Monday 21 January 2019

Scrivener, Word or Open Office?

I decided I'd try out Scrivener to see if it would help me get my manuscript done.

There's a 30 day free trial and the days only count down every day you use it, so if you only open it a couple of days a week the free trial will last longer than a month.

When the trial is up you either purchase it or remove it.

Friends do say it is a learning curve but there's lots of helpful info available: YouTube videos, a user manual within the programme and instructional videos. Then there's Anne Rainbow's ScrivenerVirgin site.

At the moment it's all making my head spin...

Which programme?

I can import a Word document, but apparently Tabs are not good and muck up the formatting later.

Since Word 2007 no longer has technical support- no updates- I've found it creating glitches in my formatting of documents and I've had to use the tab key more.

I'd considered Office 365, but apart from having to pay monthly or annually, the version of Word would not read my much earlier documents; as I understood the info it would remove my 2007 version during the download.

I bought the Office 2007 disc when I purchased my previous computer and then had to reinstall Office 2007 when a Microsoft update created major issues with my current desktop (resulting in it having to be wiped) I am now on my third and final use of 2007.

I've downloaded Open Office and found it useful for a number of things, but I wasn't comfortable with it for the novel. So I've persevered with Word.

Now I'm trialing Scrivener.

As I'm mid-rewrite of Chapter 9 in Word 2007 I've decided to start Chapter 10 in Scrivener and see how it goes. If it works for me and I buy it, I can sort out the earlier chapters in Word and then import them in.

I like the ability to make your own templates so you can use them with every novel or use the pre-existing templates.

Like any new programme it's as much about learning where things are and how to use it.

The biggest advantage is being able to prepare the finished novel for being an e-book, in ePub for example. (Of course you still need an editor.)

Today I set up the title and the chapters, then tomorrow I'll try the cork-board bit...

I must admit that the last time I looked at Scrivener (about four years ago) I didn't like it, it confused me, but now I'm at a stage with my writing where it makes sense and I can see how helpful it could be.

Are you a Scrivener convert or a Word or Open Office user?


Bea Charles said...

I’ll be interested to hear how you get on, Carol. Everyone I know who uses Scrivener seem delighted with it.

Julia Thorley said...

I'm a Word user and always have been, apart from the very early days of Word Perfect. (Yes, I'm THAT old.)I've never had any problems importing old versions into the one I have, and like the fact that I can also save docs into other versions and as pdfs. I have comfortably published e-books using its html format without any trouble. I find it very easy and flexible to work with. I've never felt the need to look at Scrivener.

Carolb said...

Bea- I'll update everyone at the end of the trial period. Yes, nearly everyone I know who has tried it have gone on to purchase it and wouldn't go back.

Julia- thanks for this. I have always used Word up to now and would have stayed with it if Microsoft hadn't gone the 365 route. I'm not that techy so a few bits of html are my limit for now. :-)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I'll be very interested in how you get on with Scrivener, Carol. Like you, I tried the free version a few years ago but didn't even get to the end of the trial as it was confusing compared to Word which I always use. I'll maybe try again sometime.

Carolb said...

Rosemary- friends have said it is a steep learning curve, but you won't need to use everything straightaway and having worked through the tutorial that's true. I can see how useful it will be, it's just getting comfortable with it after being a Word user for so long. :-)