Scrivener wish list

I’ve just completed writing my second novel (crime) with Scrivener (wipes the floor with Word), written a short e-book (paranormal romance), and 10,000 words into my next crime book.

What I wish Scrivener could do, besides the great things it does already:

  1. Tell me: “Hey, you’ve given that character in chapter 15 a different one from the one he had in chapter three”.

  2. Is that really how you spell “its” in this context?

  3. “At what point, moron, did you forget to write that sentence grammatically?”

and finally:

  1. “Psst…you! What about that sub plotline in the first bit of the book - you seem to have forgotten its existence - go back and rewrite, immediately!”

Anyhow, thanks again for great software, and I’ve just updated to latest version. Good man yourself.

Hi John,

Which version of OS X are you using? I ask because Leopard introduced a grammar checker which should do 2) and 3) already. With number 1) I assume you mean name? Because Scrivener is more general-purpose than just being for novels, I’m not sure how it could achieve that unless it just used tags (where you entered a placeholder tag instead of the actual name which Scrivener could replace with the actual name), but that would not be a fun way to write. As for 4), blimey! I’m not sure how Scrivener could track subplots. However, Scrivener 2.0 will make it easier to track things like subplots with a little management… But I’ll say more on that when it’s implemented and nearer the time, when I’m ready to start sharing the new features. :slight_smile:

All the best,

My comments were mainly tongue-in-cheek, Keith, but you’ve given me some fresh ideas on how to improve the way I approach writing with Scrivener. I know there are some super users out there who know all the keyboard shortcuts, and can navigate the software like a racing driver. I’m not one of those, though I’m learning.

I have started looking at Writer’s Cafe and MyMind (prompted by a forum user here), to try to help me with structuring and story tracking. Any other ideas would be appreciated, though. On the other hand, my latest book is told entirely from the POV of one character, so I don’t have to worry so much about the multiple threads I had in other books…

By the way (unrelated): I believe you played Mass Effect on xbox 360 - so did I, loved it. And just now trying a creepy one called Dead Space - have you heard of/played that one?

My irony detector unfortunately doesn’t kick in until after my third cup of coffee… I do think 2.0 will help more with story tracking, both with sub-plots and different PoVs, though, although I am keeping everything on the “down low” at the moment (I am so hip-hop).

I never finished Mass Effect! I don’t know why - I did really like it. I must return to it and play some more. I did get most of the way through Dead Space… I am pretty terrible for not finishing games, I have to admit. Recently my Xbox had to go in for repair (red ring of death - fortunately Microsoft repair that for free even out of warranty), so I used it as an excuse to buy a PS3 too. I am now addicted to Little Big Planet (although InFamous is great too). Sadly I do only finish about 1 in 10 games…

All the best,

One in 10 games, Keith? Well, I’m a bit more stubborn, always go to great lengths to finish all my games if I can (even managed to complete Lost Planet, possibly the toughest, most frustrating boss battles in the universe!). But when I get really stuck I’ll put something aside and try much later.

Besides, shouldn’t we be writing, not gaming?

The fact that Keith took these seriously is bound to add more fire to the persistent rumour that the next version of Scriv will include a complete AI construct of some late, great author.


I’ts already in beta testing, didn’t you know?


Oh dear. I can understand your reasons for side-stepping Mailer. But Salinger? Really? If you were hooked on dead (or otherwise inaccessible) Americans, you might have used Pyncheon. My choice probably would have been Updike. (My choice actually would have been Vonnegut, but Updike sounds more, well, more literary.)


Wait, Salinger’s not dead! Not yet! I am waiting for the time when he does die (uh, that sounds bad) in the hope that some great literary works will emerge from his safe… But probably not, judging by his last published short story (Hapworth). But don’t diss the JDS - Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey were important books to me in my formative years. Mind you, I could equally, maybe more so, go for Vonnegut… Not Pyncheon, though. V is a great book, but like all those games I mentioned up-thread, I never finished it…

I did the same thing regarding John Fowles, but then nothing ever came out of the safe.