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Scrivener 3 is on the way…

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Posted by Hugh
Nov 21, 2017 at 05:53 PM

 

If it’s any help, just to say that I don’t see Tinderbox and Scrivener as being particularly interchangeable. Scrivener originally came on to the market as a tool for drafting “long-form” (i.e. >5,000 words) pieces of writing, with the idea that you’d subsequently prettify the draft in a traditional word processor such as MS Word. Very few, or no, applications existed then (c.2007) specifically for that purpose; Word itself was seen mainly as a tool for writing business letters and reports, and was fairly notorious at that time for corrupting long-form pieces of work. (Its reliability has now probably improved.)

Scrivener has since spread its wings and “moved up the value chain”, as management consultants say, so that you can now pretty much self-publish from the application without actually spending cash on another piece of software, and, as a writing tool with some database-ish characteristics, it can now also be used for several other purposes (ranging from, apparently, game-strategising to journalling). But its USP, or key raison-d’être, and the thing that it’s better at doing than anything else in my view remains being able to securely and reasonably easily handle the writing process of long-form.

In contrast, I wouldn’t want to try to write long-form in Tinderbox - ever! The definitions of what Tinderbox actually is are several and varied. I like to think of it as a sophisticated means of arranging thoughts and ideas and establishing the relationships between them. Of course, outliners and concept maps or mindmaps have similar purposes to those of Tinderbox - and Tinderbox can certainly be used an outliner or concept map, prior to writing long-form. But Tinderbox can do a lot more than that, being versatile, nuanced and “smart”, and capable of helping to identify “emergent structure” (which sounds faintly sinister, but isn’t). Whereas Scrivener, although it too has an outliner as part of its package, certainly does not aspire to what Tinderbox can do in that area.