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Take Control of Scrivener 2
Finally, write your novel or screenplay with Scrivener 2!
In this ebook, you'll take a creative voyage with Scrivener, a unique and popular content-generation tool. Scrivener supports wordsmiths of all types, and it's designed especially for long-form writing projects—scripts, novels, academic works, and more.
Author Kirk McElhearn walks you through using Scrivener to create and manage a writing project on your Mac. You'll learn how to use Scrivener’s Binder, Outliner, and Corkboard to develop characters and settings, collect and organize research materials, and arrange your scenes. Kirk even explains how to keep yourself on track by switching to Full Screen (Compose) mode and by setting daily progress targets, all on the way to helping you produce a polished, submission-ready manuscript.
You'll learn how to handle each aspect of the flexible Scrivener manuscript-generation process:
Set up: Add reference materials to your project for easy access—videos, audio files, PDFs, Web resources, and more. And, if you've already written bits of text, you can import those items too, including OPML outline files (such as from OmniOutliner Pro). Beyond importing from the Finder, you can use Mac OS X Services or Scrivener's handy Scratch Pad panel. Or, you can use the Import and Split feature to import a long document into multiple chapters or segments in Scrivener.
BONUS! The ebook has inspirational testimonials about Scrivener from published authors who have embraced Scrivener, including James Fallows, Jason Snell, Jeff Abbott, and Michael Marshall Smith. Who knows, maybe you'll be next!
Organize: Use the Outliner, Corkboard, Collections, and Binder to mix and match your content into the perfect final arrangement. For example, you can:
Write: Learn how to hide distractions so you can wordsmith in peace, whether in Full Screen mode in Windows or the Mac, or Compose mode on the Mac; set up Typewriter Scrolling to keep your writing focus at the center of the screen, not the bottom; and view more than one part of your project at once, so you can write in one section while referring to another. Also, use Scrivenings view to write one thread of a story all at once in a single view, even if it is broken up in multiple scenes or chapters in the final manuscript.
Format: Optimize the formatting you see when you work in Scrivener for your eyes and your screen, and understand how this can differ from the formatting in a "compiled" version of your manuscript.
Revise: Use revision marking and the useful Snapshot capability to experiment with and compare the effect of different revision strategies, while still being able to roll back to a previous version.
Be Mobile: Work on your project using more than one computer, or on an iPad.
Compile: Don't worry if the term "compile" is unfamiliar; it enables you to assemble your manuscript into linear order, in a form that can be printed or converted to common file formats. Scrivener supports RTF, Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, Final Draft, PDF, MOBI, and EPUB.
Should you buy this book? If you are already using or intend to use Scrivener then absolutely. It’s utterly worth buying and reading to discover how best to use the software. —Miraz Jordan, MacTips book review
Specific questions answered in the ebook include:
To find out how up to date this book is, and to learn about our plans for updating it, click the Blog tab, above.
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Kirk McElhearn is a freelance writer, specializing in Macs, iPods, iTunes, digital music, and more. In addition to having written or co-written a dozen books, he is a Senior Contributor to Macworld magazine and he contributes to several other Web sites and magazines. He reviews classical CDs for MusicWeb and audiobooks for Audiofile, and he is a translator from French to English.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
Literature & Latte’s Scrivener is an innovative program for writing fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, and other long-form texts. This book helps you start writing your masterpiece with Scrivener, presenting the program’s basic concepts and features, and showing you how to get the most out of the program. This book was written by Kirk McElhearn, edited by Michael E. Cohen, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Writers have a nearly endless choice of tools. The number of word processors, text editors and other text applications available today is staggering. But most of them are designed for linear writing, where you start at the beginning, then write until you get to the end.
Scrivener is designed with the assumption that most writers of long-form works—novels, non-fiction books, theses, screenplays, and so
on—don’t write that way. Scrivener provides a unique environment that frees you from the strict constraints of beginning, middle, and end. You can start at the end of your work, then write the beginning, then fill out the middle if you wish. As you write, you can easily move around scenes, sections, and chapters, until your work is exactly as you want.
In addition, Scrivener provides an easy way to store items such as research material, character sketches, and setting information in the same project file as your writing, giving you instant access to all this material.
As a writer of either fiction or non-fiction, you have myriad options for the tool you use to record your words. However, you may find that Scrivener can replace the current app you use for writing, and provide you with powerful features that your current writing app doesn’t offer. Welcome to the text app that may become your essential writing tool!
In this book, I look at Scrivener from the point of view of a writer about to embark on a project. This project could be fiction or non-fiction; it could be a screenplay or a collection of short stories. I show you how you can easily start working with Scrivener, leverage its powerful organizational and text management features, move ahead as you write, then forget that you’re using the program. For, after all, when writing, what counts most is the words. Your tool is important, because it is the scaffolding around which you create, but you need to focus on your text, not your tools.
In order to present a realistic project in the examples used in this book, I have chosen Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, the classic novel of obsession and the quest for redemption.
This ebook discusses Scrivener 2 on the Mac. It was developed using Scrivener 2.4
Scrivener was initially a Mac-only program, and it remained so for many years. But Windows users, jealous that they had no similar tool, convinced Scrivener’s developer to work on a Windows version. The first Windows version of Scrivener saw the light of day in November 2011, and the current version, as of this writing, is 1.2.5.
