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Old 06-01-2012, 12:38 PM   #91
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BookCat, definitely try the free trial version and run through their training document. It is the same as the paid version and the only restriction is launching it for, I believe, 30 days (not necessarily consecutive, just 30 separate days of use!). Search for a coupon code on-line. I finally decided to buy it last night and only paid $32 ($8 off).

The advantages I see versus Word are several levels of attached notes and tags. I got something similar using OneNote with Word but Scrivener is better integrated (if less flexible, I will probably still use OneNote to accumulate research notes). Word's own notes and in-line annotations are also a bit clunkier than Scrivener's.

You mention outline mode in Word. That works great as long as you use Styles consistently. You get outline mode in Scrivener along with corkboard mode. Outline mode in Scrivener allows a customizable list of attributes to show along with the outline text itself. It is hard to describe. The way the software works is quite a bit different than Word (all the way down to never having to use a Save command). I'm a little concerned it may cause premature wear to the SSD drive in my writing laptop (much more 'disk activity' than Word) but we'll see.

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Old 06-01-2012, 02:23 PM   #92
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I do like Word's Outline mode and it's flexibility - I can write any part of the novel I want, and just fit it into the outline, or change the order of scenes etc. I've downloaded the trial version of Scrivener, but it's taking me a while to run through the tutorial and become accustomed to the things it can do. One thing I've noticed which I really like is the research file and all it can hold.

Your final paragraph is a little alarming, Penforhire, as my previous laptop died due to the HD breaking down. I set Word to automatically save every ten minutes and I often click "Save" when I've done something I don't want to lose.

Often, when reading reviews of Word vs Other Software, I have the feeling that few people know how to use Word's Outline view; it's a really useful feature.

Anyway, I'll play with Scrivener for a month and see if I like it.

Just in case I don't, any other suggestions? As I won't be buying it and the cost will be split between two of my friends, price isn't important within reason; (at some point they'll say no if it's too expensive).

Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:48 AM   #93
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Hi BookCat, et al,

this entire thread is about such software! If you start at the very first post, you'l find strong support for several, and I'd suggest these are the ones that you ought to try first. I understand that this is to be a gift of your own choosing and your friends would feel put out if they bought it for you and then you felt something else was better.

I'm not overly happy with Scrivener, preferring WriteWay, but I readily acknowledge that Scrivener is probably one of the best-of-breed, so Ill give it another try.

I need to be able to quickly become comfortable with how a piece of software wants me to work, and I suggest that from what you've said about Word, you may be wise to search for something that suits you. (I like outline in Word as well, a feature I discovered in Word 2 or thereabouts)

Just last night, I discovered Liquid Story Binder, which is lightweight in terms of CPU usage and seems to have some very slick features. You might want to add that to your list.

But please, let us know how you fare - I for one will be quite interested.

Cheers,
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:06 AM   #94
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I keep going back to Word for the actual writing. I like Scrivener (I am on a Mac, in case that matters), but I feel like its best suited for a single book... I am in the middle of an extensive series and I do not feel like it worked well, at least not for me. I still feel for actual sit down and type up pages and pages of text nothing beats MS Word. For organizing story notes, outlines, characters, locations, etc. That Scrivener has nailed. So much so I have been considering using both....
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
[...] I still feel for actual sit down and type up pages and pages of text nothing beats MS Word. [...]
Except maybe OpenOffice, LibreOffice, WordPerfect, [...].
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #96
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Except maybe OpenOffice, LibreOffice, WordPerfect, [...].
Disagree... I have use all that you listed, and still, IMO, MS Word has them beat. As a student MS Office only cost me $50, so its cheap enough too.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #97
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I've tried lots of other writing software, though not Write Way. The more I learn about Scrivener, the more I like it. I've just discovered the "Collections" which I imagine would be very useful: for tracking characters; things I need to do; storylines etc in a way which outlines can't.

I'm afraid I agree with VydorScope re Word vs Free word processors. I downloaded Open Office when I first got my current laptop after the other broke down. I thought Writer was very much like Wordpad, lacking the massive capabilities of Word. I was so relieved when this lappy accepted the Works Suite 2005 disc which contained Word 2002. I even managed to download (from MS) the part to make the Assistants work (love the cat!). I animate the cat when I'm bored or thinking.

I think that Scrivener and Word would work well together. Scrivener even recommends creating the first draft in Scrivener, then exporting, via RTF to a word processor for polishing and creating the final draft.

I love the way the trial version allows you to SAVE, so many trials of writing software meanly don't. I even noticed that last year they allowed an extended trial for Nanowrimo participants with a 50% off coupon for winners. It impresses me that there's good service, just in case I need advice or something goes wrong.

I'll try WriteWay, but I think I'm probably going to ask for Scrivener.

Will keep you updated.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:30 PM   #98
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Except maybe OpenOffice, LibreOffice, WordPerfect, [...].
I use MS Word, but have also used OpenOffice a bit. May not upgrade Word should the opportunity arise. I've not found any of the "specialized" writing applications appealing....just an old-fashion guy I guess.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #99
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Disagree... I have use all that you listed, and still, IMO, MS Word has them beat. As a student MS Office only cost me $50, so its cheap enough too.
It's one of those taste things. I was always WordPerfect fan - the things I could do with WP v5.1 for DOS! Word has never done it for me.

