A word from the Devil's Advocate

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

Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:23 pm Post

Interesting. I'm coming to this thread late and this will be quck. Scrivener is most definitely a writer's program, at least it is for this writer. I no longer require one program to do all. I believe it to be impossible for one program to do everything that is involved in the writing process and do it all well. I'm quite happy exporting my project at the very end to polish and send off in Mellel or Word.

My needs for a writing program are fairly straight-forward. It needs to provide flexibility and a pleasing creative environment in which to work. It needs to be intuitive, to my way of working at least, and not get in my way when I'm hot on the trail of some idea or storyline. Scri. does this all in spades.

User avatar
KB
Site Admin
Posts: 20920
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall
Contact:

Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:35 pm Post

Hmm, the original poster seems to have disappeared (although he does seem to be restating his opinion that Scrivener is not for "serious" writers over on the NaNo forums, too). It says a lot for the users on this forum that this has not in any way descended into a slanging match. A very reasonable and well-thought out discussion. I still wonder at the point of starting a "your program is pointless" thread on an application's forum, though, no matter how considered (if flawed) the argument - especially if you are then going to go on to say this on other forums anyway without trying to respond here. Clearly I would not have spent two years of my spare time on a program had I thought it was pointless; and I still take offence to the implication that all of Scrivener's users must be "dabblers" or amateurs or wannabes who like to pretend they are writers by using such software. In fact, I think it is downright presumptious - look, I want to say "arrogant", all right? - to start saying that this or that app is not for serious writers just because you don't need it. This sort of there-is-only-my-way opinion really smacks to me of the sort of thing I used to read all the time on the forums over at writers.net. If anybody dared to mention any writing software that was not a word processor over there, they were shot down for being non-serious writers who were looking for programs to write their novels for them. If anyone mentioned outlining... well, wobedide them.

[Red-wine fuelled rant edited out... er, although it is quoted below...]
Last edited by KB on Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ti
Timotheus
Posts: 442
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:35 pm
Platform: Mac

Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:20 am Post

By the way: the original poster didn't tell us with which one-and-only-publication he does all his professional writing. But it has no importance at all. If he is happy with the way he works, we are happy too.

Ra
Rayz
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:43 pm
Platform: Mac

Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:20 am Post

KB wrote:Hmm, the original poster seems to have disappeared (although he does seem to be restating his opinion that Scrivener is not for "serious" writers over on the NaNo forums, too). It says a lot for the users on this forum that this has not in any way descended into a slanging match. A very reasonable and well-thought out discussion. I still wonder at the point of starting a "your program is pointless" thread on an application's forum, though, no matter how considered (if flawed) the argument - especially if you are then going to go on to say this on other forums anyway without trying to respond here. Clearly I would not have spent two years of my spare time on a program had I thought it was pointless; and I still take offence to the implication that all of Scrivener's users must be "dabblers" or amateurs or wannabes who like to pretend they are writers by using such software. In fact, I think it is downright presumptious - look, I want to say "arrogant", all right? - to start saying that this or that app is not for serious writers just because you don't need it. This sort of there-is-only-my-way opinion really smacks to me of the sort of thing I used to read all the time on the forums over at writers.net. If anybody dared to mention any writing software that was not a word processor over there, they were shot down for being non-serious writers who were looking for programs to write their novels for them. If anyone mentioned outlining... well, wobedide them.

[Keith's red-wine fuelled rant edited out - sorry to use mod privileges on your quote, Rayz. :)]


Keith, there is really no need for any further conversation or concern over this. Mr Grant was clearly attempting to get a rise out of the Scrivener community, and I suspect that he was extremely disappointed to receive well-reasoned and thought-provoking arguments in return, which is why he has gone elsewhere to spread the good word that word processors are actually jolly useful (quel surpris).
It read like a cheap shot, nothing more.
As Scrivener becomes increasingly popular, you may find that people will criticise you for not adding support for automatic car tax renewals or reminders to take their meds during long creative writing sessions.
After all, how can Scrivener be considered a serious writing app if it doesn't do all the things that every app available for the Mac, can do?

