Writing on the go

Writing on the go

During the course of this particular Write or Consequences challenge period, which ran a whopping 9 months, my goal was to publish the final 2 Promise House novellas — novellas, mind you. Of about 25,000 words each. That’s all.

But it didn’t happen.

One reason was because I returned to the day job, and even though I’m slated to work only 32 hours a week, the job has also required that I travel more than I like. Add in a vacation or two, and I’ve lost weeks from my writing schedule. I’m a creature of habit, I write in Scrivener, and the lack of Scrivener on my portable devices (I don’t count my laptop as truly “portable”) stymied me.

So when I discovered Scrivo Pro in the iTunes store, I was all in.

Aficionados of Scrivener who travel, like me, have long bemoaned the lack of Scrivener for tablet devices. I can take my iPad and Apple bluetooth keyboard on a plane trip far more easily than lugging a heavy laptop. (Besides, I work in technology so I’m already lugging my company-issued monster laptop with me.) But my iPad/keyboard pair go camping with me, fly on business trips, and attend retreats with me. They tuck neatly into a small backpack, don’t use much juice, and aren’t heavy.

Not having Scrivener for iPad has long prevented me from bothering to try to take my WIP along for the ride in hopes of squeezing in a few minutes of writing time in my hotel room or at the airport. I also loathe the bother of exporting my WIP from Scrivener into a Word document and then having to sort it all back out and put my new text in Scrivener after I’m home again. Because what if I’d done some editing in an earlier scene or chapter? I might miss those changes when I’m reconciling versions. And copying all of the scenes back into Scrivener is a major pain.

Enter Scrivo Pro, from Kairoos Solutions.

The moment I found it, I knew I had to try it on for size. It costs more than the standard app at $19.99, but I can tell you from my weeks using it that it’s totally worth the cost for a frequent flyer/camper who also happens to write.

Because I’m paranoid about backups, I park everything I work on in Dropbox, including my Scrivener project files. The great thing about working with Scrivener from a Dropbox location is that my novella projects are automatically backed up by virtue of being located there, and the latest and greatest version is also available to me no matter where I am. If my laptop crashes tomorrow, I haven’t lost anything. I can reformat my laptop (or get a new one), load Scrivener, and simply connect to that project out in my Dropbox folder. Nothing is lost.

This setup enabled me to load up Scrivo Pro on my iPad, connect to my Dropbox folder, and voilà! my novella project is available in Scrivo Pro.

The other great advantage is that I can work in Scrivo Pro without an internet connection — super-important when I’m camping in the wilds where AT&T and Verizon can’t reach. I can add new files, too, that will sync to my Dropbox folder when I’m back in civilization. I can even start a new project on my iPad, and it will sync later.

After years of waiting for the busy folks at Literature and Latte to develop an iPad app, I’m very happy with Scrivo Pro, especially since I can do my crazy Flowstate thing and then copy my scene or notes from Flowstate directly into Scrivo Pro.

So while I’m definitely going to take a dunking here shortly, I’m happy to have a couple more tools in my toolbox to (I hope) avoid a repeat dunking!

Sandra K. Moore

Sandra K. Moore has been writing one thing or another since she could scribble on a Big Chief tablet. A former Silhouette Bombshell author, Sandra has given up (temporarily) the kickass heroine and is now writing from her softer side for the self-published Promise House series. This novella quartet explores the journeys of four young women finding their way — and remaining true to themselves — through the social expectations and turmoil of 1950’s Houston.

3 thoughts on “Writing on the go

  1. I mind write. A lot. And lately my fantasy has been intruding more and more into my daydreams. I’ve detailed plotted (in my mind) 50% of the story, and I’ve been trying to talk myself into using Scrivener. Yet I resist. Call it old dog new tricks syndrome. But after reading this post, I think I will blow the dust of my Scrivener for Dummies book and take another stab at it. This story I want to write is too long, too complicated, with too many worlds and too many POV characters not to consider it more seriously.
    As far as the Scrivo Pro goes? Might be best if I take the tack of first things first.
    Now then, did we ever decide who gets to pour the ice bucket?

  2. I think you babes are fighting over the dunking honor.

    Scrivener is super-cool for keeping things straight… Tool change is difficult, but I bet once you use it for a chapter or two, you’ll see how easy it is to bust out each scene as its own little file. And then suddenly you can “see” the scene in the broader context of the novel. Pretty cool.

    Give me a shout if you want to do a quick tutorial.

  3. Okay, I know the point here was the great asset of finding Scrivo Pro, but my big takeaway? Backup on Dropbox. I still haven’t done anything about backing up my files and this morning, my laptop decided to give me a mini-heart attack. Gotta get on that.

    As for Scrivener, I started Darcy’s story there and then gave up and went back to the familiar world of Word. Since I’m at a new beginning, I think I’ll follow Lorinda’s footsteps and try it again. Again.

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