Years ago, I bought Scrivener. Scrivener is the go-to application for writers of long form writing, whether it be a novel, magazine or journal articles, research projects (educational or otherwise, short stories, or however one would like to use it. Very few authors will use anything like Word or any other standard word processing application because of the understandable limitations of the platform. Scrivener had my attention in one single line of their marketing, “...the ability to write without needing to worry about whether or not you're writing the last chapter or the first.” It went something like that, but here's the statement on their site in 2022:
Tailor-made for long writing projects, Scrivener banishes page fright by allowing you to compose your text in any order, in sections as large or small as you like. Got a great idea but don't know where it fits? Write when inspiration strikes and find its place later. Grow your manuscript organically, idea by idea.
I like the idea of being able to move freely like this simply because that’s the way my mind works. I can be on the first chapter today and then get the brainstorm of what I want a obligatory scene to be like the next day and write that without destroying the paging or other features of how Word works. Scrivener is so much more than this, however. I’ve written several short stories through the years with it and I’ve always been totally amazed at how little of the application’s features I have even began to use.
Scrivener seems to be the big game in town. The 900 pound gorilla in the room, if you will. On the horizon, there is a competitor and it does have my attention.
Atticus is the new kid on the block. The advantages to Atticus is many fold. I’ll list a few here for simplicities sake:
It basically does what Scrivener does and…
Networked author and editor support. In other words, your editor or beta-readers can peer into what you’re work without the hassle of exporting and so forth. I’ll be honest, this is big to me. Of course this is all with granular settings of privacy and control on the author’s part. Editor’s can get Atticus certified, therefore making it easier to find editors which are capable and working with Atticus.
Formatting for publication – instead of spending $250 on just the software for doing one single thing, exporting for publication, Atticus does everything for the price of one.
All in all, Atticus is a very attractive package and I do see myself moving to the platform. For the time being, however, I have Scrivener and Atticus does seamlessly import all of my work from Scrivener, so I will be working with Scrivener for the time being.
My goal now…
…is to educate myself on Story Craft. And my next post I will discuss what tools I am using and books I am reading in order to do that.