[NaNoWriMo Update] Days 3-6, Word Soup

Day 4:  2,396
Day 5:  1,973
Day 6:  2,040
3-Day Total: 6,409
Total Word Count: 13,842

I should have punched Scrivener instead of just knocking on it.

Things were going so smoothly that I thought this NaNo was going to be a cakewalk.  It looked like I was going to be able to get up, have a cup of coffee and a tub of yogurt, give the project at least its daily recommended amount of beating, then go do the umpteen zillion other things that need to be done after 6:30 AM.

Homework, kidwork, housework, workwork, not-workwork, reminding myself that I haven’t yet gotten around playing Saints Row IV because I need to get around to finishing Saints Row The Third and yeah, Borderlands 2 … but there’s The Secret World and, uh,  I also need to deal with cleaning out the garden box and is it too late to plant bulbs?  I need to check because the weather’s been weird and I might be able to get away with it even if I can’t plant that last crop of lettuce … and OH SWEET TEETHING BABY CTHULHU … THE FREAKING HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!

So, yeah, That Assumption.  Hahahahahahahahaha.

See, I thought I’d outwitted my problem with Scrivener.  I learned that Windows Scrivener has a habit of keeping a project active even if I exit the program, which results in some mayhem when I open the same project in Mac Scrivener, which I do a lot because I float between my home Windows Desktop1 and my MacBook Air2.  But, oh, hosanna (or so I thought), I figured out a workaround:  create a blank project in Windows Scrivener, and keep it open while working on my project.  That way, when I saved and closed my project, then exited Scrivener, it’d only have the blank project in its cache, not the one I was working on.  This worked beautifully until last night.

Last night, I was dumb.

Last night, I forgot to close my active project in Windows Scrivener before exiting the program.  I realized my mistake as soon as I opened the project in Mac Scrivener — the top level text card was one I’d added about five hundred words to in Windows Scrivener, and there wasn’t a single one of them there.  I exited Mac Scrivener without doing anything, but the damage was done — and done in a new and interesting manner.  When I ran upstairs and opened Windows Scrivener, it showed me the same project file as I’d just seen in Mac Scrivener, even though the new text that I’d written seemed to be in the .RTF files it had stored in its Files>Docs directory.

I carefully copied the .RTF files into another directory, and started going through them to make sure I was right about the text being there. Yep.  I was.  It was.  But wait!  That’s not the end of the story! I began to notice that some of the word counts of the files that I hadn’t changed last night were different from what I expected; namely, different from the word counts displayed for them within Scrivener.  They weren’t consistently wrong, either.  Some were a hundred or 116 or 273 words less than what Scrivener reported, others were six or seven or twenty-three words more.  Since I’ve been reporting my Nano progress using the Scrivener word counts … oh, my, yes, I did a fair amount of swearing while I filled in the missing words (and then some).

So … I think I’m done with Scrivener.  I absolutely love it, but until or if I become a single OS kind of gal, I believe I’m probably going to keep running into these problems.  It might be time to use Microsoft OneNote for everything (I haven’t wholly embraced it because the only iOS versions are for iPhone and IPad — though the Web App’s gotten a lot better than it used to be), or try to figure out why I’ve never gotten the hang of Evernote.  Until then, I’m sticking with a text editor.

1When I can get some uninterrupted peace and quiet in my home office that isn’t already spoken for by workwork or homework

2When I sneak downstairs in the morning to write, or just write or do homework through sports programs or re-runs of The West Wing — or when I occasionally escape into the wild.

2 thoughts on “[NaNoWriMo Update] Days 3-6, Word Soup

  1. You were doing it wrong!

    I am the moderator of a public community for Scrivener Users with over 1400 members. We have numerous members which use two or even three platforms. Some even export out of Scrivener and do editing on Mobile devices and then import back into Scrivener. We all agree on one thing. There is no problem going back and forth between platforms as long as you close the project each time. Why in the world were you leaving it open in Windows. Windows can read the files that are created by the Mac platform and vice-versa. In addition to this Scrivener is constantly saving Zip archives to your hard drive so that even if you somehow managed to mess up, you still have backups of your project.

    How did you quote “learned that Windows Scrivener has a habit of keeping a project active even if I exit the program?” Everytime you quit Scrivener on Windows it closes the project and will if you have the preferences set up right also save another zip archive. It doesn’t keep the project active if you quit, it keeps the project active if you do what you say in this article that you were doing.

    There is no need to “out-smart” Scrivener it works beautifully for cross-platform writing.


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