as suggested, you will see it is far superior to Word for long form writing. You can easily import your current work into Scrivener with Import and Split.

Do a search on the forum and you’ll see a number of discussions on very workable methods for bringing notes into Scrivener from Android devices. Of course, the other option is to go iOS on mobile :slight_smile:

Waiting for Android could have you paying the Microsoft Word tax for another 1-2 years - anyone’s guess at this stage.

Avoid the Windows version of Scrivener–it’s broken. Ever since they switched to license provider Paddle, it’s been a constant series of updates that end up resolving absolutely nothing. Stick with Word.

It’s not broken, still works just fine apart from the licensing hiccup which I am confident they will resolve. The licensing issue doesn’t prevent it from working exactly per spec.

V3 beta is pretty solid also and getting better with each release.

Probably not much help, but I use both.

Re Android. Finding software that will edit RTF files on Android is difficult, though not impossible (even Word for Android won’t open RTF files, which is the format Scrivener holds its native files in). While you could (in theory) use TXT files to swap backwards and forwards you’d lose the style information which is increasingly important in the latest Scrivener version.

If Android is important to you, you’ll need to keep Word, at least for another year.

I wouldn’t switch to Scrivener with a novel already written through first draft. IMO first draft is where Scriv really shines, and learning and experimenting with a long project that’s really important would be pretty frustrating.

As a for instance, when I was first experimenting, every time I tried to move a scene by drag and drop, I missed my target and put it inside another scene, which meant it seemed to disappear. Panic. Then I realized I was accidentally putting one scene inside another and how to figure out where it went. Better yet, I learned that d&d isn’t for me and I could have buttons on the taskbar? whichever bar has the buttons :smiley: which would do the moving without the problem.

Another personal for instance - as someone who never used index cards but who did outline, I had to learn that the Corkboard feature that so many love was an addictive waste of time for me. Now I hardly ever open that view. It’s the Outliner all the way.

You might consider downloading the trial version of Scriv, putting something short in it (or writing something short for the purpose), and playing with it. That’s what I did - three chapter short with a couple scenes inside each chapter. It gave me a worry-free way to get a feel for the program and learn the basics. Since I don’t use my Android phone for writing or editing, I didn’t have to decide if workarounds to get things done on the phone is worth it.

If you find you like Scriv, save really using it for your next novel.

I moved to Scrivener from Word ⅔ way through my first book and found the writing and editing much easier, especially when I needed to juggle a few scenes.

BWHM’s comment lacks objectivity. There’s a bug with licencing which they’re resolving, not without difficulty, but Scrivener for Windows isn’t broken, and certainly doesn’t need to be avoided. This statement comes from my experience of using Scrivener every day, switching between a Windows 10 laptop, a Windows 10 desktop, an iPad and very occasionally an iPhone, and I haven’t ever experienced any failures, with licencing or anything else. In fact, from the experience of a lifetime spent in computing, I’m prepared to stick my neck out and say that it’s the most reliable example of sophisticated software that I’ve ever used. As for Word, my experience is that it rapidly and regularly becomes more unreliable as a document becomes larger if numbering , indents, tabs, and other ‘advanced’ features are used. Word’s fantastic for short documents such as letters, but unreliable for books, short stories, study assignments and so on. Try Scrivener! You’ll need to invest a couple of hours getting used to the new software, but they provide an excellent tutorial. You’ll probably never look back.

I definitely recommend switching to Scrivener. I wrote in Microsoft Word almost exclusively for 21 years, save for short periods of time where I didn’t have access to it and needed to use Libre Office instead - I used the trial for less than a month before deciding to make the switch. I’ve transferred all my WIPs into Scrivener and have been working more or less exclusively in the beta for the last couple of months. Version 1 is perfectly functional but I’ve found that for me, the v3 beta is a little easier to work with. It does have a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s well worth the time, money and effort spent on it.