Illiterate authors?

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lunk
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Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:58 pm Post

Following the activity in the forum is sometimes informative, sometimes amusing, but at times also extremely confusing. I have always assumed that people using Scrivener do this because they aim at creating text that is meant to be read, by at least themselves and hopefully by others as well. And writing is all about words. You verbalize your thoughts in words, and expect the reader to actually read the words in order to understand your thoughts.

So how come so many users frequenting the forum can't read and understand the written instructions on how to use Scrivener? If you can't understand what others have written, how likely are you to be able to produce text yourself that others can read and understand?

Can there be such a thing as a successful, illiterate author?
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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vic-k
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Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:59 pm Post

lunk wrote:Can there be such a thing as a successful, illiterate author?

Merciless Mère de Lucifer!
You ... how you say ... prendre la pisse ... oui ... non? :?

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Le D
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

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lunk
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Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:02 pm Post

Only curious as a cat ... (although in this case the 'as' is superfluous)


(( nooo, I wrote with one s, not two!))
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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vic-k
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Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:39 pm Post

If Fluff Imagewas still with us, she'd probably take you aside and politely point out that a certain school of thought, fervently believe that curiosity ki.... :shock: Know where I'm coming from, puss?

As to your
lunk wrote:So how come so many users frequenting the forum can't read and understand the written instructions on how to use Scrivener?
There's no probably about it! She would state, in no uncertain terms, that: My human, The Right Dishonourable Vic-k, wouldn't be able to follow, simple! never mind complex instructions, even if the were indelibly etched onto the inside of his eyelids.

Hope that helps,
Vic
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

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lunk
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Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:11 pm Post

vic-k wrote: My human, The Right Dishonourable Vic-k, wouldn't be able to follow, simple! never mind complex instructions, even if the were indelibly etched onto the inside of his eyelids.


*sigh* ... but, but, but, surely that's only because you belong to the rare breed who spontaneously do it right (write? :D ) without being encumbered by others' feeble attempts to produce written instructions?

There are three kinds of humans: those who get it (like cats do), those who can follow instructions (like dogs do), and those who just never get it right.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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vic-k
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Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:04 am Post

Lunk wrote:
belong to the rare breed who spontaneously do it right (write? :D )
:lol:

lunk wrote: and those who just never get it right
:cry: Been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt, wore it t' bed and burnt a hole in it with obligatory post coital cigarette. :oops:

I've learnt my lesson, and adapted my philosophical outlook on life accordingly, along the lines of: if in doubt, abandon it! ... pour another Jameson, and relax with latest box set. Complete Works of The Marquis de Sade, at the mo. <----not that good, actually. The sound track is Mongolian, and subtitles are hieroglyphics. All Double-Dutch t' me:( Not much scope there for improving ones chat up technique.
Ah well ... c'est la vie ... eh :(
Vic
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

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markfasano
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Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:27 pm Post

lunk wrote: If you can't understand what others have written, how likely are you to be able to produce text yourself that others can read and understand?


I used to teach college writing as well as literature, and that was (and presumably still is) the million dollar question. What can be said, I think, pretty definitively is that writing and reading are different skills -- related, but different. Theoretically, one could be lousy at SAT-style reading comprehension and be a brilliant poet, or novelist, or cartoonist.

lunk wrote: So how come so many users frequenting the forum can't read and understand the written instructions on how to use Scrivener?


Which brings up a second point, viz., that writing exists in a variety of genres, each with their own conventions, style, sensibilities, etc. With that in mind, it's fair to say that if you can't comprehend a reasonably well-written technical document (like the Scrivener manual, for instance), it's also fair to say that you're likely incapable of composing a reasonably well-written technical document yourself. In fairness, however, it's doubtful that a large majority of the Scrivener users who have irked you are budding technical writers. If they are, perhaps they should rethink their aims.

It's an interesting question, overall. I think Scrivener is so revolutionary as a concept that many users struggle with it precisely because they're trying to read the directions. That is, after all, what you do when trying to learn how to use a tool. Scrivener certainly is a tool, a notably complex one at that (which doubtless contributes to some of the confusion you've noticed). Beyond that, however, Scrivener is also a paradigm of thinking and working.

For this reason, I'd personally recommend to any new user of Scrivener that they skip the user manual and complete the tutorial embedded in the project file. Honestly, I think that hands-on use and exploration of Scrivener is the only way a majority of people are going to get any facility with it. Which, presumably, is why L&L included it with the software.

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pigfender
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Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:41 pm Post

lunk wrote:Can there be such a thing as a successful, illiterate author?


Yes...

LAP wrote:I recently went through purgatory after I made a deal with my wife to take possession of a small study room in our house. The deal was she’d let me convert the room into a ‘man cave’ if I read the trilogy of ‘Fifty Shades’. Well, that was worse than tying fishing line to each of my front teeth and having someone yank them out. Clearly, the author achieved something amazing with so many folks praising the work, but for me the writing was, well, ‘Holy cow!’ – It was bad.


Source: http://www.pigfender.com/index.php/2013 ... and-latte/
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