Outgrowing Scrivener

I used Scrivener to write my first two ebooks. It’s extremely good at what it does. After an hour’s setup, I had my whole project neatly organized into chapters, topics, sub-topics and more. Research was at hand and easily referenced or updated. Each time I launched or quit Scrivener, I felt a nice surge of satisfaction. “I’m on top of this project,” I thought. The problem came when I received my first draft back from my editor.

Prior to sharing that initial draft, I exported the document to .doc and enabled changes tracking. That’s a must, as the copy editor, technical editor and I must practice strict version control and communication. It also means that Scrivener is out of the picture.

It’s a huge bummer, and something that I’ve complained about before. As soon as I export the first draft, I don’t touch Scrivener again. The meticulous organization, tagging and research are out the window, as the project now exists as that Word document.

This week I’ve started a new project without Scrivener. The whole thing will start and end in Word. The outline lives on a couple sheets of paper, and research is spread across a notebook and a text file.

I hate to let it go, but I can’t justify spending an hour or two setting up a project that I’ll be forced to abandon within a few weeks.