The Psychology of Full Screen Mode

Ma
Margaret
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:52 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:33 pm Post

I've never used full screen mode and decided to give it a try because so many people like it. After spending a little time getting the screen colors right (well, more than a little), I opened up a new document and found myself staring at an empty screen. That's right. Empty. I stared and stared and words simply refused to come.

That's when I realized how much I love having the binder and inspector open all the time, not to mention a split window even though I may not be using both documents. With so many words already on the screen, it's easy to add a few more. Other people may have a different experience, but that's what works for me and in the end, that's all that really counts.

Margaret

ho
howarth
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:53 am

Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:33 pm Post

I'm with you, Margaret. I tried turning on full screen and immediately began to feel like Linus without his security blanket. I think of writing as a journey, moving across space and time. The outline is my itinerary. I need to be able not just to know but to see where I am in that process. Scrivener is the first writing program I've used that lets me have that reassuring visual experience in so many ways. Maybe one day I'll venture forth to the full-screen mode when a piece of writing calls for it.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 24794
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Ourense, Galiza
Contact:

Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:39 pm Post

Have you tried fiddling with the opacity of the background? If you have a big enough screen, you can even put the standard Scrivener interface beside the full screen page.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

ma
mamster
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:26 pm

Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:13 pm Post

You might try flipping into full-screen mode after you've written the excruciating first paragraph or two. I didn't notice until after reading this thread, but I think that's how I tend to do it.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 24794
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Ourense, Galiza
Contact:

Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:22 pm Post

That is often what I do, mamster. I'll write in standard for a while, using all of the resources to get my brain going, and once I get started I just flip over to full screen and forget the world.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

ti
tim
Posts: 335
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:57 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:37 pm Post

Av wrote...
I'll write in standard for a while, using all of the resources to get my brain going, and once I get started I just flip over to full screen and forget the world.

Often my approach too. I find I have several different modes, depending on what I'm writing and where I am in the process. Generally, if I'm doing a lot of referencing, console mode with access to the binder is where I want to be. If the source material is all in my own noodle, then I'll poach it in full screen.

But I'll also just switch for the hell of it at times, just to get to a different spot without changing chairs.

Best,

T
In theory, there's no difference
between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.

Yogi Berra

User avatar
alexwein
Posts: 1063
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:30 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Ashland, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:28 am Post

I never use full screen. I thought I would, especially with Scr.'s lovely design of it. And I have Write Room too. But my experience is just like Margaret's. I really like Scr.'s interface, I've found. I like all the panes and view options and binder ready at hand.

BUT, lots of people love it, so I'm glad Keith has designed such an elegant full screen mode. One of these days I'll have to try to use it. I keep telling myself I 'ought' to use it, since it's there! :)
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
http://alexandriapallas.com

li
linn
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:30 pm

Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:19 am Post

I've been struck dumb by the empty screen waiting for a word from me, too. However, I found (maybe from someone here?) a nice piece of free software called Think (http://www.freeverse.com/think/). It lets me have all of Scrivener, every single bit, in the center of my screen, and nothing else. And it can be set for any color or opacity one wants. It comes with black, but when I played myself into a lemony, sunny egg yolk color, I was sold. Then I discovered that there's something to be said for mood-matching, too. Fortunately, it only tweaks the background color and nothing more.

bo
bobbyjohn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:25 pm

Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:16 pm Post

I tend to think of the full-screen mode as a no pain, no gain thing. It is downright intimidating to look at all that nothing. But once I get going, I find I produce more content, avoiding the temptation to edit or fiddle. Once I get a first cut, its binder mode all the way to edit and fiddle to the wee hours!

da
dagaz
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:46 am
Location: Murwillumbah, Australia

Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:42 pm Post

I for one love the full-screen mode. I do all my serious writing in full-screen and only come back to normal mode for editing. I actually enjoy starting a new section in Scrivener and staring at that empty screen waiting to be filled with words - I find it extremely liberating.

br
brett
Posts: 538
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:17 am
Location: yet another Portlander

Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:07 pm Post

I've never actually used the FSM, for the reasons enumerated by the above posts. But I can certainly imagine doing so in, say, fiction writing situations, and at least one nonfiction situation. Sometimes when you've extensively researched a subject, you know too much and lose the bigger picture. When I was teaching magazine writing, I'd occasionally get a student story that suffered from this. The student would propose a great idea, go off and report it, and then come back with a draft that had plenty of info but lost the sense of a story. This would be enormously frustrating to the students so afflicted, but no matter how much they tinkered with the draft, they'd just keep getting bogged down.

