Article: writing a book with Scrivener

Steven Johnson has written 12 books, and since 2014 has been using Scrivener to do so.
I thought this article would be of interest to the many writers we have here.


I entirely agree with the philosophy of the article. (My implementation is a tad different though and involves additional apps, such as Drafts for capturing and whatever Notes app I have decided to commit a 100% to at the moment, forever, swear, for organising large-scale research.)

Scrivener allows me to get a bird’s eye view of very complex narratives (I write long fantasy sagas with 6-8 main PoV characters). I can see instantly the balance of rhythm, the resonances of theme, between all plot lines and check if we haven’t seen a character in a while and s/he would need some time in the spotlight.

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Interesting. At one point Johnson was a fan of DEVONthink – I believe there are some ancient blog entries out there discussing his use of that software.

Off topic – is a subscription to Medium worth the cost? Or is it just another long-winded blob of self-regarding commentary?

Ever try Aeon Timeline (Mac/iOS)? I know someone who relies on it for that very process for biographies, says it’s a better visual overview for him for complicated storylines and pacing.

Ever try Aeon Timeline (Mac/iOS)?

Yes, I use it in parallel but I only put facts in there for keeping track of timetables when I have decided on how stuff takes place. I find that there are many « elastic » moments in storytelling where time can work for or against the characters (depending on weather, for example) and you can play on that to make the story flow more naturally (adjusting the order of scenes when you have different plot lines). I don’t find Aeon a good place to build a story - cards, mind maps or documents in Scrivener work better for me.