Yo, writer types -- Scrivener is on sale

edited April 2013 in Make Stuff!
Scrivener is on sale for half the usual cost. Thought folks on SG might be interested.

If you're not familiar with Scrivener, it's basically an elaborate and highly customizable front end on a database aimed at writers. Check out their website for more info. I've been using it for a couple years for my fiction -- it's great, I love it; the more features I discover, the more useful the software becomes for me. I started out skeptical of its approach and my potential need for this kind of organization but, honestly, it really won me over. And the software isn't useful only for fiction writers, I know plenty of people use it for non-fiction as well. The software is malleable enough that it ends up fitting whatever writing process you endorse; the program is appropriate for everything from novel writing to game design. Even if you use only 10% of its features, the app is worth it.

The link to the Amazon sale is here.

The developer's website is here.

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Comments

  • Thanks for the tip, I grabbed it.
  • It's absolutely worth the price.
  • Thanks for the tip! Very timely, I was just convinced to check it out yesterday.
  • Note that, if you buy this for the Mac, you can skip the moronic "Adobe Software Downloader" crap. Just activate the key that is emailed to you and download from the developer directly.
  • UPDATE: Sale appears to be over. Amazon price now showing as $40.
  • Since the sale is over, here's a question - does anyone use Scrivener as a "campaign manager" to keep track of GM prep or notes? Seems like it might have potential there.
  • Felan, I haven't, but I could absolutely imagine Scrivener doing that well. There are enough metadata options there to make even the most prep-happy GM happy.

    For example (using trad D&D here), you could use folders as regions of a setting, with files inside them as encounters. You could use file icons to specify which encounters had already occurred, which ones were slated for next session, which were contingent upon the dragon being killed. You could have follow-up encounters indicated by making files child/parent. You could use the notecards to summarize encounter keywords, and the actual file text to stat out monsters and powers and terrain notes. You could use file comments to note how the encounter goes. You could link pictures to each encounter.

    And then if people said, "Oh yeah, what happened last session?" you could search for the keyword S12 and see that they had 3 encounters, and that you made brief notes on what happened in each one during that session. And then someone could say "Oh yeah, the fight against the Oak Patrol! I loved that one," and in an instant you'd have searched all the remaining encounters tagged Oak Patrol and updated their file icon to the one that indicates "do this one real soon like!"
  • Scrivener is the coolest, best piece of writing technology that I have ever encountered. When I got it, my school reports went up a full letter grade on average, and my game books started receiving praise for being clear and approachable.
  • Awesome! Maybe my players will appreciate this new tool as much as my dissertation committee. :P
  • Since the sale is over, here's a question - does anyone use Scrivener as a "campaign manager" to keep track of GM prep or notes? Seems like it might have potential there.
    Yes. Signor McDaldno's assumptions are true - I've used it for quasi-trad D&D 4E prep, and it works a treat. It's a very slick piece of technology.

    I'm currently on Linux, and using YWriter for similar purposes... also nice, but not nearly as pretty.

  • Argh. Thanks to Forge Midwest, I missed this one.
  • @McDaldno : I used it early on in the Windows trial days, but between Ommwriter (for great spacing-out-and-typing atmosphere: It's still just a basic no-frills typer, tho) and TextPad and the like, I haven't gone back. But one of my friends picked it up, is saying remarkable things about it.

    So:
    =-=-=-=-=-=
    Scrivener is the coolest, best piece of writing technology that I have ever encountered. When I got it, my school reports went up a full letter grade on average, and my game books started receiving praise for being clear and approachable.
    =-=-=-=-=-=
    If you could, like, write about a page (here, on a blog, somewhere) about how that happened (like, how you used the tool, or some features that really worked for you, or how the tool really met your needs), I'll totally be super happy. Because I'm eyeing it, though the sale is over, and want to hear a little more about other folks' stories of success with it.

    Thank you!

