The bloomin' obvious...

All credit to L ‘n’ L. I imagine inclusion in the Dummies series is an accolade.

To state the bloomin’ obvious, I think compiling should have thorough coverage. But having read one or two of the Dummies series and skimmed others, I expect a point-by-point coverage of all Scrivener’s features.

Ivan has hard acts to follow. It will be very difficult to do a better job than the manual written by Ioa (or, from a different angle, David Hewson’s book).

It’s true, the Scrivener manual is excellent, comprehensive and truly a hard act to follow. On the other hand Dummies books have a very specific methodology and maybe a different focus. We shall see.

Hahaha! I initially read that phrase

as containing a sly slam, i.e., “the Scrivener manual is excellent, comprehensive and very difficult to read/understand.” How about “…and a tough act to follow” which is what I assume you really meant! :laughing:

(I’ve clearly been too busy grading final term papers.)

If you decide you need an(other) editor, just give me a call! :wink:

Duly edited, thanks for pointing that out, I don’t want to start off insulting the manual writer!

:slight_smile: Thanks all.

I definitely agree with Ivan, the Dummies concept is much more practical and “outside-in” rather than “inside-out” than a software manual can be. While I’d love to get into practical matters, the manual really needs to focus on what the features are, rather than the many possible ways one can glue them together into practical solutions. I do as much of that as is feasible, but a line must be drawn somewhere, else it turns into an 800 page guide like many programming books are, with an extensive practical part glued to an extensive reference part and a lot of duplication between them.

Compile, and how it integrates with outline structure is I think one of those topics. The manual does a little of this, so as to not be completely opaque, but it’s hard to write about this topic without generating ten or twenty pages to it—as not everyone is even familiar with outlining concepts to begin with—and that really isn’t appropriate in the middle of a reference section on Compile panes. So that’s an excellent area that a Dummies book could dwell on: how it is the compiler that says “This shape of things in the outliner is a chapter, not a scene”, rather than the outline saying that all by itself. That’s something a lot of new users run into I think. They crack open a template and then look for the “make new chapter” feature.

Part of the problem, as any cursory look at the wishlist or these forums will prove, is that writers are an awkward bunch, often wedded to their very particular way of doing things (or worse, wishing to be spoonfed every new theoretical approach) - and their needs vary wildly across disciplines.

I think bodsham’s book does a really good job of getting the basics, and focusing on becoming more productive. It’s easy to get bogged down in looking for a specific solution to the 1% and not progressing the 99% because you’re knee deep in manual/shortcuts. Writing mindsets are notoriously unproductive.

Sorry, but I’ve never bought a Dummies Guide, and can’t imagine myself ever doing so (I’m more of a use-case tutorial webpage kind of learner - and the Scriv/Hewson videos tell you far more about how to use Scriv in practical terms than either the manual or the other books out there), but I would imagine a basic user would want to know:

  • What it’s designed for (introducing the basic concepts of a scrivening / chunk, views, inspectors, file types, and that it is NOT a wordprocessor)
  • How to organise your projects (with use cases and templates)
  • Different ways of thinking about your work (outline, scrivening, corkboard, scratchpad, notes)
  • How to set up your writing environment to be more productive (again, use cases and saved environments)
  • Tools to help you edit/index/revise (labels, status, keywords, snapshots, dictionaries etc)
  • Reference and academic usage tools (bookmarks, comments, footnotes, quick ref panels, alt editor etc)
  • Getting your manuscript out - basic compile
  • Compile use cases (referring back to templates, and exporting to Kindle/ePub etc)
  • Advanced ways of wasting time (statistics, icons, font / background preferences ETC)
  • Backing up
  • Collaborating
  • Working across machines (iPads/work-home/Win-Mac etc)
  • Working with other software (eg Devonthink / Evernote)
  • MMD? (never, ever used it, doubt I ever will)\
  • Glossary
  • Shortcuts reference

Well, that was a waste of 20 mins anyway. Right, I really must be in a black and white window somewhere.

