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Q&A

Is Scrivener involved in the editorial process, or is it strictly a writer's development tool?

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Is there any reason that an editor should know how to use Scrivener?

I generally see manuscripts after they're out of draft but before proofreading. (I'm an editor.) However, I see a lot of talk about Scrivener on this site, and I'd like to know more about what it can do.

I've read the developer's website. I suspect, given the love I see for the program, that this is an oversimplification, but it looks to me like a cross between an outliner, a note organizer, and a word processor.

However, what happens when you have to send the writing off to the editor? Do you compile the project into Word format? What happens when you get changes back? If you want to keep going in Scrivener at that point, can you do so?

I spend a lot of time on the notes I write authors, sometimes explaining why I made a change. (If they don't like my changes, then at least they know what the problem is.) Is there some way to Scrivener-proof my notations, or is that a non-issue?

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I downloaded the trial version of Scrivener and began toying with it in the fall of 2011. I initially used it for outlining, I loved the corkboard feature. I then decided to give it a try for NaNoWriMo 2011. It was the first year I finished. Attribute it to the intuitive interface, great tools or just having all your writing, characters and research in one program. I love writing in scenes and being able to drag and drop these as I need to rearrange my story is priceless. There is a free trial so why not give it a shot!

If anyone decides to buy Scrivener I was given a limited use coupon here http://smworth.blogspot.com/2012/02/scrivener-coupon-codes.html You’ll get 20% off – until it expires. Enjoy!

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/5212. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Scrivener does have a Comment or Sticky-Note function. You can also use a Highlight to mark big swathes of text, change the color of inserted copy, and Strike-Through to cross things out.

As John Smithers wisely points out, Scrivener isn't just for writing the draft. It also allows you to gather notes, keep audio and video with your story, create outlines, and cross-link your ideas (rather like a mind-map, as I understand it). So if you give your Scrivener file to an editor, you aren't just handing over the file with the story, you're handing over the entire file cabinet.

As a writer, however, I would never turn over my sole original file to an editor, and as an editor, I would never expect to receive such a file from a writer. It's partly because that's the original, and partly because the editor just doesn't need all the slush material. The editor's job is to polish the final product, not to fact-check the universe. So while an editor can work in Scrivener using commenting and markup tools which are similar to Word's, there isn't a compelling reason to do so. (Other than hating Microsoft, which I totally get.)

When I have handed off my work for editing, I have exported as Word (you could also print to PDF) and the editor has used Word's markup tools for comments and corrections. I then manually move those changes to my Scrivener document, because as the writer, I get the final say about what changes do and don't get made. It is a little tedious, I agree, and if the writer really felt strongly about it, you could make editing in Scrivener work. It's not a workflow I'd recommend, though.

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