    -Andy
  • @Andy : There's a 30-day trial for Scrivener. I've played with it a bit and I think I can see how this could help me write -- games, stories, campaigns, research papers, &c. Still, I'm on the edge on whether it is worth $40. Not the most expensive program ever, but it's a hit on my poor student budget.
  • (yeah; unfortunately I tried it for 2-3 days, back two years ago; a trial for me is an opportunity long gone unless I wipe my registry, but for anyone else: Indeed there is a trial version, you should definitely check it out!)
  • Oh, derp, I missed what you said. :(
  • I use YWriter rather than Scrivener, and it's pretty good.
  • @McDaldno : If you could, like, write about a page (here, on a blog, somewhere) about how that happened (like, how you used the tool, or some features that really worked for you, or how the tool really met your needs), I'll totally be super happy. Because I'm eyeing it, though the sale is over, and want to hear a little more about other folks' stories of success with it.
    Sure, Andy. I went ahead and created a video that walks folks through how I use Scrivener, why I think it's great, and how I structured the Monsterhearts text with Scrivener.

    That video is here. Enjoy!
  • edited April 2013
    Thanks, Joe!

    That was a cool video and also elucidated for me why I've totally failed to connect with tools like Scrivener (etc.) while other people swear by them.
  • What an awesome video. I really wish I'd gotten in on the sale now. Thanks for doing that though, I'll definitely have to pick it up at some point.
  • I love, love, love Scrivener, it's miles ahead of most other similar software. I used Copywrite for many years, which is very similar, but Scrivener is just better allround.
    I got it at a discount for completing Nanowrimo one year - I think they offer that every year, so you can wait for that :)

    Per
  • Super helpful video, @Mcdaldno - I wonder if you could talk a bit about other software tools you may have used (for backup, formatting, final book design, etc) and whether Scrivener played nicely with them. Did you use Dropbox or a similar syncing program at all? I seem to recall reading that Monsterhearts was formatted in InDesign. Was that just a matter of cutting and pasting the text into another program, or what?
  • edited April 2013
    I have been interested in this for sometime, but it does not work online (that I saw). I am never in front of the same computer 2 days in a row. So it looks like I am sticking with a private Wordpress blog.
  • I sync my Scrivener file with Dropbox, so I always have access to it. It means you have to have Scriverne on the PC you work on.

    It's also possible to set up a sync with text files (several different apps I think), so you can write text anywhere, and when you come back to Scrivener it's all in there as folders/texts. Like so:
    jamierubin.net/2011/05/31/going-ipad-part-2-of-5-writing-on-the-ipad-with-scrivener-and-simplenote/

    Also possible with Evernote, I believe.

    Per
  • Felan:

    I do my structuring and writing in Scrivener.

    In order to work with an editor, I'll often have to export to Microsoft Word, style-format it in that program, and sent a .doc file.

    Once back from the editor, I use inDesign to do layout. Since I've already got styles in use in Microsoft Word, I can import the text into inDesign while preserving style names - so the text arrives in inDesign already broken into headers & example text fonts & such.

    ***

    For Christmas, Andy got me OmmWriter. It's really likely that I'll be using that for brainstorming free-writes whenever I need them. It's basically just a text pad that kills distraction and puts you in a tranquil writing space.
  • Another thanks for the vidyo.


  • Also possible with Evernote, I believe.

    Per
    I've never been able to do that straight away. If you know of a method that doesn't involve using a sync of Scrivener to SimpleNote first, please post it.

  • (yeah; unfortunately I tried it for 2-3 days, back two years ago; a trial for me is an opportunity long gone unless I wipe my registry, but for anyone else: Indeed there is a trial version, you should definitely check it out!)
    They've gone though a major upgrade since then. A trial for this new version might be allowed.

    Also, tons more features in general so maybe it might be more to your liking?
  • Working on my project with Scrivener trial. I think I'm starting to see why this might be worth the money. The structure itself is helping me through the efforts tremendously.
  • Working on my project with Scrivener trial. I think I'm starting to see why this might be worth the money. The structure itself is helping me through the efforts tremendously.
    Excellent!
  • After watching Joe's excellent introduction to how he uses Scrivener, I just bought the full copy.

