I Still Use Scrivener

Yes, just yesterday I ranted about hating Scrivener, and hating the Scrivener 3 Windows beta. But I still use the damn thing, for two purposes.

Short Story Backup

I write in Word. I write directly into a template for Standard Manuscript format, so I don’t have to change anything before sending it out, after I proofread. But I import the story once it’s done into a Scrivener project, as a second backup* of the file. I’ll also import my current WIP at whatever stage it’s in. The navigation sidebar is actually very helpful in keeping my brain from overheating. I just move the organization of current works and what’s done to Scrivener so I don’t have to think about it. It also gets added to my Submission/Works tracker but that’s another post.


I also like to export to Markdown for a plain text copy of my work. And the compile feature in Scrivener is an incredible tool for this purpose. I’d say it’s worth the price of the software just for compiling, but that’s only true if you get it 50% off for winning NaNoWriMo or something.

Being able to compile to Markdown, to an anonymous Manuscript format file (amazing how many places don’t want your name on the manuscript), to an epub file for easier proofreading for my first readers**; it’s the tool I get the most use out of. Forget the corkboard, character sketches, all that cruft. Simplifying the production workflow is the greatest contribution Literature and Latte has made to writing.

*I do more that two backups; main file, backup file, Scrivener backup, Markdown backup. Those are in the cloud (main, markdown) and on my local backup drive (main, backup, scrivener) that gets swapped out on the regular.

**I know, some would say I need only one first reader, and to trust my gut more. But First Reader A hates hard-sf, and First Reader B hates fantasy, and First Reader C is great at double checking my math in stories. So I still only do one reader per story, but their specialities lend them to different types of stories.

Eli Jones
Writer, IT Grunt, A Decent Sort

I like firm Science Fiction so that’s what I write.