These people may become angry, abusive and insulting(sometimes in clever subtle ways) in order to vent their frustrations. Never "sod 'em" because that's what they're hoping for. Do what you always do; explain why Scrivener doesn't (and will never) support the Road Tax functionality, or better yet, just point them to the thread where it has already been discussed and explained until we're all thorougly bored of typing about it.

Now then, I have a suggestion for you.

Last week, I was happily banging in chapters to Scrivener, when I was told it was my turn to do the shopping. I put the PB to sleep and went out to the car. And would you believe it, the tax disc had expired. Now wouldn't it be great if Scrivener could .....

:wink:

User avatar
Lord Lightning
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:58 am
Location: Somewhere else!

Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:17 am Post

Hi Rayz,

Why am I sitting here chortling away to myself as I read your post?

Loved it. Thanks, that was a warming and delightful chuckle. You absolutely nailed it.

... but that tax thingy... it has got some merit...particularly now my writing output has quadrupled since I took up that awful program called Scriv... something or other, and the taxman wants his share. I knew Scrivener would get me into trouble - dang! Just can't win.

:D
Lord Lightning

I'm a writer. I create worlds!
When I make a declarative statement it applies to ME. Not to everyone.

User avatar
KB
Site Admin
Posts: 20920
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall
Contact:

Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:18 am Post

I really should refrain from replying to such threads after an evening of drinking beer and red wine. :oops:

mu
musti
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:48 am
Location: Canada, eh?

Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:30 pm Post

KB wrote:I really should refrain from replying to such threads after an evening of drinking beer and red wine. :oops:


Naah, but you should get back to your "worthless" program and give us (including you) some more useless features.
Not that we are anxiously waiting for what's in store.
No.

:)

mi
michaelbywater
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:02 pm

Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:49 pm Post

I have come even later to this thread, having missed out on much of the development of Scrivener, damn it. Too much work on hand. But I'm just starting on a new book & thinking about doing the drafting in Scrivener; it's looking good so far (though I wish there were a way to Search For Next Annotation, and to Hide Annotations. Perhaps there is. Perhaps I just haven't found them yet.)

First off, I think Scrivener is excellent. Really excellent. Enough of that. Back to the thread.

The whole business of producing something resembling a published book or article is entirely outside my experience. Actually, it seems to annoy the people I work with, without exception. (And I speak from >20 years as a professional writer, with >1 million published words; not to brag, but to contextualise.)

The process, in my experience, is simple. I write. Sometimes my editors read bits during the drafting process. For that, RTF does just fine; feedback at that point is on a fairly coarse scale - "Don't like the opening" or "Chapter 4 is dragging" or "The new version of Chapter 7 is much better" - that sort of thing.

Then comes the point when I deliver. At that point - whatever I've been working in -- they want a marked-up Word file. And by "marked up" I mean italics and bold and section breaks and block quotes tagged as such, and that's the lot.

At that point, too, I consider it then becomes _their_ manuscript. The editor, the copy editor, the typographer and everyone else take possession of it. There is one master file which is checked in and out, and a lot of paper copies scrawled on in pencil. And that master file, that collegiate recension if you like, IS the book or the article. What I have on my computer is no longer in the process.

I keep the stuff, for sure. But it's zipped and archived. What I have on file as the "real" versions are a copy of the final .doc file and a PDF of th second proof.

So really the original poster's remarks were, to me, nothing about writing and much about publication. Unless you self-publish, it doesn't matter a damn what you compose in. And once the thing has left the author's hands, it's simply a matter of good asset management. (Occasionally I have had versions get out of synch but it's easily resolved with a day or two of drudgery.)

Just, as they say, my £0.01 worth. And I am glad, by the sound of it, I've never even heard of writers.net.

User avatar
Eiron
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:01 pm

Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:03 pm Post

michaelbywater wrote:Unless you self-publish, it doesn't matter a damn what you compose in.


Hear Hear! I pray Keith will keep focusing on making it easier to write -- to compose -- not to typeset, publish, fiddle or tweak. That's someone else's job. If you do self publish there's umpteen other tools to help you. No need to clutter up Scrivener.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 24548
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Ourense, Galiza
Contact:

Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:12 pm Post

michaelbywater wrote:(though I wish there were a way to Search For Next Annotation, and to Hide Annotations. Perhaps there is. Perhaps I just haven't found them yet.)


