November 8, 2010

Structuring/Writing Application Scrivener 2.0 Released

About a year ago I bought the first version of Scrivener, a Mac writing app that falls somewhere between a structuring/outlining application and a proper word processor/screenwriting application. It's an intriguing proposition, with virtual notecards, a nice full-screen writing mode, and plenty of other bells and whistles. Since adding it to my dock, however, I haven't found myself using it that often -- though I'm not sure if it's through any fault of the software or just because I tend to outline the old-fashioned way (with pen and paper). Still, there's a new version that's just been released after a long development cycle, and it's worth checking out if you're a screenwriter or any other kind of long-form writer.

In the developer's words:

Most word processors approach composing a long-form text the same as typing a letter or flyer - they expect you to start on page one and keep typing until you reach the end. Scrivener lets you work in any order you want and gives you tools for planning and restructuring your writing. In Scrivener, you can enter a synopsis for each document on a virtual index card and then stack and shuffle the cards in the corkboard until you find the most effective sequence.

This is the main reason I bought it in the first place -- I find Microsoft Word and other word processing programs to be bereft of good structuring tools, and I liked the idea of Scrivener's focus on outlining. Here's a look at Scrivener's abilities in action (there's a 20% off coupon at the end of the screencast); you can also head on over to the site and download a free trial.

Any Scrivener users out there? What about other outlining/writing programs?

Link:
Scrivener Home
Buy Scrivener

[via TUAW]

Your Comment

8 Comments

I don't know if it's what you mean, but I use Celtx for screenplay writing, storyboard and preproduction organisation. It's free and it has geat support.

November 8, 2010 at 9:49PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Matias

I'm interested in Scriverner as well for the same reason as you. I've downloaded the demo version twice and tried to make a go of it, but each time was too close to a writing deadline and I found the learning curve too steep. I need to sit down with it when I actually have nothing to write and see if I can master it before I'll now if it's for me. But I hope some other people comment because I like, in theory, what the application purports to do.

November 10, 2010 at 2:26PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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You don't need another app. You have Textedit, and a pencil and paper. What you're missing is commitment.

November 11, 2010 at 10:10AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Danny

Thank you for such a valuable comment, Danny! Imagine if you'd actually read the post, wherein I say I use pen and paper.

November 11, 2010 at 1:08PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Oh yeah. Sorry.

November 12, 2010 at 6:34AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Danny

Scrivener can be used for screenwriting but it definitely shines if you are working on writing anything involving copious amounts of research and want to be able to group various writings in a way that makes sense to you as a writer. The cork board mode is the real selling point to screenwriters. The key to this is if you are writing something with a short deadline this software won't help most, but for long documents it can help you stay organized. Some of these software do actually help people who aren't lazy, some people can still type on typewriters, good for them but I will stick with a fully featured word processor. We are all individuals so what might make sense to one person might hold no value to the other. And Celtx is great but I once lost a day's work due to a crash and have been scared of using it and went back to the buggy Final Draft.

November 20, 2010 at 1:02PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James

If you're going for movie outlining, I am giving Movie Outline 3 and Outline 4D a go, but really learning a software to outline doesnt personally do much for me as I can just get my Mead notebook or word processor and outline the old fashioned way.

November 20, 2010 at 1:04PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James

I go old fashioned myself for scripts, scripts just aren't THAT complicated. But I do use and LOVE Scrivener. It saved my life when writing my thesis.

March 8, 2011 at 1:48PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I realize this is an old post, but scrivener is my favorite program to write screenplays in. Mainly becuase it can keep everything organized in one file, automatic backups to dropbox, almost seamless transitioning from desktop to laptop, split screen for notes, and composition mode. Pairing it with Nocturne gives me that night time dark mode. I've used Celtex, writer duet, and final draft. None of them work as well as this does. It took a lot of getting used to and finding my own method of organization, but it honestly works the best for blazing through drafts. And to format it correctly with Final draft, All ya gotta do is export as fdx file and then open in Final Draft. I've found FD does have a lot more formatting correction detection, so it's very useful to go through this FD filter before printing or submitting. Scrivener is the most underrated program out there.

August 9, 2018 at 11:46AM

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David Moriya
Producer, Director, Editor, Writer, Photographer
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