    Thank you very, very much for that, Joe. That was wonderful. You are wonderful!

    -Andy
  • What Andy said!
  • For those of us using Linux, there is a Beta of Scrivener available... Forum Post on the Literature and Latte site is here.
  • Joe's video sold me, I am trying it out now. The lack of collaborative tools is a problem; I'm used to editing in GDocs on the fly with others.
  • If you're outside if the US and couldn't take advantage of the Amazon sale, the coupon code WORDSWITHJAM will get you 20% off on the official website. Not sure when it expires.

    This program is great, it's really improved my writing productivity (whether that's just the novelty remains to be seen).
  • Thanks for sharing that, Felan - I'm another non-USA resident who tried it after this thread, and couldn't take advantage of the sale.
  • Does anyone know if there's a way to use Scrivener with a citation manager? I am a big nerd and use citations in almost all my work.
  • edited May 2013
    Does anyone know if there's a way to use Scrivener with a citation manager? I am a big nerd and use citations in almost all my work.
    Footnotes do citations pretty well. Select some text, click on Comments/Footnotes within the Inspector panel, and click the little [+fn] button to add a footnote.

    I'm not sure how well the program syncs up with a citation manager program, tho.

    There's also a References feature that you can use via the Inspector panel, but I don't get how it's useful when the Comments/Footnotes feature also exists. References are recorded for a section of text, but not linked to a specific spot within the text.
  • (I'm using the Mac version, and anything is only known to be true for that version. I once used the Windows version and it lacked some of the functionality.)
  • Does anyone know if there's a way to use Scrivener with a citation manager? I am a big nerd and use citations in almost all my work.
    I'm using it for my academic writing, and I use Zotero for my citations. There doesn't appear to be direct integration with that particular citation manager.

  • Does anyone know if there's a way to use Scrivener with a citation manager? I am a big nerd and use citations in almost all my work.
    Googling Scrivener and Endnote looks like they can link up, which is pretty tempting. Might have to try this then. Thanks for the video.
  • Every time someone posts in this thread I hope Scrivener is on sale again. I missed the first go round.
  • Me too, Kieth. Me too.
  • @Keith @UserClone try the WORDSWITHJAM coupon code!
  • edited June 2013
    Amazon currently has Scrivener for Mac OS X on sale at $24.99 (savings of $20.01).

    http://www.amazon.com/Literature-Latte-SCRMACREG-Scrivener-Download/dp/B0079KJ64A/ref=pd_sim_sw_3

    Don't know for how long, though.

    The PC version, however, is still $40.

    http://www.amazon.com/Literature-Latte-SCRWINREG-Scrivener-Download/dp/B0079KJB54/ref=pd_cp_sw_0

  • The PC version, however, is still $40.
    LAAAAAME.
  • edited October 2013
    20% off Scrivener sale, for both Mac and PC. The discount code NANOWRIMO. I think the sale will last all November, as part of their sponsorship of NaNoWriMo 2013. Also the discount worked for me not being in the US.

    http://www.literatureandlatte.com/nanowrimo.php
  • Also, free trial through December 7th. Handy, because if you make your 50K word goal in NaNo (should you choose to accept), they bump it to 50%. (I mean, it's no doubt an honor system, but I'm feeling honorable.)
  • edited October 2013
    Downloaded, thanks! Two questions:
    1. What's the time limit for the free version?
    2. What are some of the things that the paid version can do but the free one can't?

    EDIT: Oops! Just spotted...
    Also, free trial through December 7th.
    Presumably that answers my question about time limits?
  • @catty_big

    Free version is for 30 days of actual use (i.e. if you only use it every other day, it won't expire for two months).

    Other than the time limit, I believe the free version is identical to the paid version - there are no missing features.
  • Cool, thanks. I like that it's 30 actual days and not a month :)
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