I gave up on WordPerfect after it got handed around and mucked around so much that it was no longer what it used to be ... and eventually ended up with OpenOffice as being effectively the same thing as "MS Word" but without the "MS" stain, the proprietary document formats, or the $ requirement. It appears that my next upgrade might be to LibreOffice, in order to remove the "Oracle" stain, but at least I know it's effectively the same thing.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:22 AM   #100
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Zim - A Desktop Wiki (freeware) for outlining, and OpenOffice for the actual writing.

Zim uses txt files, allows unlimited links inside the text, and will link to external reference files (pdf, jpeg, rtf, etc). You can even export the final result into a website/wiki.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:26 AM   #101
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It's one of those taste things. I was always WordPerfect fan - the things I could do with WP v5.1 for DOS! Word has never done it for me.

I gave up on WordPerfect after it got handed around and mucked around so much that it was no longer what it used to be ... and eventually ended up with OpenOffice as being effectively the same thing as "MS Word" but without the "MS" stain, the proprietary document formats, or the $ requirement. It appears that my next upgrade might be to LibreOffice, in order to remove the "Oracle" stain, but at least I know it's effectively the same thing.
WP made a good run there for a while, and for a while it was better then Word, but I am only talking current state. I would get LibreOffice long before I would get WP in today's market.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #102
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WP made a good run there for a while, and for a while it was better then Word, but I am only talking current state. I would get LibreOffice long before I would get WP in today's market.
I agree ... and it's not too many years ago that OpenOffice wasn't really good enough for prime time ... but now? Now I try and work out why anyone would actually pay for MS Office (or any of the other paid options). Is there actually any feature that your average user would want that is not now available in OpenOffice/LibreOffice? (I know that spreadsheets are only recently catching up, but word-processing seems to have been effectively feature complete - for most uses - for some time now.)
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:48 AM   #103
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It's one of those taste things. I was always WordPerfect fan - the things I could do with WP v5.1 for DOS! Word has never done it for me.

I gave up on WordPerfect after it got handed around and mucked around so much that it was no longer what it used to be ... and eventually ended up with OpenOffice as being effectively the same thing as "MS Word" but without the "MS" stain, the proprietary document formats, or the $ requirement. It appears that my next upgrade might be to LibreOffice, in order to remove the "Oracle" stain, but at least I know it's effectively the same thing.
Yep, me too. I was wordperfect fan before Windows and reluctantly moved to it due to necessity (monopoly). I still have a whole bunch of archive files in WP format that I occasionally have to convert to text or word.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:04 PM   #104
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Hi BookCat, et al,

this entire thread is about such software! If you start at the very first post, you'l find strong support for several, and I'd suggest these are the ones that you ought to try first. I understand that this is to be a gift of your own choosing and your friends would feel put out if they bought it for you and then you felt something else was better.

I'm not overly happy with Scrivener, preferring WriteWay, but I readily acknowledge that Scrivener is probably one of the best-of-breed, so Ill give it another try.

I need to be able to quickly become comfortable with how a piece of software wants me to work, and I suggest that from what you've said about Word, you may be wise to search for something that suits you. (I like outline in Word as well, a feature I discovered in Word 2 or thereabouts)

Just last night, I discovered Liquid Story Binder, which is lightweight in terms of CPU usage and seems to have some very slick features. You might want to add that to your list.

But please, let us know how you fare - I for one will be quite interested.

Cheers,

I own WriteWay (deluxe version). I'm curious to know why you are not overly happy with Scrivener.

Thanks.




Don
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:39 PM   #105
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I own WriteWay (deluxe version). I'm curious to know why you are not overly happy with Scrivener.

Thanks.

Don
Hi Don,

my views on Scrivener in a nutshell:
  • Very powerful, mature software with many thoughtful touches, but lacks some of the features I find in other software. From the tutorial: This is very much the raison d’être of Scrivener—to assemble the text of your manuscript in the Draft folder for printing or export. Therefore, tools such as timeline, character creation (sensational in WW), and others aren't in Scrivener
  • Needs the tutorial to get you up and running – completing the tutorial results in a total picture of Scrivener and what its capabilities are. The 2 hours or so is very well spent
  • Has templates for projects other than novel writing
  • Doesn't allow import of odt files, though it will export to this format. I spat the dummy with Word 6's broken long document support years ago and haven't been back since...
  • My feeling is that S is excellent for experienced writers or those with a particular way of working; WW has something of a literature focus; and MN is for more genre oriented works
  • Each seems to have unique features and various users will place their own priorities on those features
  • Love the editor views, snapshot, and multiple ways of achieving the same goal in Scrivener, and the overall impression of the workspace is very professional. The creator (Keith Blount) has done some particularly fine work.

That's about it. In summary, Scrivener isn't what I want in software to help me write my novel(s)/stories, and I lean quite strongly towards either WW or MN to get me up and running again.

I must have around 200,000 words scattered throughout 5 or so novels I've started, and I haven't seriously written much over the past decade, so I want something that will allow me to reclaim the discipline I once had and organize my thoughts again.

Any further questions, feel free to ask.

Cheers,
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