Emacs and Scrivener

I heard a lot of people talking about Scrivener so I downloaded a trial copy (on Windows, there's no Linux version, sadly...) and gave it a try.

It seems like a suitable tool for writers to use, it comes with a nice tutorial, and I'd recommend that anyone give the free 30 day trial a go, (this despite the fact the company behind it are called Literature and Latte).

I still prefer Emacs, though. Most of the features that Scrivener offers are easily replicable in Emacs. If you've been following my Emacs Writing Tips you'll have been doing something similar anyway.

One thing I did like about Scrivener, though, was the corkboard, a place where you could pin synopsis cards and move them around whilst you're putting your ideas in order. This is a really good idea, and one thing that Emacs can't replicate so well. Here's a work around,

The idea is quite straightforward

1. Write your synopsis in headings
2. Move them up and down using M-<up> and M-<down>

It's not as nice as the corkboard, but if you want a graphical interface, you're using the wrong program.

It's also worth mentioning org-tree-to-indirect-buffer, here. This allows you to replicate the document map in Microsoft word. It's easiest to try this out for yourself

1. Open an org file in Emacs
2. Navigate to the subtree you want to edit
3. C-x 3 to split the window vertically (org-tree-to-indirect-buffer defaults to a vertical split)
4. C-c C-x b to open the narrowed subtree in the other frame 

It all sounds rather complicated, but it's really quite straightforward, and very useful