“Scrivener changes the meaning of writing”. These words were born in conversation with Paolo Bacigalupi and Pat Murphy when they came Japan in 2013 at Hiroshima for attending 2nd International Science Fiction Symposium. At that time, even I was brand new pro-author, I discussed with them about writing tool Scrivener with those great writers.
Scrivener is not popular writing tool in Japan because it is not capable for writing in legacy Japanese vertical text flow and no Japanese user interface. Even for me, I’ve started to use Scrivener for merging text files written in iPhone via Dropbox, not for writing on it. And now, I write all story and essay on Scrivener and tell about it in interview, seminar and so. I hope many writer notice this great tool, but I’ve posted only 2 entries on this blog in Japanese. Because Scrivener is too large tool to explain, and I forgot how I started to use it yet. I’ve tried to post a tip, recommends or thought about Scrivener, and remove them. But hesitation days was finished. Japanese writer have a good guidebook for starting with Scrivener.
BNN published “Scrivener guidebook -for the writer who thinks-” in 18th March.
This guidebook is good 101 for entering Scrivener. How to purchase, to install, to make first project and to sync with cloud services like as Dropbox and Evernote. Paper edition is B&W but e-book one keeps full colour images. I recommend this book for Japanese writers even not have Scrivener yet. Writer Mukai interviewed me and shared 12 pages for my case, and he added how to write this book with Scrivener on post notes. Both case might push writer for considering Scrivener, the tool “Changes the meaning of writing”.
For English user? Sorry, this readable guidebook is written in Japanese and for Japanese. Instead of this book, you can read official 800 pages manual, which is the reason why I respect Scrivener developer team. Current software development and marketing, online reference is the most. Video tutorial is second important tool how to use software. Legacy book-style manual is going to die. Official book-style manual spent so large cost for PC/Mac software development, but they did well.
I have experience to write, edit and publish both ones which are 3rd party and developer, and know that third party guidebooks are rather readable than one wrote by developer. Official manual should care wider type of users, writes with spec sheet not with actual software and team should post thousands bugs to bug-tracking-system before plotting chapters.
Legacy book style manual should explain all options, features and moves in software which should be ignored in force going video tutorials. And writer should make story for users who uses only 1% features of software. If in 10 years ago, Scrivener team could price $500 for it, and hire dedicated technical writing team like as historic software did. But current market does not allow pro-writer. I guess why they develop expensive book-style user guide could be their pride to develop writing tool.
This post is also available in: 日本語