In those situations (and this happened to me a few times, too), I'd recommend -- or even require -- what I called "the dreaded blank screen strategy." That is, for the moment, forget your current structure, forget your notes, forget your previous draft(s), forget any quotations from interviews. You know the story already. You know what's important. Just sit down with a blank screen and TELL THE STORY from the top (or maybe leave the lead till last), all in one go. Just keep writing till you've said the important stuff. Then take a break, go for a bike ride or shoot baskets or have dinner or go to sleep. THEN go back to previous drafts and maybe notes and make sure you didn't miss anything important.

I learned this trick from my own mentor in grad school, and it can really work. It's really painful to think of starting from scratch, in a way, but sometimes that sort of mental re-boot is exactly what a story needs. When you know the material that well, temporarily liberating you from your notes sort of forces your brain to put the important stuff first and see that material from above, as it were. At first it always feels like drinking castor oil or echinacea or some other healthy but distasteful potion. But the blank screen can really refresh your idea of a story, and I've seen it work near miracles in the right situation.

I imagine FSM would work well in such situations, and if I ever have to force myself to use it, I'll report the results here.

Jo
John Dodds
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:28 pm
Platform: Windows
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:09 pm Post

I absolutely use full screen mode. I need clear head space when I've writing, and onscreen clutter is a distraction. I used to zoom Word into full screen width, and reduce the menus to the minimum for just that reason. But Scrivener's mode is light years better.

To be honest, what I need to get the hang of its corkboard, outlining, structuring and so on - something I've never really done. I wrote an entire 90,000 word novel by just starting to writing and keeping going until I finished. My only help tool was a two page outline I prepared for submission to agents and publishers (so they would know how the book would turn out - as well as me).

ac
accentedeuropean
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:57 am
Location: Rotterdam, NL
Contact:

Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:49 pm Post

I honestly don't get the point about full-screen mode. Ok, one thing I do is turn off all my distracting applications (IM, mail, etc), while writing, but since writing can be such an iterative process, it's nice to get Scrivener's functions right in front of you.

I'm reminded of a quote of an author, Asimov I think, who said that writing in an environment full of distractions, e.g. a shopping mall, makes you a better writer. I believe that. Not only do you hone your focussing skills for future difficult situations, but you also get fresh ideas from what's happening around you.

Anyway, /end rant.
Vincent

User avatar
kewms
Posts: 7426
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:08 pm Post

accentedeuropean wrote:I honestly don't get the point about full-screen mode. Ok, one thing I do is turn off all my distracting applications (IM, mail, etc), while writing, but since writing can be such an iterative process, it's nice to get Scrivener's functions right in front of you.

I'm reminded of a quote of an author, Asimov I think, who said that writing in an environment full of distractions, e.g. a shopping mall, makes you a better writer. I believe that. Not only do you hone your focussing skills for future difficult situations, but you also get fresh ideas from what's happening around you.

Anyway, /end rant.


To everything there is a season. If you can write about quantum physics in the middle of a shopping mall, you're a better (or at least more focused) writer than I am.

When I'm writing, I love full screen mode. When I'm editing, I love Scrivener's functionality. Again, for everything there is a season.

Katherine

User avatar
alexwein
Posts: 1063
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:30 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Ashland, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:34 pm Post

So once again it seems that we are not all the same in our personalities nor our habits. Sounds so simple. I myself am a writer who seems to concentrate best in a busy environment, guilty sometimes of being overly focused on my work. I love writing in my favorite, often noisy hangouts, like Grand Central Bakery or the local coffeehouse (not so sure about shopping malls!). As for Scr., I like all the panes and access to notes, etc., Scr. offers in its interface.

BUT, guess what? Thankfully!!!, not everyone is like me! There are many on this thread alone I greatly respect who do use full screen mode and write best in quiet solitude.

To be honest, there are times I want quiet solitude as well. Depends on my mood and what I'm writing. In fact, this thread has inspired me to stretch my style a bit and give full screen a whirl! Who knows what will happen!!! :)

So let's all bless dear Keith for creating software that accomodates all of us so well and offers so many wonderful options for how we might work!

Alexandria
Last edited by alexwein on Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
http://alexandriapallas.com