More Scrivener

Initially I thought I’d post at least one entry a week but I guess that didn’t happen after the first few posts. But fear not, I’m back with another entry about Scrivener.

normal mode of ScrivenerOne of my best loved features about Scrivener is its full screen edit mode. I remember earlier posts, yes, that’s more than one, about my OCD with a clean screen to type in. I guess the folks at Literature & Latte, the makers of Scrivener, feel the same way about this. They have implemented a fully customizable full-screen interface that will get all your work done if clutter-free is what rings your bell. I’ve attached a screen capture of both normal and full-screen modes. Don’t let the pristine appearance of full-screen fool you. There’s a host of customization features and tweaks available in Scrivener’s settings to get the look exactly the way you want. I personally like the light-blue text on dark-blue background for typing out rough/first drafts and use a light-brown background with a dark-brown text for the revision process.

This is, for me, perfect for typing.

Yes, OCD to the core. But like the rest of my kind, I can’t help it.

full screen mode of ScrivenerMoving on, Scrivener is not WYSIWYG word processor, meaning  what you see on the screen is only for your benefit and not how the final layout will look on the page. This is important because it’s a throwback to the olden days of typewriters and always works better for writers. Trust me, I do commercial printing for a living, you don’t want to worry about ‘how’ something will look on the page when you are creating. And Scrivener lets you concentrate on the writing. This also means that you can set your screen layout to best suit your tastes and vision. I need reading glasses most of the time, especially if I’m reading fine print in a low-lit area, so I like to keep my on-screen fonts big and well spaced to get the load off my eyes. With the way Scrivener is designed, this makes no difference to my manuscript’s layout or eventual destination since it’s not WYSIWYG.

For newcomers to Scrivener there are built-in templates that help set things up initially. You can find a large number of  templates for everything from character developments to scene creation within the fiction section. There’s a script formatting template as well for those who want to delve into magic of the movies. Everything is pre-formatted – just click on the icon and start typing. There’s even separate script templates for different types of stage productions or sit-coms. Likewise there are several formatting styles even for non-fiction writing depending on your intended end product.

Another great feature is a corkboard view where all the different contents of a folder are displayed as index-cards which can be moved around the screen to create new sequences by repositioning them. The contents of those index cards are rearranged automatically without cumbersome cutting/pasting.

There are way too many features in Scrivener for me to list them all but one of the more important ones is its ability to take snapshots of documents. This feature comes in handy when you decide after revising four chapters that you liked the original idea better. In Scrivener you just take a ‘snapshot’ before you make changes and later on at any stage if you decide to go back to the original data, its all there. This alone should help out a ton of people who, like me, manage to screw up the revision and may want to go back to the original. You can find Scrivener here.

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