Scrivener Hates Windows More Than I Hate Scrivener

Like iTunes, Scrivener is a application tailor-made for MacOS. The developers are Mac users, the main user base are Mac users, it’s All Mac All The Time over there. And like iTunes, the Windows version of the application is buggy, neglected, and maligned by their own user base. Almost every Microsoft is verboten over there. Just do a quick search for Scrivener and OneDrive and see how the Misinformation Machine works on the Microsoft hate.

You wouldn’t know this from their website, which proclaims the future reign of Scrivener 3 for windows as the second coming of, well, Scrivener. But again, the developers are Mac users. They aren’t Windows users, they don’t like Windows (based on forum posts and comments) and development for Windows is at best a part-time effort.

As a Windows user (I only dabble with GalliumOS on my Chromebook), it’s frustrating. I’d rather Literature and Latte just drop Windows support altogether than have it rot on the vine. And they’ve done it before, relegating the second-class citizens of Linux to thrash about in the shadows with ancient code. There’s plenty of writing apps that have done that. Ulysses has always been Mac only since day one. Vellum, same story.

This wouldn’t leave Windows users completely up the creek. There’s other tools for writing available on the platform, and even old standbys like Word and Google Docs can work in a pinch. But folks are hung up on the organizational tools and ridiculous corkboard that I find so absolutely useless. Granted, I’m doing short stories and blog posts for my primary writing, not novel series. Maybe if I needed to slap together something in a write-to-market push I’d like tools that could make me feel better about myself, too.

But I Still Use Scrivener Every Day

Even with the bullshit of Scrivener 3 for Windows, I still use the program daily for my writing. All my completed stories are in a project (which is inside a OneDrive folder! I must be mad!) with my front matter and Standard Manuscript format ready for compilation. It simplifies my record keeping.

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 use the most in Scrivener.

Compared To My pandoc Workflow, It’s Great

Forget the corkboard, character sketches, all that cruft. Simplifying the production workflow is the greatest contribution Literature and Latte has made to writing. It just comes down to time and effort; you could do all the same things with Word, a Markdown editor and pandoc, but unless you enjoy setting all that up, why not spend money on a unified tool?

If only that tool was supported better.

*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 specialties lend them to different types of stories.