The Windows version of Scrivener will be behind the Mac version for a while, so if you are using the Windows version, you may find that some of the features mentioned in this ebook are not available. (If Literature & Latte’s plans come to fruition, the Windows version will eventually have all the same features.) Throughout this ebook, you’ll see sidebars explaining which features are not available to Windows users. Bear in mind, however, that the vast majority of Scrivener’s features are the same in both the Mac and Windows versions.
All the screenshots used to illustrate this ebook were done using the Mac version, but you’ll find that the Windows version is essentially the same.
One thing to note is that I present Mac keyboard shortcuts in this book. For the most part, these shortcuts use the Command key. In Windows, you’d use the Control key instead. So, to save a project in Scrivener, you’d press Command-S on a Mac, but Control-S in Windows.
Also, when I mention accessing Scrivener’s preferences to change the way the program works for you, in Windows, you need to choose Tools > Options, not Scrivener > Preferences.
For more information about the Windows version, check the Literature & Latte Web site.
Scan the Quick Start below to get an overview of what you can learn in this ebook. It tells you how to use the unique features of Scrivener for all types of writing: fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, short stories, and more.
If you are new to Scrivener, I suggest that you read about learning the program’s environment, brainstorming and organizing, and how to start writing in one session. After that, read the rest based on your interests and needs.
If you’ve been using Scrivener for a while, the early chapters offer you an overview of the program’s essential features for preparing to write, and explanations you need to feel more comfortable with the program’s interface. Read those if you feel they’ll be helpful, and then pick from the remaining topics to hone your knowledge.
For all readers, before you get too far into your masterpiece I especially recommend Take Snapshots of Your Text, since it could help you sail around leviathan-sized problems.
When version 1.0 of this ebook was published in June 2011, Scrivener on the Mac was at version 2.1. In the 18 months since then, Scrivener on the Mac has seen several updates. While the majority of this ebook remains the same, I have revised it for Scrivener 2.4, which is due to be released by Literature & Latte soon after this ebook update is published. I am releasing the ebook somewhat in advance of Scrivener 2.4’s release (with Literature & Latte’s blessing) so that you can have it before NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins this year.
In addition, Literature & Latte has released a Windows version of Scrivener, so I wanted to bring Windows users more fully into the ebook (Windows users, be sure to read Windows Users: Read the Blue Boxes!). While I mentioned the Windows version of the program briefly in the first version of the ebook, Scrivener for Microsoft Windows was still in beta at that time. It was released in late 2011.
The most important changes that I’ve added are these:
If you wish to see a full, detailed list of all the changes to Scrivener, you can go to this page on the Literature & Latte Web site.
Scrivener is developed by a company called Literature & Latte. Check out the Literature & Latte Web site for lots more info. Also, you can download a fully-functional time-limited demo from the Literature & Latte site.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
November 17, 2014 -- While considering the Take Control publication schedule for 2015, I investigated how out of date this title might be, given that it was last updated in 2012 (but for Scrivener 2.4, which was released in 2013). I was pleased to find out that it's in good shape for Mac users, though slightly less so for Windows users.
On the Mac side, Scrivener has seen two updates since this book was written: Version 2.5 added better Mavericks compatibility, including support for tagging when saving or exporting. Version 2.6 added better Yosemite compatibility, such as having the green full-screen/zoom button at the upper-left of a Yosemite window work in the standard Yosemite manner. Other changes in those two versions are detailed in the Scrivener Change List History. Though the list is long, the changes are mainly minor bug fixes or tiny tweaks that in nearly all cases don't change anything in the text in the ebook.
On the Windows side, this title covers Windows 1.2.5, and thus a few aspects of using Scrivener for Windows that the book says can't be done, can now be done by following the Mac directions in the book. (Literature and Latte is working to bring the Windows version into full feature parity with the Mac version). There's a list of all that's new in more recent versions of Scrivener for Windows at the Scrivener for Microsoft Windows change list.
I'm now talking with Literature & Latte about when to plan an update to this title. Literature & Latte is also working on an iOS version (described in The Vapour Trail of Scrivener for iOS, on the Literature & Latte blog), so a good time for an update would be shortly after that iOS 8 version is available.
—Tonya J Engst
November 1, 2014 --
Saturday marked the first of November, and with it, the launch of the 16th year of the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. If you decide to take on the challenge of writing a novel by the end of November, you’ll be among some 400,000 participants scattered across six continents.
To help aspiring novelists do more than just bang out 50,000 unorganized words in whatever word processor you have handy, Literature & Latte is offering a free trial version of the popular Scrivener writing studio, which helps you take notes, view your research alongside your writing, outline and structure your ideas, and compose the actual text of your novel. The trial version includes a NaNoWriMo novel template, which sets up a 50,000-word target and includes a few extras related to NaNoWriMo (the template is available separately for those who already own Scrivener). The trial version will work through 7 December 2014, and everyone who completes a novel with it will be eligible for 50 percent off the $45 price of the full Mac version of Scrivener in December. Even those who don’t make the goal can still save 20 percent.
Scrivener can be a bit much to wrap your head around all at once though, since it’s so much more than just a word processor or project management tool, and to help you come up to speed quickly so you can focus on your novel, Kirk McElhearn’s Take Control of Scrivener 2 is 50 percent off through 30 November 2014 — use this coupon-loaded link to take advantage of the discount. The book is normally $10; the discount drops the price to only $5.
March 2, 2013 --
If you read the Literature & Latte News that was sent as an email message today, you know that Scrivener 2.4 for the Mac is now available. The current version of this ebook was written with an early release of 2.4, so it already reflects what's new in version 2.4!
—Tonya J Engst
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