Thanks monkquixote - you might think that was a wasted 20 minutes but for me you produced a great user view of things to focus on.
I have to admit that I’m also not a great user of Dummies books, but they are popular and actually much more sophisticated than you might think from outside.
Anyway, I intend to write something that complements the manual and gets people up to speed quickly and allows them to find the answers to things that bug us. The aim is that the program and the manuals get out of the way and let the writing take centre stage.
One thing I’m happy to admit is that I’ve been using Scrivener for years but I never ventured in to find out how various things worked, I just ignored them. But research for this book has brought me so much value …

Now that we have (at least :question:) two versions of Scrivener in the wild, are you going to point out where features operate differently or are not yet implemented on one operating system or the other?

I’m not a great user of them either, but one or two are very good in my experience. In my view, they’re good where they include the mere nuts and bolts but also go beyond them, into more sophisticated areas of guidance. Randy Ingermanson’s book on novel-writing is an example that I recommend to debutant(e) writers.

So I’m pleased to read that this is your intention too, Ivan. Now I shall have to think back over my own hints ‘n’ tips…

BTW, apologies for lumbering this sub-forum with a thread title that might be interpreted inappropriately. :blush: Blame years of attempting to write eye-catching sub-headings…

On marking where the functionality varies depending on operating system - yes! I will have a specific Icon which will mark ‘Mac only’ functionality. It’s not perfect but the Dummies people assure me it will work!
Now we just have to hope the Windows version doesn’t catch up too quickly (that’s a joke!)

Just waded through the mountain of superfluous detritus above, and there’s not one…Ill say that again…not one word about a Dummies guide covering Scrivener v1.1 Tutorial and how to get out of it, providing of couse, that you can find your way into it. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask. If I did, I wouldn’t 've been asking for it for the last umpteen years. tch!tch!tch!
Yours
Disgruntled Scriver

P.S. I suppose common courtesy demand some kind of an expression of best wishes for the project you are undertaking. After consulting The Guardian’s Style Manual, the best I can come up with, is:

All the very best of Good Luck, Ivan, and much success with Dummies’ Guide To Scrivener. :wink:
Take care
Vic

in the spirit of the thread title, if not it,s content, some sort of mention of the wonderfully fiendly and helpful people on the official forum,

with a suitable warning not to venture too far down towards the bottom of the forum index, of course, for fear of getting entangled with vic and his cohorts or trapped within the black hole that is the ,three word story, never to be heard of again

unless of course, your intellect possesses the luminosity of a Supernova (as does mine), thus rendering one immune to those forces exerted by said black hole[size=150]*[/size].

[size=150]*[/size]Law of physics not yet understood.

Vic -
“the mountain of superfluous detritus above”
Not really, it’s all interesting so far.
As for the Scrivener Tutorial issues - I’ll take a look, but unless you explain a bit more I’m not really sure what you’re on about.
Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.
Cheers,
Ivan

Mr Ivan, aboard Scrivener, you are but one of a huge majority.
Good luck with SfD
Take care,
Fluff

Must be difficult for him to concentrate. In that location, he’ll be jolly chilly by now.

You know, an introduction to the regulars of the Scrivener forum might actually be helpful for SfD. You could list the handles/names of each of the official Lit & Lat team with a paragraph or so about what they do for the company, so that when you read the forums, you know who really knows what they’re talking about. Then there’s the description for vic-k… I’d suggest “Approach with Caution… if at all”. :wink:

Mock not, ye, lest ye too be mockered!!!
Just wait till I get my hands on a copy of ‘Dummies Guide to Scrivener v 1.1’s Tutorial’!! There’ll be no holding me back then. Y’s ‘ve all been warned! Bunch o’ smart arses!

It’s been a while since I had a really good mockering.

A good mockering is more than you deserve! :open_mouth:
And…and y’re offtopicking…again!!