The ability to "disallow" certain words or phrases to improve your writing and/or maintain a point of view.

Ze
Zephandrypus
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Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:31 pm Post

First of all, if this entire functionality is in the program somewhere and I just can't find it, then it would be nice if you could tell me where it is.

Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club, made a very useful post on how to improve your writing by eliminating "thought verbs". Keeping an extensive list of words I'm trying to avoid using on hand, and manually reading through the list after every sentence to make sure I'm not using them, just isn't going to work. I know it's incredibly easy to program that in, because I've already done a test in C#.

The difference between this and the existing find-and-replace functionality is that this is in real-time, and as soon as you hit space a warning flashes up on the screen, perhaps added to a queue or something in the Inspector. I'd recommend an option to make the check at the end of a sentence instead of the end of the word, because Chuck describes it as "unpacking" the sentence, and if it's on a word-by-word basis then I can see people (me included) simply replacing the word and writing a weird, twisting sentence to dodge the disallowed words. Another difference between this and find-and-replace is that with find-and-replace you have to enter in every single word individually, going through the entire document for each one.

Because your characters' speech following these rules would be ridiculous (unless you're trying to improve your dialogue and your bad dialogue stems from bad word usage), there should also be an option to ignore words/phrases that are encased within quotes.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities for this type of functionality. For instance, one really bad habit I have is using "you" and "your" instead of "the player" and "the player's" when making video game suggestions. Replace player with "user" for suggestions for other things. You may think that it's kind of weird to use Scrivener for writing forum posts, but I plan on using it to help me write game design documents, and using "you" or "your" in there becomes even more ridiculous.

If we really want to give Scrivener usage for planning out forum posts, then I'd also recommend having options to export with BBCode or Markdown tags. And it can certainly be used for planning out forum posts, because you might have a lot of related ideas or multi-post stories (see NoSleep on Reddit).

Lastly, another thing Chuck said was "One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone", which brings up some interesting points that I might make a post about later.

br
brookter
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Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:45 pm Post

Version 3 has a feature called Linguistic Focus which provides a somewhat similar ability to focus on individual snippets (albeit in a different way).

You can fade out parts of speech which don't fit your criteria. Two caveats: the parts are not user-definable, and it's not in real-time as you write (you simply refresh the fading in the always-on-top dialogue, so it's not a huge disadvantage).

This screenshot shows you it in action, with the possible parts of speech.

Screenshot 2017-11-29 17.39.22.png
Screenshot 2017-11-29 17.39.22.png (95.85 KiB) Viewed 177 times


This is on the Mac but I presume similar functionality will be in the Windows version in V3.

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xiamenese
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Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:17 pm Post

brookter wrote:Version 3 has a feature called Linguistic Focus which provides a somewhat similar ability to focus on individual snippets (albeit in a different way).

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This is on the Mac but I presume similar functionality will be in the Windows version in V3.

Sorry to say, @brookter, in the blog post prior to the launch of v3 for Mac in which "Linguistic Focus" was introduced, it was made clear that on Windows it will be "Dialog focus" as the facility for picking out parts of speech is provided by MacOS, not Scrivener. So it seems to me it is unlikely to be coming to the Windows version unless Microsoft provides it as part of a future Windows update.

Mark
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br
brookter
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Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:38 pm Post

Cheers Mark -- I'd forgotten that, if I ever knew it. Thanks for the clarification.