I broke up with Scrivener earlier this week. I exported my WIP back to my old relationship with Word. :(
FWIW, it’s totally a failure on my part. Not Scrivener’s. Scrivener is still, in my estimation, an excellent program for compiling a new work and organizing information for writing.
My problem is that I was finding myself increasingly distracted by the fact that Scrivener isn’t Word. I’ve been writing in Word so long that I was struggling mentally with the format within Scrivener.
- First, I never felt that I was working with the whole document, because I had divided it into scenes in Scrivener. Even though I could view it as one document, I wasn’t comfortable navigating it that way. (Totally weird.)
- Second, I was very distracted by the fact that the text didn’t -look- the way I was accustomed to seeing it. Yes, I could have worked harder to learn all the formatting tricks to make the Scrivener sections look exactly like Word text, but Scrivener isn’t really a formatting program.
Both of these problems are more about my being accustomed to Word than they are about Scrivener. However, given the fact that a) I have deadlines, and b) I will have to export and format the document for my publisher in Word anyway, the exercise of trying to learn the new system became too time consuming.
So I exported the WIP and immediately felt more comfortable seeing the whopping 138K in a Word file with headers and footers and formatted just how I like it.
This is all more of a commentary on my compulsive need to control my document’s appearance than it is on Scrivener’s capabilities.
Someone asked me whether a young teenager would benefit from using Scrivener, and I think my answer is absolutely, yes. Teenagers aren’t as set in their ways, and aren’t as likely as a person of mature years to want hard copies of everything that they can touch (also an issue for me–when I loaded research into Scrivener, I found that I never opened those files again, I kept going back to the hard copies.) Scrivener’s a fantastic program for worldbuilders. It allows you to keep all your information in one big folder: all your research, pictures, and writing. It’s an amazing organizational tool. If I were a young writer, I would definitely start out with Scrivener.
And if my mind were more flexible and less compulsive, I would have stuck with it longer than two months.