I’ve blogged before about my struggle on switching over to Scrivener. I’ve always loved the idea of what I could do, but I was having a seemingly hard time embracing the reality. Every project I started in Scrivener stalled and I wasn’t sure if it was the project…or Scrivener itself.
I finally drafted Lord Regret’s Price wholly in Scrivener. It was a very slow project, taking me months longer than I wanted to finish. But I don’t think it was wholly Scrivener’s fault. I didn’t skip around with the plot but wrote mostly linearly all the way through. I had the whole thing fairly well plotted out, using folders Act 1, Act 2, etc. to split things out and high-level scene notes for where I wanted to go. I even used color-coded index cards to mark expected POV shifts. It was great for holding all the research and worldbuilding notes in one place.
Drafting was very slow, though I think it was mostly a mental thing I just had to work through. I would have had the same issue in Word.
I also drafted The Billionaire Submissive wholly in Scrivener – and it went lightning fast. This time I didn’t have a plot at all and I did skip around a little. I didn’t use any color coding, synopsis notes, or character/research notes. But Scrivener makes skipping around VERY easy. I could see my files at a glance and shift them around into a new order if I wanted. Renaming them to agree with a new order (I named them 001, 002, etc.) was also very easy. In this kind of writing, Scrivener definitely shines.
What I still haven’t been able to really get the hang of, though, is EDITING in Scrivener. I can reread the previous scene easily, but I don’t get the overall “feel” of the piece as easily as when it’s a single Word file. I think I probably need to use a different view if I’m trying to edit inside Scrivener, rather than a file by file view via the outline. I’ll play with that next time.
For now, I use the compile feature to build the .doc file, and then I use Word to actually do the read through and edits. Of course that means if I’m not completely done, I have to flip over to Scrivener, locate the individual file, and make the change there. So editing is definitely much easier to do in one pass rather than daily. Again, I’m sure there’s a view inside Scrivener that will create a seamless single “file” that would make this a lot easier. I just need to play around with it.
In my free time.