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Writing a Novel with Scrivener Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Length: 127 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 2307 KB
  • Print Length: 127 pages
  • Publisher: David Hewson; 3 edition (July 28, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 28, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZG7BMU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,724 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

David Hewson's novels have been translated into a wide range of languages, from Italian to Japanese, and his debut work, Semana Santa, set in Holy Week Spain, was filmed with Mira Sorvino. Dante's Numbers is his thirteenth published novel.

David was born in Yorkshire in 1953 and left school at the age of seventeen to work as a cub reporter on one of the smallest evening newspapers in the country in Scarborough. Eight years later he was a staff reporter on The Times in London, covering news, business and latterly working as arts correspondent. He worked on the launch of the Independent and was a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times for a decade before giving up journalism entirely in 2005 to focus on writing fiction.

Semana Santa won the WH Smith Fresh Talent award for one of the best debut novels of the year in 1996 and was later made into a movie starring Mira Sorvino and Olivier Martinez. Four standalone works followed before A Season for the Dead, the first in a series set in Italy. The seventh Roman novel featuring Nic Costa and his colleagues, Dante's Numbers, appeared in October 2008. At the end of 2006 he signed renewed contracts with Pan Macmillan in the UK and Bantam Dell in the US to extend the series to nine books, running to 2012. The titles are published in numerous languages around the world including Chinese and Japanese... and Italian.

He has featured regularly on the speaker lists of leading international book events, including the Melbourne and Ottawa writers' festivals, the Harrogate Crime Festival, Thrillerfest, Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime. He has taught at writing schools around the world and is a regular faculty member for the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference in Corte Madera, California, where he has worked alongside writers such as Martin Cruz Smith and Michael Connelly.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone who wants to jump-start their Scrivener skills to get past the software and start writing their novel-utilizing the program to its full potential to plan, write, revise, and even publish-should consider getting this book.

First of all, don't expect this to be "the missing manual." The author is clear in his introduction that there is a lot more to Scrivener than what he manages to cover-for instance, tools for researchers and screenwriters-but he's just covering what the novelist needs to know, after all. Another caveat to mention is that the book is aimed primarily at Mac, Scrivener 2.0 users, so us Windows kiddies will need to translate some of the commands*, improvise, and resign ourselves to the fact that it is still in Beta, and though it's come a long way, it still has a ways to go before it's ready for prime time. (*But we're PC people, so we don't need to be spoon-fed everything anyway.)

He quickly goes over the basic parts of the program, the Binder, the Editor, and Inspector, covering just as much ground in four or so "pages" (a loose term, given the fluidity of Kindle displays) than what takes the tutorial over a thousand words. I don't need the Header and Footer described at length. I've used word processors before, after all. And there's the manual for everything I want elaboration on.

Next Hewson talks about the Corkboard and Outliner views in terms of their usefulness to novelists, again touching on them just enough to make the writer familiar without having to list every single capability available. As a Windows user, I noticed that the Unplaced Scenes folder he talks about doesn't yet appear in the Beta, but I've gone ahead and added my own folder by the name.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Hewson, known for his excellent mystery series, gives his take on Scrivener in an easy-to-read e-book. Decent basic overview of the main features of the software, with a few nuggets mined from his own writing process. Bit too heavy with e-pub information, but solid sections on syncing and backing up your work using some of the popular cloud services such as Dropbox. Much of the information is available in the Scrivener 2.0 manual and from video tutorials online, but Hewson's book tries to bring the important bits together for the novelist. If you're looking to glean a new or better writing process here though, you'll be left wanting more from the book.
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Without this book, I probably never would have figured out how to best use labels and keywords with this complicated novel-writing software, so kudos to Hewson for that. Ditto for using the built-in system X thesaurus. But I did find his tone condescending and also sort of insincere ("writers write--don't get bogged down in the software details," he admonishes). That's where I hit Command-Control-D-excuse. What he really means is: "Don't get bogged down in things that I, David Hewson, don't know how to do." Hewson spends a lot of words explaining how to put together an ebook, but not enough on the basic functionality of the program. Even more maddening, some of the details he does include are WRONG! It's hard to "just write" when you're stuck trying to figure out this program. I spent a long time trying to set my default screen formatting settings using Hewson's directions to change the text preferences. He says to open a blank document, get the formatting how you like it, leave the cursor in the paragraph, then go to Preferences, etc. Don't do this! The first part is right, but don't go to Preferences or you'll get stuck in the endless circle of Scrivener's general preferences. Instead: go to the PROJECT menu, then choose TEXT PREFERENCES, then hit "use current."

Hewson also glosses over some of the trickier aspects of Scrivener by advising the reader to "fix them in Word." It's easier to add chapter headings, he says, in Word. No, actually, it's not. I've struggled for years and have never been able to get this function to work in Word (though other writers say I'm doing it the right way--argh!). I just think Hewson already knows how to do it in Word and doesn't want to learn how to do it in Scrivener, frankly. Come on, no fair. This is a Scrivener book!
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I very much like the way David Hewson approaches both the Scrivener program and the technique of writing. There is no messing around in his book; it is a no nonsense guide to making Scrivener work the way you want it to and it is a no nonsense guide to the act of writing.

Throughout this slim volume Mr Hewson points out the aspects of Scrivener that are of use to a novelist, from his point of view, and he is not shy about telling the reader that some of the software's features are of little use to them. But he uncovers hidden gems in the program and details how they can help the writer beyond measure.

Now, I am not a fiction writer. I am a journalist by training and inclination yet I took a very great deal away from Mr Hewson's perspective on writing software and writing and I have no hesitation in recommending the book for non-fiction writers. The sections on how to build reference and source material links to sections of the manuscript and how to organize background material was worth the cost of the book to me.

But I would warn the dilettante writer, the one that has spent years dickering with a manuscript and never finishing it, the one that has never sold to a mainstream market, the one that hallucinates about bestseller riches, that this book is not for them.

Scrivener will not cure your mythical writer's block (there is no such thing for a professional), it will not make the writing easier or faster, but with Mr Hewson's book your writing will become more efficient and you will be able to think more clearly about what it is that you are trying to say.

Highly recommended. And so is Scrivener.

Rick Grant
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