*stomps foot* I Still Want Scrivener… but I am willing to settle

*stomps foot* I Still Want Scrivener... but I am willing to settle

Seriously, my need for Scrivener is growing every day.  But as there is no hope on the horizon for those of us with PC or Linux, I am seeking other alternatives.  There isn’t much out there for Linux, which is the OS I really need it for.  I do most of my writing on the eeepc and prefer something that will work on that to something for windows.  I am also not interested in emulators.  Well, scratch that–if a Mac emulator for Linux that worked was available, I would consider it.  But emulators generally make me break out in hives.

I tried Writer’s Cafe for a while, but there is no atual word proessor within the program and that made it not as useful.  And then at one point it lost a bunch of my data–I was done.

It occurred to me that there might be creative ways to use OpenOffice to get what I need.  Essentially, I have a lot of information that I need to access quickly as I write — research notes and websites and names of things and some outline stuff.  I need it organized in a good way so it’s easy to enter and find.  I need it to me on my local disk cuz I can’t always get to the web and don’t always want to.  I think notecards are awesome.

So, I need some organization advice, I guess.  What is the best way to gather together all these disparate things in a computer environment that keeps the information I need handy so I don’t have to pause too long and get more writing done?

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve tried Liquid Story Binder, and it doesn’t import .doc files, so feh.

    WriteWay isn’t awful. It’s actually pretty good for what it does, it’s just a little limited. Cheap, though.

    I’m thinking of looking for some kind of desktop wiki software so I can throw a wiki of all of my worldbuilding stuff together and see if that helps me to keep the thing organized.

    I’m also starting to use Excel to track major events in my novel–one column per character, with the rows making the timeline so I can see where there might be linkages between different characters’ arcs. It actually works much better than any of the things I’ve tried that are for writing.

    But, yeah, I bet Scrivener would solve all my woes…sigh.

  2. says

    Ugh. Sorry Writer’s Cafe didn’t work out. I didn’t know you’d lost data! The real problem is we need a program that runs on both Linux and the PC; even Open Office isn’t completely compatible with Word, as I’ve discovered some issues with headers and footers converted from one to the other.

    Anyway, for research purposes, I pretty much just have a folder on my computer where I store files related to my project: images, HTML pages, PDF documents, etc. I also keep a file open where I put ideas, snippets to include in the novel, stuff I’ve cut, etc. all in one place. I have one master document listing every chapter and the scenes in it, and I have a separate folder for every chapter, since there are multiple files for each. It’s fairly low tech, but it’s low maintenance and also the most compatible thing at the moment.

  3. says

    i hate to be unhelpful, but after working on my second draft in scrivener, and starting to imagine my next novel using scrivener … well, knowing what i know, if i was a pc person, i’d be switching to mac right now JUST FOR SCRIVENER.

    there’s just no way to mimic what it does without using more than one app, which kind of does away with that little convenience thing.

    the good news is that you can get a G3 laptop for $150 here http://www.secondhandmac.com/ or here http://www.macofalltrades.com/

    if you only run a newer OS, scrivener, and word on it, it shouldn’t get overloaded.

  4. says

    I haven’t been using it for very long but the outlining thing on Liquid Story Binder was excellent. But I haven’t been writing in it because I still need to figure out the indents issue. Its indents are all auto-set to script writing indents, not novel-writing indents. Eet drives me crazy, and I couldn’t figure out how to set them to my preferences. (And yes, I kept fiddling with the indent settings and what I’d end up with was hilariously indented stuff, because they would still assume that I was doing script writing. So I gave up for the moment and use Liquid Story Binder for notes and things like that, and use my word processor for actual story. If anyone can tell me how to not get script-writing indents, that would be awesome.)

  5. says

    When Apple comes out with an eeepc-sized Ma, THAT is the day I will get one because i bought the thing to have a small, light computer that I could carry around with ease. I hardly know it’s in my bag half the time, and I whip it out whenever I have a free moment. Even the 14″ macs are not small enough for that. I mean, with everyone else jumping on the bandwagon, maybe Apple will, too. if they’re not still enamored of themselves due to the MacBookAir. Yes, it’s light, but damn… $1700??? I’ll need to have sold me a couple of books before I consider that for my writing machine.

  6. says

    Luckily it was only notes and journal stuff. But the way Writers cafe stores notebook and journal is stupid, and thus one tiny mistake lost me several weeks. BOO.

    Plus, I just couldn’t dig not having the word processor IN the program. If I’m going to use two programs, I might as well find a second one that does everything I want.

  7. says

    I cannot imagine all the bad things that would happen if I put a Mac OS on my PC.

    But anyway, I really only need it for my eeepc. and even then, I would prefer something made for linux. the scrivener people just need t quit being dorks and make a linux version!

  8. says

    Like being so spoiled by software that makes sense Microsoft crap gives you hives? :)

    But hell, be Linux your OS of choice, I hope you find a good Scrivener like word processor to use with it.

  9. says

    I share your pain.

    A few years back (before I knew about Scrivener)I made a Microsoft Word template that functioned as a story organizing and creation tool. It kept all my photos, research links,soundtrack music etc in one massive hyperlinked document. And it used virtual drag and drop notecards.

    Once I found out about Scrivener I decided to just put things on hold and save up for a new Powerbook. But if you want a quick laugh, check out http://www.centigray.net/mythmaster/

    Be kind. My Inner Geek was in full control at the time…

  10. says

    Sounds like we’re in the same boat… I’ve tried doing the Scrivener thing with a virtual machine, but my desktop doesn’t have the processing power for it (not bothering to try with the Eee). I tried multiple wiki applications. The one that worked best for me is Zim. Check your distribution’s repositories first, but the install directions on the site also work. I also tried Instiki, DekiWiki, TWiki, and multiple Windows desktop wikis running under Wine. Zim is the only thing I tried that didn’t get in my way.