Posts Tagged ‘Literature & Latte’

There’s no time like the present



Have I used that line before in my blogs? Probably. And I’ll most likely use it again.

I use Scrivener to write my books and short stories. It works extremely well, I can store everything related to the project in one place, and it saves my work (I also use an external storage device to make sure it’s saved). But I have neglected to learn how to create the appropriate files directly from Scrivener to Kindle…until this week.Scrivener Logo

What do you do when you don’t know how to proceed? First, you pray. Then you sleep on it. Then (please forgive the sense of flippancy; it’s not intended), you google it. I discovered several great videos on how to use Scrivener Compile, besides the lengthy notes I had from the online courses I had taken some time ago.

The best site, in my estimation, is http://susanrussoanderson.com/2014/02/18/how-to-compile-a-sparkling-mobi-in-scrivener-for-windows/. (I use a Mac, but it still worked fine.) To be honest, I found it even more user-friendly than the Scrivener how-to videos at Literature and Latte, https://www.literatureandlatte.com/videos/CompilingUsingFormatPresetsLarge.mov, although they work too. So take your pick or combine them, whatever works best for you.

The Susan Russo Anderson video mentioned above requires that front and back matter be formatted in the Scrivener program and included “As Is” during compile. But I discovered that the Literature and Latte site explained how to make the text editing usable during compile. So, either way, it works. And the more you play with it, the more comfortable and less confusing it becomes.

I think the secret to learning how to work with a new program like Scrivener Compile is to start small. I have a short story I’ve been wanting to publish for a while. It’s 10K in length, so it includes all the elements I need to practice on, but it’s not novel-length. So I worked with that story. I only Compiled it seven times before I was reasonably happy with the outcome! I have yet to press Publish, because I need to do some promotional things, but it’s saved in draft.

So, if you’ve been procrastinating in some areas of your indie writing, press on today. There’s no time like the present.

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Please note: the blog below is written from personal experience with this program and is published here for the benefit of other writers, not for any monetary gain.



Scrivener Logo

I first discovered Scrivener (Scri-ve-ner) a few years ago on one of the listservs I subscribe to. It was touted as a great tool for writing, and at the time, I was in procrastination mode. No better delay device than a new program or tool to study. So I signed up for the free introductory month. While it did cost me some learning time, it was well worth it, and I bought the program shortly after.

Scrivener is a writing software program designed by a company called Literature & Latte.

Literature & Latte

According to the site, “Literature & Latte was founded in 2006 with the sole purpose of creating software that aids in the creative process of writing long texts.” There are templates for fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, poetry and lyrics, etc., and it’s available for either Mac or Windows.

To my understanding, the most basic difference between Scrivener and other writing programs is the perception of composition. Scrivener does not function in pages but in components.

Each component in a project can be titled, moved, edited, color-coded and viewed in various modes. The options are extensive, as are the applications. Also, the writer is able to assemble all information pertaining to the project in one place. I can be writing a scene, then click on a card that gives me the synopsis of that scene, then click on a character or setting photo, then include a live link to a website I wish to revisit. And if I’m really in procrastination mode, I can vary the color of my screen or change the font or…. Delicious decisions for a visual writer.

But this is just the composition mode. After my project is complete, or whenever I wish to print out a copy, I have more choices. For example, I can compile all the scenes from one point of view and print them, to check the timeline or flow of that narrative. The compile feature is something I’m still learning, but the capacity is there for me to format my story for e-book or print version.

My greatest learning helps for Scrivener have been the courses offered by Gwen Hernandez.Gwen Hernandez Her courses are clear, concise and interactive as well as economical. At this writing the basics course is set at $25 USD. The course includes print-outs, opportunities for questions and comments, and screenshots for clarification. Gwen has also published the Scrivener for Dummies manual.Scrivener for Dummies

The Scrivener program is relatively inexpensive (I paid $40 USD), and I’ve found  the updates are usually free if I stay current.

I write these things today because in the recent past I’ve read and participated in discussion regarding Scrivener. Since it’s been such a great tool for me, I like to recommend it to other writers. But please don’t look to me for expert advice. Go to Literature & Latte, or to Gwen Hernandez for hands-on learning and practice. It certainly makes the writing experience more organized, efficient and fun.


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