Cmd-Ctrl-A, Find Annotations... is what you are looking for. You can even isolate by annotation type if you use some sort of formalised label or tag method. As for hiding annotations, have a look at the FAQ, there are a few ways you can get around the inability to hide them in the text stream.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

User avatar
KB
Site Admin
Posts: 20920
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall
Contact:

Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:28 pm Post

Hello Michael and thank you for your post. From your post, I take it you are the British journalist, author of Big Babies et al? Whether that is you or not, good to have you on board. :)

Amber has already pointed out that you can actually search annotations already - you can find the feature in the "Find" menu. Unfortunately, there is no way of hiding annotations currently. I know it's something a fair few users would like, but it is very difficult to achieve using OS X Cocoa technology at the moment. It's on my list of things to look at in the (probably distant) future, but it will be way past 1.0. The idea is that you use snapshots to save the text as it is with your annotations and then just hack away and edit them all out as you go. Then you can always use the snapshots feature to go back and look at your old annotations later.

Thanks again for your thoughtful response to this thread.
All the best,
Keith

mi
michaelbywater
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:02 pm

Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:21 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Cmd-Ctrl-A, Find Annotations... is what you are looking for. You can even isolate by annotation type if you use some sort of formalised label or tag method. As for hiding annotations, have a look at the FAQ, there are a few ways you can get around the inability to hide them in the text stream.


Wow. I just came back here to eat crow and say I'd now found the thing -- under FIND; I mean, how OBSCURE, right? -- and there's your response. And I'm not even being shouted at as I would be on the forum for That Other Innovative Writer's Tool That Likes To Say "No! NO! It will NEVER HAPPEN! Do it OUR way!" (You know the one I mean. I love it, too, but...)

User avatar
KB
Site Admin
Posts: 20920
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall
Contact:

Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:29 pm Post

Wow. I just came back here to eat crow and say I'd now found the thing -- under FIND; I mean, how OBSCURE, right? -- and there's your response. And I'm not even being shouted at as I would be on the forum for That Other Innovative Writer's Tool That Likes To Say "No! NO! It will NEVER HAPPEN! Do it OUR way!" (You know the one I mean. I love it, too, but...)


Ha, I think a couple of users would say that I can be cratchety too. :) My own tendency seems to be to say a little too quickly, "No, that doesn't fit in Scrivener," and then I think about it some more and put it in the next beta anyway. :)

Anyway, glad you found the annotation finder (if you see what I mean).

All the best,
Keith

mi
michaelbywater
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:02 pm

Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:33 pm Post

KB wrote:Hello Michael and thank you for your post. From your post, I take it you are the British journalist, author of Big Babies et al? Whether that is you or not, good to have you on board. :)


Um... er... (SHUFFLES FEET, COUGHS MODESTLY) that's me, yes. And you'll be the British genius, author of Scrivener?

I have to say Scrivener seems to me to be the Missing Link in my workflow, which is currently

DevonThink Pro [Universal Repository Of All Known Things And Unknown]
Tinderbox (Vast project-specific cognitive map)
Mellel (Writing the stuff)

Scrivener seems the perfect drafting tool, so the Tinderbox web gets boiled into structured writing, before final export to Mellel for the grand unified view. And very nice it is too. The next book is already shaping up in it. (And my father is called Keith, too, which gives me a warm feeling of security...)

User avatar
KB
Site Admin
Posts: 20920
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall
Contact:

Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:53 pm Post

Um... er... (SHUFFLES FEET, COUGHS MODESTLY) that's me, yes. And you'll be the British genius, author of Scrivener?


I like that - I might put it on my CV. :)

Seems a lot of people here have a similar workflow, with Scrivener appearing somewhere between DevonTHINK and Mellel in some way, which is pretty much how I'll be doing things, too. (And the DT guys are very pleasant, I was only chatting to them about getting stuff between apps on their forum earlier today.)

All the best,
Keith